Entirely made in Italy by a group of Neapolitan entrepreneurs, Starmar 850 presents itself to the nautical world as a boat balanced between adrenaline and comfort as indicated by the term "sport cabin".
We had the opportunity to test it in the waters of the Gulf of Naples in rough sea conditions with more than 15 knots of mistral.
At the stern there are two platforms divided by the Suzuki DF350A Dual prop. Through a fiberglass step we are behind the C-shaped stern sofa that occupies the entire width of the boat. This solution is double-edged, since on the one hand it offers greater comfort thanks to the larger dimensions, but on the other it forces us to have to walk on the cushions (removable) in order to access on board.
The free space to move in the cockpit is very limited since we have only a small rectangle that can be lifted manually to become a table or a sofa expansion.
In this way an area is created where you can have lunch or simply stay with friends where they can sit up to 5 people.
A few centimeters further on there is a fiberglass support which towards the stern shows a tip-up top that contains the gas stove with the sink.
The presence of the stove so close to the sofa, however, makes it unusable when there is an open table. This means that it is possible to cook, and it is a great advantage for a boat of this size with this type of equipment, but at the same time we do not have many support surfaces where we can put the plates or pots if not the small steel plate that located on the left side.
On the front part of the wet-bar, the cushions act as a lumbar support for the diver and co-driver.
Even the lumbar support allows greater reflexes during navigation, but in the case of quiet family outings there is no support to sit on.
The console is on the right side of the cabin, and has the compass at the top so that it is always visible.
A little further down is the raymarine gps / echo sounder and beside it the Suzuki multi-function instrument to control the engine at all times.
On the right and on the same level there is the stereo boss for complete management during navigation.
I would like some analogue indicator for information essential to navigation because in case of an electrical failure we have no information to navigate in peace.
Finally there are the on / off buttons arranged in a single row.
The rudder is centrally posiotioned and the power throttle is on our right. At our feet there is a step to be able to rest your feet during navigation.
The walkways are symmetrical on both sides, via two steps leading to the forward sunbathing area. This area has a very simple layout and is totally covered with cushions.
To create more space in the cabin, the height has been increased until it is flush with the tubulars, so you need to be more careful in case of rough seas, but the handles on both the console and the tubulars come in handy to offer us a firm grip both when stationary and at sea.
To enter the cabin we go down a stair. Here is a first space about 160 cm high, while on our right we find wooden furniture that hides the chemical toilet and in front of it a double berth, big enough for two people.
In the whole cabin there are two portholes, but we would also prefer the presence of a large hatch that favors ventilation and brightness, something the manufacturer told us was not among the customer's choices.
We were 3 people on board with 75% of the total fuel and almost 100 liters of water. The sea began to rise with waves of 1 / 1.5 meters and mistral was giving strong gusts. We left the port with the minimum of 600 rpm, 3 knots with fuel consumption of 2.5 liters / hour.
Minimum planning is achieved at 3000 rpm with 13.6 knots, but with 500 rpm more we had full efficiency at 22 knots consuming 33.5 liters / hour, which means 1.5 liters per mile. The Speed / consumption ratio is good, thanks to Suzuki's Lean burn system, which allows continuous adjustment of the amount of oxygen and fuel to get maximum efficiency with less waste of resources.
The hull allowed us to advance on the wave, softening the impact, to such an extent that I managed to collect the navigation data while resting on the backrest but without keeping with my hands. The wind gave us some discomfort in communication (the windshield is a bit low), contrary to the quietness of the engine, thanks to a pre-chamber upstream of the intake manifold that eliminates the sounds caused by the intake itself.
The boat responded a little to the trim adjustment, so I left it at zero for all the sea trial, except for top speed. With the minimum trim we touched the 37 knots at 5500 rpm burning 93.3 l / h, while with 50% trim we only gain 1 knot, reaching 5750 rpm and consuming 105 liters per hour.
I preferred to stay at cruising speed appreciating the capacity of the engine with the dual prop system that allowed me to make rapid changes of direction when required, while we accelerated from 20 to 30 knots in 3 seconds. When turning, the inflatable boat tended to lean slightly, placing a large part of the tubular parts in the water, increasing the feeling of stability.
During the acceleration test, by knocking down the throttle the boat got out of the hole in 4.3 seconds, in 5.95 we were at 20 knots while we reached 30 knots in about 8.7 seconds.
Returning to the port we made the latest assessments. Starmar 850 is recommended to those looking for an intermediate point between family comfort and performance. The presence of the cabin allows a couple to have even a mini cruise without difficulty, while the boat can be entirely customized at the request of the owner.
What was clear in the Rib-engine combination of our test was that the engine was obviously too high, so we were not able to use the trim to raise the bow, reducing its wet surfaces and getting a higher top speed.
We also found that the slip values are very high for these propellers while the engine was far from its maximum rpm, from which it will be even lower when we use the boat with its normal loads.
Therefore, without doubt we highly recommend lowering the engine by two holes with parallel use of 15.5΄΄x 19.5΄΄ propellers gaining, among other things, more explosive acceleration and much better boat handling.
Corso Umberto I, 128
80070 – Monte di Procida (NA), Italy
Tel. +39 347 610 4928