With an overall length of 8.43 meters and a width of 3.25 meters, a particularly smart and functional deck lay-out with great ergonomic design which is built on a seaworthy deep V hull, Mar.co 26 is one of the best proposals in this category, capable to travel us with great comfort and safety to long-distance destinations.
If we add the excellent construction quality that features all the company's models, then it is obvious why Mar.co enjoys the trust and respect for many years, having managed to create a big fan club in the inflatable boat’s field.
Mar.co 26 is the «big sister» of Mar.co 23, faithfully following the lines and inspired solutions in the design of its deck, where the manufacturer has managed to give everything an experienced boat owner can ask for
Our test Rib was equipped with two Suzuki DF 300hp outboard engines, which were mounted on the second hole and were turning two 16"x21.5" 3-blade stainless steel propellers.
It was clear that we had in our hands an explosive combination and an overpowered set-up that obviously made us stand sceptical of whether the hull of an 8.43-meter inflatable boat could handle such a high horsepower and a tremendous torque of the 600hp on its transom.
The southern wind that was blowing in Polignano a Mare, the day of our sea trial was creating waves of more than one meter high and made us particularly careful in handling the engines’ controls, a little touch of which was enough to take off the rib. It was logical, therefore, to approach the coast that protected us from the waves so as to be able to record our measurements.
With 200 litters of fuel and 3 people on board, Mar.co 26 jumped onto plane at just 2000 rpm maintaining steadily a speed of 9 knots.
Indeed, the throttle response and acceleration were explosive, resulting to a planning time in the range of 4 seconds while the rib reached 30 knots in 6.4 seconds.
At 3500 rpm, our speed was 28 knots, a cruising speed at which Mar.co 26 can travel for many hours while the engines didn’t need to work hard.
It is remarkable to note that at 4500 rpm the cruising speed reached 38 knots, where we measured the smallest slip value which was just 0.5%. This means that at the midrange rpm we get the maximum performance of the propellers which give us almost all their theoretical speed. Of course, this number in the particular rpm is clearly due to the high horsepower we had on the transom in combination with the two large diameter propellers the engines were turning.
At WOT, the engines turned 6000 rpm and our top speed reached 49.6 knots. In this area of engines rpm, the slip value increased up to 2.7%, indicating that either we had trimmed excessively out the engines, or that the large diameter of the propellers began to work negatively in this high-speed area.
Our analytical measurements can be found in the following table:
The Mar.co 26 hull seemed to handle the extra power it had on its transom very well, quickly gaining our confidence and so we could safely drive it to the limits even when the throttles were almost touching the console's gealcoat.
Of course, although an overpowered rib may require an experienced driver and special attention in handling, still it offers a number of great benefits
- the rib is getting out of the hole quickly
- we can travel at very low speeds for many hours, even with heavy loads in bad weather conditions, having the engines operating without stress
- we have the ability to use longer pitch propellers, thus increasing our cruising speed at midrange rpm, while reducing consumption.
- the rib can easily get on plane even with one engine. It is characteristic that when we turned off the port engine, the starboard engine got Mar.co 26 on plane at just 2800 rpm with a speed of 10 knots and at WOT we were running with 28 knots at 4300 rpm.
By finishing our records, we head out to sea in order to evaluate the behaviour of Mar.co hull 26 in wave conditions.
In spite the fact that the deadrise at the transom was not really great, Mar.co offered us soft ride in almost every direction of waves, and even on our low flights our landings were very smooth with any poundings.
Even with the throttles wide open, the rib was flying from crest to crest without losing its stability, showing us its robust construction in every landing while retaining a very good cruising angle despite the many pounds on its transom.
Taking a care look at our measurements, we can see that the engines with the specific loads reach the middle of the maximum rpm range recommended by their manufacturer, which means that we have to use 16"x20" propellers when we overload it for multi-day vacation.
It is really worth trying a pair of propellers with a diameter of 14 5/8" to 15 ¼" and longer pitch of 2 or 3 inches, which is allowed by the twin engines installation and the high horsepower of the particular set-up.
In this way we will take advantage of the tremendous torque of the 600 horses and will improve not only our final speed but also cruising speed and fuel consumption.
The deck of Mar.co 26 reflects the huge experience of the people behind its design, who have obviously dedicated many hours to the sea and even more in its design, having managed to make optimum use of every corner.
The big hard nose is padded with anti-slip material and embraces the front part of the tubes leaving great step for the unobstructed entry and exit from the boat.
For this reason, the cleats have been adapted to its side surfaces while the anchor comes out lower from the tubes, from the specially shaped opening at the bow entry.
The bow sundeck, with a net length of 1.90 meters and a maximum width of 1.70 meters, can comfortably accommodate two adults while adjusting the corresponding addition can extend to the console and grow even further.
This addition also consists the floor between the console and the helmseat so that it does not need to be stored in a locker, limiting its useful space.
In front of the bow sundeck the lightly raised locker lays and houses the electric windlass and the anchor’s chain, while underneath there are three separate storage spaces that can accommodate a large part of the rib's equipment.
The right of the three bow lockers is shaped with long length and short width for storing long objects such as paddles, skis and spearguns.
The new console design houses inside a comfortable bathroom with electric toilet, faucet and sink.
With a height of 1.64 meters, a width of 1.03 meters and a length of 0.88 meters, it is a very useful space that will be highly appreciated by the female sex.
Access to the interior of the console is made by the large tilting door located on the front of the console, where a porthole and a wide single seat have been intergraded.
The dashboard has the right inclination angle and space to accommodate even large electronic devices while at the bottom it has a built-in footrest for resting the legs when driving in a seated position.
To the port and starboard of the console there are comfortable passageways which are 30 cm wide at their back side and 33 cm in the front one.
The double helmseat is mounted on a polyester construction while its rotating backrest enables us to adapt it accordingly, so as to support us when we drive in a semi-stationary position or to create a two-seater sofa facing the stern.
Beneath the driver’s seat, which is tilted, there is the wet-bar of the rib, which can be equipped with a stove and sink, while at the front side there is a hatch that gives access to the interior, which can be used as space storage.
Behind the helmseat extends the aft lounge, which is formed in «Π» shape constituting the main gathering and dining area of the rib. It consists of three sofas beneath of which three large and individual storage spaces are accommodated that can host several bags or small suitcases with our clothing.
The detachable floor between the sofas can be used to create a table or even as an extension which, based on the corresponding stainless steel bars that fit right and left, forms a large sunpad with a width of 1.84 meters and a length of 1.26 meters.
Particularly useful and practical the two steps in front of the lateral stern sofas will facilitate our entry or exit from the deck and our access to the polyester gunwales fitted to the tubes.
On the back of the polyester backrest of the aft lounge, we distinguish the classic configuration that is a trademark of Mar.co, where we meet the very useful cabinets that accommodate the shower wand and the water’s tank intake, while between them, in a specially shaped place the fenders are housed, instantly accessible at any time.
The swimming platform offers great freedom of movement and comfortable access to the boat thanks to the reclining hatch, covering most of the engine basin, and its two extensions to the right and left of the engines.
MAR.CO MARINE COSTRUZIONI
Via Edison 64, 20835 Muggiò (MB) Italy
Representative of Greece:
59, S. Venizelou str., 14123 Lykovrisi - Attica
T. +30 210 28 49 507