Success never comes for free!
When passion is combined with know-how and countless hours of study, design and hard work then the result can only be at least exceptional.
Seafighter T30 is the new Rib of the homonymous shipyard, for the quality and seaworthiness of which I had no doubt when I was invited to try it.
With this model, Seafighter dynamically enters the category of 9-meter inflatable boats and flirts with the top of its class.
With a very spacious deck built on one of the most navigable hulls I have ever tried, Seafighter T30 is capable of developing high cruising speeds even in bad weather conditions without a parallel increase in fuel consumption, while damping levels are at extremely high level.
T30 has the same characteristics of the smaller Ultimeight from which it is about one meter bigger.
With a bow entry of 58 degrees and a deadrise at the transom of 24 degrees, the hull of the T30 is characterized by the presence of three ventilated steps with particularly strong design features.
On each side we can see four spray rails that end up in the transom area of the boat, where we observe the formation of a pad that runs along the three steps.
The deck of Seafighter T30 is characterized by the great freedom of movement that it provides to the passengers, while the two comfortable lounges at the bow and at the stern can accommodate many people, making it ideal for day trips.
The bow area is V-shaped forming a very beautiful living area which can very easily be turned into a dining one or sunbathing and relaxing berth. For the lovers of nautical camping, it can also comfortably sleep two adults with the addition of the corresponding awning.
Under the pillows there are three independent storage spaces that can accommodate a lot of luggage as well as all the necessary equipment of the boat.
Further forward, an elevated locker is formed that hosts the windlass and chain of the anchor which exits and fits perfectly at the entrance angle of the bow.
The small and very elegant hard nose, which is located at the junction of the tubes, ensures the comfortable step that is necessary to enter or exit the boat, having the cleats properly adjusted to its side surfaces so that there is no risk of injury.
The console is centrally positioned leaving ample passageways to its port and starboard for the easy movement of the crew.
At its front part is the door that has a built-in seat and leads to the inside of the console, which houses the independent bathroom and toilet of the boat.
The console is very nicely designed and in combination with the windshield it protects very well the devices but also the pilot-co-pilot from the wind and the spray when we travel in bad weather conditions.
The instrument panel has an ideal inclination so that we can immediately see the indications of the screens even when driving in an upright position, while it has a lot of space for placing any type and size of navigation devices.
The two independent helmseats have a vibration damping mechanism and the appropriate distance from the cockpit so that we feel complete comfort during cruising, while ensuring excellent visibility to the bow and the horizon.
They are designed to provide very good lateral support allowing the pilot to have full control of the boat even when traveling at high speeds in bad weather.
Behind the helm seats is the double seat facing the stern, under of which the particularly large refrigerator of the boat is housed. Together with the large four-seater stern sofa and the table that can be adjusted between, it helps to create a large gathering and dining area that can accommodate many people.
Continuation of the stern sofa is the sundeck which we will especially appreciate on hot summer days, while below is hidden a really huge storage space which can easily be converted into a comfortable tent-type cabin for overnight two adults.
Our test Rib was equipped with two 3.4L V6 225hp Mercury engines which with a rpm range of 5200-6000 and a gear ratio of 1.85: 1 were turning 16΄΄ x 19΄΄ ECO Enertia three-blade propellers.
With a crew of 3, 300 liters of fuel, 100 liters of fresh water and all the equipment of the boat, Seafighter T30 was standing on plane at 2500 rpm maintaining a speed of 12 knots.
The planing time was 4.5 seconds, while it accelerated to 30 knots in 6 seconds and reached 40 knots in 9.8 seconds.
The above numbers are exceptional and indicate that we had in our hands a very well set up boat and a very good relationship between engine mounting height and propeller selection.
The accelerations were explosive, while the throttle response was immediate and instantaneous mainly due to the very little slippage of the propellers which seemed to keep their waters even when we had the engines highly trimmed out.
The conditions of our test may have been ideal, but when we intersected with the wakes of passing boats, Seafighter T30 clearly showed the virtues of its hull by passing firmly and smoothly over them.
The quality of its construction is very high, as well as the finish even in the last detail and of course there is no case to receive any annoying noise due to poor application of its moving parts.
At 3000 rpm, the cruise speed was 20 knots with a fuel consumption of 1.8 liters per nautical mile while at 3500 rpm we were traveling at 25.5 knots burning 1.76 liters per mile. The last one was the most economical cruising speed we recorded, which gives us a range of 170 nautical miles when we have 300 liters of fuel in our tank.
At 4000 rpm, our speed was 31 knots consuming 1.87 liters per nautical mile while at 4500 rpm we ran at 36 knots burning 1.88 liters per mile.
At full throttle, the engine reached 6000 rpm and our final speed at 50.7 knots.
You can see our detailed measurements in the following table:
If we pay attention to the slip values, we will see that they drop below 10% after 3500 rpm to reach the lowest percentage of 0% at 6000 rpm, where the propellers have no losses and give their full theoretical speed.
These numbers are due to the combination of the geometry of the hull of T30 and the characteristics of the ECO Enertia propeller whose excellent stern lift results in the reduction of the wet surfaces and consequently the reduction of the drag and the slip.
Given the slip values, the Rib's behavior but also its cruising angle at medium rpm, it is really worth trying the 4-blade Bravo I LT 15 ¼" x 21" propeller, the design features of which seem to fit very well with the Seafighter T30 hull geometry, leading to possible improvement of cruising and top speed as well as of its ride attitude.
The long tube and the “raised rim” on the back of the Bravo I LT propeller’s outer hub is a very powerful combination of creating stern lift, something that the twin mainly engine Ribs require.
As water flows from the gearbox into the propeller, it is deflected by the tube’s flare which acts as a small trim tab that provides excellent stern lift.
The longer the tube of the propeller and the wider the flare to the aft of the prop’s tube, the greater the stern lift generated by the propeller.
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