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[ENG] AIRSHIP RIBS 330 – 4K Full Review – The Boat Show

September 12, 2019


(upbeat music) – We are in the United States of America. More specifically, in Miami, Florida. In this state, there’s
the highest concentration of pleasure crafts in the whole world. Many are sporty, very
fast, almost racing vessels but many are also equipped for fishing. Now it is possible to put both of these characteristics
together, maybe adding also the safety and comfort of some air tubes. Airship Ribs is a shipyard located in Ohio on the banks of Lake
Erie and builds a small fleet of rubber boats. This is the latest model, the 330. An inflatable craft 10 meters
long and 3 meters wide. Look at it, it’s a fusion between
an American center console and an English rib. It has some characteristics
of a sporty fishing boat, typical of the states. But the hull with steps and
the small diameter air tubes are a common feature of the
Anglo-Saxon rubber boats. The unit we’re going to try
out today is equipped with two 300 horsepower Mercury Verado engines. But it’s possible to
install two 400 horsepower outboard engines. The V shape of the hull comes
directly from the American sport fisherman and the
English rubber boats with a 25 degree dead rise on the transom. The whole water line isn’t very
long because the bow rising is very stretched forward to progressively and gently cut into the waves. Let’s say that this
hull is built for speed. It’s made with the vacuum
resin infusion technique with a sandwich structure,
bulk heads and reinforcements in composite material. But even with this kind of construction it’s still very heavy, 4.5 tons because of its opulent furnishing. The air tubes are in hypalon neoprene very easy to patch up,
even with cold glues. It’s superfluous to
highlight that they are an important buoyancy reservoir
and they are very helpful during maneuvers or when
approaching other boats. They are made out of seven sections. This boat is a typical center
console with a T-top held by a structure of big
painted aluminum tubes. The side passages are wide
and mostly the ball walks are rather high, even in the bow area. The craft is very elegant and these soft quilt like
wallpapers contribute to its charm. The fillings cover also parts
of the sides and gloveboxes. Another important characteristics
is the presence of several handrails, it’s normal to
find them on yachts but not all rubber boats feature them. The shipyards focus has been
the dynamic characteristic of this inflatable raft,
went out of its way to lower the center of gravity
and maybe even too much since the brackets that hold
the outboard engine in place are almost completely underwater. These pilot seats are
exactly how a skipper would desire them. Why, well they are quite
tall to completely lean back on them, very supportive so
not to waste any energy trying to keep your balance. Feel safe, and feel the
boats movements as well to keep it under control. And you can decide to sit or stand. Alright, we are out of the
low speed section of the canal now we’re in the lagoon
and we can open up the gas. The landscape here is
gorgeous, Miami is incredible. It’s amazing the fact that
you can sail for miles and miles in eternal waters. Through the whole of
Florida, South Carolina North Carolina, it gives
anyone the possibility of always sailing, even with
rafts smaller than this one. This, other than being a
great day cruiser is also a perfect tender for bigger yachts. The weather keeps changing,
some sunlight and then big dark clouds. The water, until a minute
ago now its moving, pushed by a strong wind. Here, there’s a speed
limit and we must comply but with these powerful
motors and such a smooth hull on which they have installed
rather long propellors even at low engine speed, well you fly 6 knots. Here we are, we pass under
this bridge, enter into another lagoon and – lets give it some gas. Okay lets bring it into planing. It just slightly raises at the
nose, and without giving it any more gas, it begins to accelerate. The minimum planing
speed is around 12 knots now we are at 15 knots,
2700 revolutions per minute. The efficiency of the hull
also brings advantages in terms of autonomy, because
the motors consume less. For example at this speed,
20 knots, we are at about 22 liters per hour per engine, quite low. Considering that each of
these outboard engines has 300 horsepower. It’s fantastic to feel a boat
as it comes up to speed on the steps, it seems as if it’s
flying on a cushion of air, that it has detached
itself from the water. And effectively, that is what
they’re meant to do, they reduce the resistance and
allow us to go faster. We are already at 30 knots
and look it seems like it’s not even moving, fantastic! It is clear in this moment
there is a lot of wind and with a hull this profound the lateral oscillation,
the list is perceptible. You need to pay attention
and always keep your hand on the wheel. The trim however is perfect,
I still haven’t adjusted it at least not until now. Now I’ll try to increase
the angle of the outboard engines a little. But that’s no good, it causes
the propellors to cavitate. It’s better to leave it alone and allow the boat to
find it’s own setting. It is because of this hull
and these powerful engines but the acceleration guise is
something fabulous, something I cannot describe. It’s crazy! Indeed, the elongated bow
softens the entrance into the waves, obviously if
we pull up the trim a bit it starts to pitch a little. It is also due to the
fact that at this moment the bow is light. The motors, as you have
seen, are on the bracket. That is beyond the transom. What is crazy is that it
moves from 30 to 40 knots in a second, well not a second
maybe but it seems like it. The faster you go, the more
you have to be aware of what you’re doing, yes because
it doesn’t look like it but we are at 50 knots. What is the limit of this boat? I can tell you by reading
the GPS, 62 knots! No, 64 knots. And now lets try turning,
but not a normal turn one at full speed. It’s great, it’s fantastic! These bows are outstanding,
it doesn’t slam because it stays out of the water, it doesn’t drag, it’s not likely to lead you. That’s how you drive with
the outboard, the helm not the bow. What I mean to say is that
it’s not the boat that has to carry you, you are the
one who has to drive it. A craft like this really
gives you great satisfaction. It’s not enough to simply
look at it, you have to try it you have to pilot it. To understand what it means
to have a hull with such a dead rise, with the steps with the tubes. What I really like, is the
fact that I don’t have to adjust the trim setting at all. Sure if I want to go faster
I can to pull up on the trim but it’s not mandatory to do it. It’s really fantastic. Let’s try to take some
other cruising speed data. For example, at this time we
are running at 35 knots and the fuel consumption is about
40 liters per hour per engine. When the wind gusts, tries to
move us from our trajectory, well this t-top has the
discrete effect of sail. You might have the urge
to fix it with the helm but it’s not really necessary,
let the hull recover the route on it’s own, it can. The British know how to build
very fast inflatable boats we Italians are very good
at making them very elegant, the French have a great
sense of practicality, and in Ohio they can also build
their own great inflatables. (upbeat music)

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