Α prestigious Rib and an exceptional chase boat!
Synonymous of high quality and reference yard since many years for the innovative design and luxurious features of the inflatable boats it builds, Ribco Marine is a highly worldwide valued shipyard.
With almost three decades of experience, the founders of Ribco Marine, inspired by their love of the sea and their boundless passion for perfection, remain loyal to their original vision: the design and construction of really offshore-oriented Ribs characterized by their seaworthy hulls, on which a luxurious "Mediterranean" deck is built with a high level of design and equipment, meticulous to the last detail.
This is the deepest reason why Ribco Marine is constantly investing in research and development, thoroughly testing its boats on the water before their production while all stages of construction take place at the yard under the constant supervision of strictly selected and trained personnel.
Featuring 11 different models from 23 to 44 feet, it provides an excellent range of multiple use Ribs for demanding buyers who love high quality, safety and seaworthiness.
Venom 44, the result of many years of knowledge and experience, is the flagship of the company that with a total length of 13.15 meters runs on a stepped hull designed by Lorne Campbell.
With three ventilated steps, a double chin, two spray rails, a built-in bracket, a 23-degree deadrise angle at the transom – without pad configuration - and many clever and functional design interventions, Venom 44 hull is primarily responsible for the high performance and the amazing ride quality we really enjoyed during the sea trial.
Venom 44 is a pure open Rib aimed at those who seek comfort and luxury at sea, attracting the eyes and causing exclamations of admiration at any port or marina it may enters.
At first glance, Venom 44 captivates you and makes you dream. From stem to transom, it is designed with ergonomics and functionality in mind using high quality materials while all the accessories are inspired, designed and made in house combining luxury with uniqueness.
Venom 44 welcomes us to the deck with more luxury and comfort that give it an aristocratic finesse making it ideal for tender luxury yachts, while it is able to accommodate 4 people in large double beds hidden under the sundecks of the bow and stern.
The entire bow, the sundeck of which is lined with high-teak finish, is a work of art that you are happy to see when you are behind the steering wheel of the boat.
Its aggressive line and its simple but top quality equipment combined with the excellent fit and the unique finish of the tubes are an example to imitate and demonstrate a high quality and aesthetic pure inflatable boat.
The small and elegant hard nose just protrudes from the contribution of the tubes and matches harmoniously with the superstructure of the bow, giving the necessary step to enter or exit the boat.
The recessed cleats are perfectly positioned without any risk of injury while at the back of the hard nose there is a small hatch that gives access to a very limited storage space, but ideal for the bow lines of the Rib.
Behind lies the bow sundeck, with a total length of 2.63 meters and a maximum width of 1.90 meters, ideal for moments of relaxation and sunbathing.
In its front part is the small hatch that leads to the space that houses the windlass and the chain of the anchor, which comes out of the stem and fits perfectly in its stainless steel base.
At its back there is the large hatch that is raised with an electro-hydraulic mechanism and reveals the large double berth of the bow that has a length of 1.95 meters and a maximum width of 1.88 meters in the area of the legs.
100 cm behind the bow sundeck is the console, in the front part of which a large single seat is raised, revealing the space of the bathroom and toilet inside.
Two steps lead to the independent space of the bathroom which with dimensions of 1.50m x 1.10m x 1.82m forms a very spacious head equipped with faucet and sink, shower and electric toilet.
Two hatches in the back of the enclosed head, give the necessary access to the electrical installation of the console resulting in complete control and comfortable inspection of the cables and the invisible sides of the devices.
The console is centrally located, with its side surfaces converging towards the deck so as to leave comfortable passageways to its post and starboard, with a maximum width of 48 cm, for the easy forward and backward movement of the occupants.
The instrument panel is made of carbon fiber and has an ideal inclination for easy and direct reading of the screens underway even when we choose to drive in an upright position, while its height ensures excellent visual contact with the bow.
Finished perfectly, it has plenty of space for the installation of large navigation devices while above it are in a row the conventional instruments of the engines.
The steering wheel is located on the port; in the center is the 16΄΄ Raymarine΄s screen while on the starboard there is a small locker ideal for placing small items and charging mobile phones.
It is really worth noting the very beautiful design of the polyester construction which rests on the console extending between the helm seat and where the engine controls are based.
The two independent helm seats are characterized by their large backrests that embrace the whole body, have a damping mechanism with adjustable height while providing very good lateral support which we will appreciate especially when attempting tight maneuvers.
Behind the independent helm seats, there is a large three-seater sofa under which the boat's refrigerator and the sink faucet are housed.
Further back, a very elegantly designed two-seater sofa is formed that faces the stern, thus increasing the number of people sitting in the stern lounge area, which is the main gathering place of the Rib.
