If you are among those who believe that concepts such as high speed, offshore hull and generous interiors are completely incompatible and impossible to coexist without adversely affecting each other, it may be probably time to rethink your views.
Skipper 4X 90 has managed to combine the above concepts in the best way, featuring a highly comfortable and functional deck that is built on a racing hull with offshore orientation. So it is obvious that this is a Rib that will be highly appreciated by the nautical camping lovers who are addicted to the adrenaline of high speeds and long distance trips.
Skipper 4X 90 is designed to provide powerful emotions to its owners, filling them with strong feelings either relaxing in its spacious sundeck enjoying the sun dipping into the sea, or running at speeds of 63+ knots causing the adrenaline overwhelming through their body.
It is a Rib that stands out for its intense sporty lines and runs on a deep V stepped hull designed to achieve high speeds even with the use of one outboard engine.
What is most noticeable and visible at first glance is the extremely tall chine, which reaches a maximum height of 45 cm around the helm seats and console area, and the reverse design of the tubes which indicate a very aggressive and racing character.
Its hull is characterized by the presence of three ventilated steps, the last of which is approximately 30 cm longer than the others, and the configuration of a 9 cm wide pad in the transom area.
Three spray rails start from the bow area and continue to the first step, while from there and back only the two higher ones continue reaching the transom of the boat.
With a construction quality at a very high level, Skipper 4X 90 offers full freedom of movement on its deck and two huge lockers that can be easily transformed into spacious tent-type cabins.
What is undoubtedly impressive at first glance and constitutes one of the strongest points of the deck is the huge sunpad that is not met even in larger inflatable boats.
With a length of 2.08 meters, a maximum width of 1.75 meters and 0.69m in the head area, it can accommodate more than two people for relaxation and sunbathing. Underneath is a single storage room that can be easily converted into a tent-type cabin, sleeping two adults comfortably.
The console is centrally positioned leaving comfortable 35.5 cm wide passageways to its port and starboard for our free fore and aft movement.
The helm station is equipped with high quality materials while the dashboard is made of carbon with the appropriate inclination so as we can be able to inspect the indications of screens even when driving upright. There is adequate space for mounting large navigation devices, engines’ multi-function gauge, VHF and radio-cd of the boat.
The steering wheel is positioned to the port with the engines’ controls to the starboard next of which is a small but useful compartment for storing small items, gadgets and mobile phones.
At the front of the console is the door with an integrated seat and is leading to the independent bathroom. The interior has dimensions of 1.70m x 1.15m x 0.94m and is fitted with a nautical-type wc, sink, shower and a glove box.
The helm seats of driver and co-driver, also made of carbon, are independent and mounted on the front surface of the wet-bar, distinguished by their clever mechanism that allows us to drive either seated or standing.
Behind the helm seats is the wet-bar, which is centrally located leaving comfortable passageways to the right and left, 35.5 cm wide each one. Elegant and beautifully lined with dark plexi doors, it is fitted with a sink and a large stainless steel fridge having the proper space for the installation of a gas stove if desired.
It is really worth noting that we were 4 people on board and we were moving with great comfort around the console and wet-bar where we felt extremely safe and protected due to the large interior height provided by the high chine and the convex design of the tubes, which reaches up to the 72 cm.
63cm behind the outdoor kitchen is the four-seater sofa of 1.80cm wide, behind which the aft sundeck extends having dimensions of 2.00m x 0.99m.
Underneath is the largest storage space of the boat which can be transformed into a second ten- type cabin that measures 1.85m x 1.85m and can sleep two adults comfortably. Beneath the floor of the rear cab there is also space for the installation of batteries and storage of all lifejackets.
The swimming platform is really huge and is one of the most beautiful and functional parts of the boat. With dimensions of 1.60m x 1.00m ensures great freedom of movement for both our maritime activities and easy access to the boat.
The very useful glovebox in its center, where the stern anchor and stern lines can be accommodated, as well as its perfectly clean and without obstacles surface, are elements that will certainly be highly appreciated by the boat owner.
Our test boat was fitted with two 250hp 4.6-liter V8 Verado engines mounted on a 49cm in length polyester bracket, which were turning 15 ¼΄΄ x 25΄΄ 4-blade Bravo I FS stainless steel propellers via 1.85: 1 gear ratio.
In an incredibly nice sea we were not able to evaluate the behavior of Skipper 4X 90 which is although known very well from our previous tests.
After all, the sharp bow entry, the 25 degrees of deadrise at transom and the 4.5 to 1 length-to-beam ratio of its waterline are three very important features of its hull that guarantee a very soft riding.
However, we had the opportunity to find out its performance in terms of acceleration, handling and high-speed behavior.
Concerning its handling, it is extremely friendly with a great deal of flexibility and we had a strong feeling that we were driving a fun machine much shorter than 9 meters in length.
Although the features of the propellers we had do not favor the immediate throttle response, the acceleration was explosive even at low rpm, while the ride angle of the Rib was excellent throughout the whole rpm range.
Even when we drove it to its limits, the hull looked "locked" in the water, mainly due to the specific propellers, and it was obvious that it could handle much higher speeds without dangerous phenomena, filling us with confidence and a high sense of safety.
It is worth noting that in an earlier test of Skipper 4X 90 with two 250hp Optimax XS on its back, we were running with 63+ knots and the lower spray rails defined the ride level and offered stable traction ensuring great stability.
The result was that no effort or corrective movement of the steering wheel was required, so we really had the comfort of enjoying with all our senses the pleasure of the instantaneous change of our position in relation to time.
With 300 liters of fuel and 4 people on board, the Rib was standing on plane at 2200 rpm with 13 knots, accelerating from 0 to 30 knots in less than 6 seconds and reaching 40 knots in 8 seconds.
It is characteristic that it started off being almost on plane, with no discernible raising of the bow, while a slight lag that seemed momentary was clearly due to the characteristics of our propellers.
At 3000 rpm our speed was nearly 25 knots with a fuel consumption of 1.78 liters per nautical mile. This is also the most economical cruising speed we have recorded, giving us 168 miles of autonomy when we have 300 liters of fuel in our tanks.
At 3500 rpm we were traveling at 33 knots burning 2 liters per mile, while at 4000 rpm we were running with 37.3 knots consuming 1.98 liters per nautical mile.
At full throttle, the engines reached 6000 rpm and Skipper 4X 90 at 55.7 knots.
You can see our detailed measurements in the table below:
The slip values we estimated throughout the whole rpm range are high, but they are perfectly normal and expected due to the specific characteristics of the Bravo I FS propellers and so there is no reason to look for ways to improve them. All we can do to lower the slip numbers is to reduce our loads since these propellers "prefer" to run with as few loads as possible.
The numbers of our measurements, the handling of the boat, the throttle response and the exceptional acceleration across the whole rpm range as well as the fact that the engines reached exactly the maximum rpm recommended by their manufacturer, showed that we had in our hands a great set-up for all around use.
Of course, the mounting height of the engines, the propellers’ distance from the transom and the overall behavior of the Rib led us to conclude that with minimal impact on low rpm, we could raise the engines two holes higher and match the Bravo I FS propellers two inches longer thus increasing by at least 3 knots our top speed while maintaining the same rpm at WOT for our engines.
27th klm Varis-Koropiou – 19400 - Athens
Tel. +30 210 5555622