The deeper reason of owning an Inflatable Boat is that it allows us to escape from everything in a few seconds and safely. A Rib is not just a means, but our gateway to a different world where in a magical way the stress disappears and gives way to smiles and joy.
One such fun machine is without a doubt the Focchi 6.80.
Flexible, unexpectedly fast and above all enjoyable to drive, it gave us unique moments having hung on its transom the four-stroke 3.4L V6 200hp engine of Mercury with which it can easily exceed 50 knots.
Our sea trial showed that it can also move very comfortably with a 150 hp engine while it can be used for nautical camping. Note that at 3500 rpm we were traveling with 30 knots burning less than one liter per nautical mile.
Our movement on the deck was comfortable while in the bow area, the very spacious sundeck can comfortably accommodate two adults without the need of any extension.
Under the bow cushions there are two independent lockers, the first of which is the largest being the main storage space of the boat.
A little further back, there is a wide single seat which is integrated with the console, under which is hidden a very useful storage space.
At the front of the console there is a hatch that leads to a small storage space, while ensuring the inspection of the electrical installation.
The panel has the necessary space for the placement of navigation instruments and screens while it has the appropriate forward inclination for immediate inspection even when driving upright.
For the sake of greater freedom of movement, the double helm seat is quite limited so that the pilot and co-pilot can sit with difficulty while it does not provide lateral support which is necessary when developing high speeds or when traveling in bad weather conditions.
The three-seater stern sofa, under of which there is the corresponding storage space, can comfortably accommodate three adults while behind its backrest and to the right and left of the engine’s basin there are two small platforms for placing the ladder and the auxiliary engine.
The 200hp Mercury engine was mounted on a 10-inch bracket and with a reduction ratio of 1.85: 1 rotated a three-blade Enertia 13.6" x 21" propeller, whose high-angle rake blades increase its efficiency.
The Rib was carrying all the usual equipment, we were 2 crew members and we had 50 liters of fuel in our tank. NW wind was blowing with force of more than 3bf creating ideal conditions for the evaluation of the 7-meter Focchi.
Thirsty for adrenaline, the throttle nailed forward and the Rib was flying at 45 knots bridging the waves successfully, showing us its steady cruising and solid construction while also getting a very good degree in the field of damping.
The throttle response was excellent and the accelerations explosive throughout the range of rpm allowing us to maneuver very fast, passing quickly and effortlessly over the peaks of shortwaves at the most correct angle ever.
It was obvious that we had in our hands an extremely nice set up boat from Delipoulios Marine, while it is noteworthy that our ride was completely dry.
The Focchi 680 got on plane with characteristic ease and was standing planed at 2300 rpm maintaining a speed of 11 knots. It was accelerating to 20 knots in less than 5 seconds while reaching 30 knots in 7 seconds.
You can see in detail our measurements in the following table:
At 3000 rpm we were traveling with 20 knots consuming 0.9 liters per nautical mile with the boat maintaining a very good cruising angle despite the low engine’s rpm. This was also the most economical cruising speed with which we can travel pleasantly and cover long distances comfortably.
At 3500 rpm, our speed was 29.5 knots with a consumption of 0.95 liters per nautical mile, while at 4000 rpm we were running with 34 knots burning almost 1 liter per mile. Really high cruising speeds that allow us to reach our destinations fast with our engine running smoothly.
It is also noteworthy the very low slip values in the above engine’s rpm which range in percentages of 9.8% and 8.8% respectively, an important indication of the very good set-up of the boat.
At 4500 rpm we were riding with 40 knots and consumption of 1.1 liters per nautical mile, while at 5000 rpm we reached 45 knots burning 1.4 liters for each mile.
At wide open throttle we reached 50.5 knots at 5800 rpm with a higher slip percentage, which shows that we trimmed the engine too much out resulting in ventilation of our propeller.
If we would desire to improve further the performance of this particular set-up, it would be worth trying to lift the engine by one hole with a possible increase in propeller pitch, which will further improve performance in terms of cruising speed, economy and final speed.
Via Cesarea, 172 - 48121 Ravenna, Italy
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