Under the two independent sofa seats, there are two small separate storage compartments where the fuel selection valves of the boat's triple tanks are located.
Further back, the table is placed that transforms the stern lounge area into a large dining one where 6 adults can comfortably sit.
In the photo below, we can see the elegant construction on the port side of the deck which makes the transition to our luxury yacht very easy.
And of course it would be a great omission if we did not mention the beautifully designed T-top which in combination with the crystal windshield offers excellent protection from wind, rain and spray to both panel instruments and the boat crew.
But apart from the protection, the T-top is one of the strongest elements of Venom 44 that matches very harmoniously with the overall layout while it is made entirely of carbon fiber, weighs at least 100 kg less than a conventional one and of course keeps the center of gravity of the boat lower.
This is a real masterpiece of aesthetics, perfectly finished to the last detail, which immediately attracts the eye and demonstrates the high standards of the yard.
The stern sofa, with a width of 2.26m can comfortably accommodate 4 adults, while in its center it leaves a very useful passageway for our movement to the area of the engines.
The same useful passageway is formed in the sunbed of the stern which is huge and can accommodate several people, having a length of 1.80 meters and a width of 2.35 meters.
Below there is a huge storage space that can easily be converted into a cabin where two adults can comfortably spend the night.
Under the stern sofa there are two independent storage spaces, where the lines and the fenders of the boat are placed, while it is really worth paying attention to the small hatches that give access to the excellent quality valves of the deck drainage pipes.
Further back, we find the swim platform which, with the exception of the stern anchor, is free of piping and obstacles that restrict freedom of movement and carry a risk of injury.
On its port side is the recessed ladder, right and left from which there are stainless steel handles for our ascent from the sea.
However, access to the boat when docking with the stern is not an easy task and requires the use of a catwalk.
With the installation of two engines, instead of three that were installed before the release of the new 600hp Mercury ones and given the even greater space saving that they provide due to the steerable gearbox, it is possible to increase the surface and extend the swim platform to the port and starboard so as to offer direct access to the boat.
Escape to the freedom of Big Blue without compromise.
That would be the title I would put after the long and hard sea trial in which we submitted Venom 44.
We waited just a few minutes for the engine΄s oil temperature to rise and immediately nailed the throttles forward to see the final speed so that the level of our own temperature would also rise because the cold was quite intense. Windshield protection, although not personally my best, was ideal and of course absolutely necessary for winter excursions.
Looking at the photo above, your gaze may have stuck to the number 68.1, and not unjustly of course since it is a fantastic performance that we only find in racing boats, but I was more excited by the view of the bow and the horizon that the design of the cockpit and helm seats gives you and of course, the hull of Venom 44 which seemed to manage this enormous speed with great comfort while keeping its course steady.
It is also worth noting that the 68.1 knots come very easily, without any special effort from the pilot, while the boat "travels" with absolute control and safety at this speed, while maintaining the absolute ride attitude, a fact that stems mainly from the ideal weigh distribution of the Rib.
I confess that it took me a long time to realize that I was able to develop such a great speed with a 44-foot Rib, something that I honestly did not expect at all. A result that is obviously due to the very long pitch of the propellers we wore, something that is credited to the wonderful geometry of the hull which reduces the load of the engines allowing them to reach their maximum rpm limit, despite the very long pitch of the propellers, in combination always with the ideal balance of the boat.
When you are on board at the top vessel of Ribco marine, which is the essence of almost 30 years of experience and the result of continuous search and development, which is equipped with the top engines of Mercury then consequently the experience becomes nothing but top.
Venom 44 of our test was equipped with the brutal 7.6L V12 600hp engines of Mercury which with a maximum rpm limit of 5600-6400 and a gear ratio of 2.50: 1 were turning the 35-inch of pitch Mercury dual propellers.
I’d like to remind that the new 600hp engines of Mercury have a built-in electro-hydraulic steering system, two-speed automatic transmission, steerable gearcase that can turn 15 degrees more than normal while having contra-rotating dual propellers.
With 500 liters of fuel, 4 crew members and all the equipment of the boat we headed out of the Anavyssos bay.
On the day of our sea trial the weather conditions were very good, so we were not able to evaluate the virtues of the Rib at high wave height, for which of course you should have no doubt why such a boat, given its length and geometry of its hull, leaves no room for doubt about its offshore specifications and its ability to manage in the best possible way the bad weather conditions.
I know that most of the readers want the tests to take place only with bad weather conditions, but that is not always possible to plan.
If you want my opinion, I believe that only in good weather conditions can one evaluate a boat correctly and more comprehensively.
