The black is Black and really… Hot and Elegant! Its combination also with teak and brown upholstery reflects a magnificent and unique luxury that impresses and captivates between the deep blue of the sea and the azure sky.
Having been many times behind the console of almost all Italboats yard models, I confess that the Italian shipyard continues to pleasantly surprise me with both the quality of construction and finishing and the quality of navigation it offers to the most demanding marine public.
With several decades of experience, the people of Italboats are constantly improving all their models and using the best materials of the market aim to produce premium inflatable boats by upgrading the quality and level of our sea escapes.
This time, the invitation of Delipoulios Marine on trial concerned the Stingher 27 GT which left me completely satisfied in terms of quality construction, ergonomics and comfortable living spaces.
But what really impressed me was its soft riding even though not belonging to the category of the very deep-V inflatable boats, since the deadrise angle of its transom does not exceed 21.5 degrees.
I wonder whether we should we finally stop being so warmly fans of exclusively 24 and 25 degrees and turn to shallower hulls that offer us many more advantages and of course more space on the deck where we spend 90% of our time at sea.
The 8 meter Stingher of our test showed excellent stability and very good behavior in the rough weather conditions, elements that of course stem from the design of its hull which is characterized by the presence of three slightly negative spray rails, two of which start from the bow entry and end up at the transom where their width reaches 9 cm, while the third and lower one stops 1.90 meters before the transom.
The chine has a maximum height of 12 cm in the bow area and gradually decreases to reach 8.5 cm in the stern area, while the dihedral ends in a clear edge without a pad configuration to the aft section of the bottom.
The relatively small deadrise angle at the transom demonstrates the orientation of the yard which is nothing else than achieving greater buoyancy and creating more space on the deck.
The large diameter chambers define a very spacious and ergonomic deck with comfortable passageways and an extremely large sundeck in the bow area that we will particularly appreciate.
The polyester nose is extremely wide to ensure a comfortable passage for our entry or exit from the boat, while the cleats are very well adjusted to its side surfaces so as not to run the risk of injury. On the roof of the hard nose there is a large lid under which the windlass is located while on the back surface a second hatch leads inside and gives us easy access to the rode in case a tangle needs to be dealt with.
The bow sundeck has a maximum width of 1.62 meters in the foot area, a minimum width of 0.60 meters in the head area while it extends to a length of 1.98 meters defining a very large sunbathing and sleeping berth without the need for extra additions and extensions. Under the bow sundeck there are two independent lockers that measure many liters of volume and constitute very large storage spaces.
Further back, there is a single seat which is integrated in the door on the front side of the console which leads inside where the bathroom and the nautical toilet are housed. With a maximum width of 1.03 meters and a height of 1.86 meters constitutes the most comfortable space in its class, offering enormous comfort and of course even tall people can stand in an upright position.
The steering console of the Stingher 27 GT is centrally located and leaves large passageways of 41 cm to its port and starboard ensuring our comfortable fore and aft movement. It is very nicely designed while its large volume offers the necessary protection from the wind and space for the installation of even large navigation screens.
The reclining driver's seats are independent allowing us to drive in a sitting or standing position offering free view at the bow and the sea. Of course, I would prefer them to be a few inches more rear and offer better lateral support when driving upright in bad weather conditions.
Behind the driver's seats is the wet bar where we can place a refrigerator and gas stove, while at its back side, the reclining table made by plexi is very cleverly and beautifully located,invisible and nested.
The stern sofa is 1.74 meters wide and can comfortably accommodate 4 people, while below it hides a very large storage space.
To the right and left of the engine there are two small bathing platforms, on one of which the extendable ladder is beautifully nested without being an obstacle or a dangerous point of injury.
On the day of our test the sea was quite rough with the Mistral exceeding 5 Beaufort. It was a really great day where the Stingher 27 GT showed that it can travel comfortably and safely in high waves, offering us soft riding keeping the spray away from the deck while proving its very solid construction.
The conditions were ideal for a strong test and so we were able to evaluate the cruising quality of the 27 GT.
I turned the bow against the wind and was holding the throttle lever firmly at 2000 rpm. The Rib was standing on plane and was traveling comfortably at 17 knots maintaining a very good cruising angle. The hull comfortably penetrated the tops of the waves and while the bow was falling from a great height it gave us very soft damping while the absolutely dry ride and the absence of any form of creaking or undesired noises were remarkable, which demonstrates the robust structure as well as the very good connection among the moving parts of the vessel.
In the specific weather conditions, the Rib showed us that it can travel for many nautical miles in comfort and safety, without tiring and suffering the occupants.
But even when the throttle lever was nailed forward and the bow was meeting the waves at an angle of 45 degrees, the Rib was flying from crest to crest giving us unique moments of enjoyment even if we were just about to lose our camera.
After a long time I turned my bow to the south wanting to evaluate the cruising of the 27 GT having the wind at its stern. Traveling at a speed of 20 knots, although the wavelength was very short, in no case did I feel the risk of burying as the high bow made sure to slide and pass comfortably through the backrest of the waves so I was able to keep the speed constant without having to move the throttle fore and aft. That is a very important element when we are riding in following seas, a fact that among other things increases our autonomy.
On the transom of Stingher 27 GT was hung the 8-cylinder 300hp engine of Mercury, the propshaft of which was turning a 3-blade stainless steel 14"x19" Enertia propeller.
With 150 liters of fuel, 3 crew members and the necessary equipment of the boat, the Stingher was standing on plane at 17 knots burning 20 liters per hour.
This speed is considered to be very high and of course demonstrates the inappropriate size of our test propeller for this particular set-up.
Unfortunately, the engine tachometer was not working and did not show correctly the rpm so we could not have clear data and slip values.
At 27 knots the fuel consumption was 1.25 liters per nautical mile while at 31 knots we were burning 1.3 liters per mile.
At WOT, we reached 45 knots with a consumption of 2.1 liters per nautical mile.
With no doubt the propeller of our test did not fit very well with the hull geometry of the GT 27 degrading thus the ride quality this particular boat can achieve. Definitely, another propeller with more aggressive design features or a larger diameter would improve the performance in terms of not only planning and cruising speed but the fuel economy as well.
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Zona Industriale SP 79 Presicce-Alessano, 73054 Presicce (LE)
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