In conditions of intense waves you can evaluate the degree of soft and dry cruising but nothing more. On the contrary, in ideal conditions you can be completely focused on the behavior of the boat, to evaluate and measure more accurately the final speed, acceleration, slippage and cruising speed in combination with fuel consumption. You can also evaluate the throttle response, the boat's behavior at high speeds and sharp turns and in general you are better able to understand how the boat really stands on the water at the whole rpm range while you are able to identify areas where you need to intervene improving performance by selecting the most appropriate engine mounting height in conjunction with selecting the most appropriate propeller.
So, after all the above mentioned, which I consider to be the mirror of the performance of each boat, you can accurately record only in good weather conditions.
At 3000 rpm, we were traveling with 22 knots burning 3.7 liters per nautical mile, while at 3500 rpm where the 2nd gear came in automatically without being noticed, our speed climbed vertically to 35 knots with a fuel consumption of just 3.25 liters per mile.
At 4000 rpm, the fuel consumption dropped even further and reached 3.2 liters per mile while traveling at 41 knots. This was also the most economical cruising speed we recorded.
Without a doubt, the 3.2 liters of fuel consumption is an amazing number while the 41 knots, which are a very pleasant speed for this particular boat, enable us to cover long distances very quickly and, above all, completely relaxed.
Traveling at this speed, we also achieve our maximum autonomy that is 156 nautical miles with 500 liters of fuel on board while we are not required to drain our credit card for fuel.
If we now consider that the total fuel capacity of the boat is 1050 liters then we can easily calculate the total autonomy of Venom 44, of course adding a few more liters of consumption, which certainly reaches 300 nautical miles.
At 4500 rpm we ran at 46 knots consuming 3.9 liters per nautical mile, while at 5000 rpm our speed was 52 knots with the engines starting to thirst more drinking 4.2 liters per mile.
At wide open throttle, Venom 44 reached a staggering 68.1 knots with engines swallowing 5.9 liters per nautical mile, reaching their max rpm limit.
Although I do not belong to the category of those who seek the maximum top speed, I would try to put the engines with longer propeller pitch a hole higher having a high probability of breaking the 70 knots barrier.
The detailed numbers we recorded can be seen in the following table:
The Rib was standing on plane at just 2400 rpm with a speed of 13 knots, allowing us to travel planned in heavy weather conditions, thus maximizing our autonomy.
The throttle response was immediate while the accelerations across the whole rpm range were explosive with Venom 44 reaching 30 knots in 6.3 seconds, 40 knots in 9 seconds while it was accelerating to 50 knots in 11.2 seconds.
It is really worth noting that the flexibility as well as the steer-ability, cornering properties and turn-ability of Venom 44 made us feel like we were riding a much smaller inflatable boat making our cruising particularly enjoyable.
In terms of ride quality, it was excellent in the whole rpm range with the boat standing perfectly on the water and responding immediately to every maneuver we attempted, giving us absolute confidence and safety even when we pushed it to its limits, while its hull clearly showed us that it could handle even higher speeds with stability and safety.
Taking a closer look at our measurement table, we find out the very low slip values we recorded even at lower rpm, which combined with the fact that the engines are capable of reaching their maximum rpm demonstrate an ideal set- up.
It is worth noting that the low slip numbers are mainly a result of the top performance of the dual and contra-rotating propellers that offer the maximum possible stern lift, really indifferent to the load they carry.
The dual-prop system may be more complex, with increased cost of purchasing propellers but also increased maintenance required compared to standard single ones, but the benefits are multiple. Contra-rotating propellers are theoretically up to 20% more efficient, which is mainly due to the larger number of blades and therefore the significantly larger total blade area which results in excellent stern lift and therefore reduced wet surfaces, significant reduction of slip, increase of cruise speed and reduce fuel consumption, making them ideal for moving large or heavy-loaded vessels.
In addition, contra-rotating propellers reduce possible cavitation problems while minimizing vibrations giving a silky feel of operation.
Also, given that the length of the hull is the second main factor that determines the size of the propeller that we will choose in combination with the fact of the restrictions in the choice of large diameter propellers, it becomes clear that the dual-prop propulsion system is one-way especially for twin-engine applications in boats over 40 feet.
As we have mentioned many times, it is not the horsepower that ultimately propels a boat but the thrust generated by the propellers, which must overcome those forces that are trying to slow it down or stop it.
Leaving out my point of view which is definitely subjective, evaluating the recorded measurements and only them, since the numbers are the strictest judge and mirror of the performance of each boat, we can only accept that Venom 44 with the powerful engines of Mercury is a top combination in terms of cruising speed and final speed, fuel consumption and slip rates, which in combination with the fact that the engines reach their maximum rpm limit constitute the definition of the ideal set-up.
A set-up, framed with a very high degree of ergonomics, functionality, finish and aesthetics that will be very difficult to find a competitor in the global market!
178 Ag. Marinas Koropiou Ave. – 19400 Koropi - Athens
Tel. +30 22910 90800