RIBCO Seafarer 36X - Twin Mercury 5.7L V10 400hp Verados
RIBCO Seafarer 36X – Twin Mercury 5.7L V10 400hp Verados
ITALBOATS Predator 599 TS – Mercury Pro XS 150hp
By Thomas P.

No boat is ideal for everyone, but every boat has its ideal owner.

So for those who need a flexible, reliable and fast boat, but also luxurious with off shore features, which at the same time can be easily towed even over long distances, RIBCO marine's Venom 34 is the answer.   

Venom 34 may be the youngest sister of the famous corresponding series, but this does not mean that it lacks spaces and comforts, offering us its own special and not inconsiderable advantages such as the ease of its general use as well as the extremely low consumptions which records. 
At 9.98 meters of her total length, she has everything we need, and indeed in remarkable proportions, for our comfortable living at sea.
With two large sunbathing sundecks in the bow and stern, two tent-type cabins, with independent toilet and bathroom room, a wet bar, a four-seater sofa and two rows of seats, it forms a complete set, ideal for one-day as well as multi-day excursions. 

The luxury that comes from the excellent quality of the materials as well as from their elaborate processing and application are also evident in this Ribco marine model.

Trying to be as strict as possible concerning my critical point of view I was observing with great attention every detail. Lightly touching and selectively groping with my fingertips even in the most inaccessible areas I was unable to detect a single spot without care and diligence, once again rewarding the yard's high level of finish.

In fact, the combination of the above mentioned with a stepped hull that bears a very "heavy" signature, leaves no room for questions regarding its seaworthiness and capabilities.
With a 24-degree transom deadrise angle – without pad configuration –, two ventilated steps, a double chine, two spray rails and an integrated bracket, the Venom 34's hull is a game-changer and we really enjoyed it during our test of the rib.Created by Ribco marine and the renowned naval architect Lorne Campbell who designed the steps and has specialised for five decades in the design of offshore racing hulls that count 11 world and 28 national and other championships as well as 11 world records, the Venom 34's hull can ride comfortably and, above all, safely, even and in heavy weather conditions.   

On Deck

Focused on ergonomics and functionality, integrated into the philosophy of a pure rigid inflatable boat, Venom 34 is a sporty and luxurious  proposal that charms you at first sight, composing such a strong image that you can hardly remove from your memory.   

Starting from the bow, we first notice the extremely spacious sundeck which, with a total length of 2.40m and a maximum width in the leg area of 1.58m, forms a large sunbathing and relaxation bed. Below this, the tent-type cabin is housed, the bed of which can comfortably sleep two adults with a clear length of 1.84m and a maximum width of 1.56m.
The small and elegant hard nose is almost at the same level with the junction of the air chambers and it matches harmoniously with the aggressive line of the boat, giving the necessary step for entering or exiting it, while the recessed cleats are perfectly placed without posing any risk of injury.
58cm further back from the bow’s sundeck, a free space that ensures great ease of movement, is the door to the independent bathroom which has a special width of 77cm build-in seat and can comfortably accommodate two people. As lifting it up the comfortable space of the toilet is revealed which, with dimensions of 0.94m x 0.89m x 1.90m, perfectly accommodates even tall people.
The console is centrally located, leaving comfortable passageways to the port and starboard of it, 27-29 cm wide, for the passengers to move back and forth without interruption.

The two independent helm seats are characterized by their high-quality upholstery and their large backrests that hug the whole body, while they have a height-adjustable damping mechanism providing very soft riding which we will especially appreciate when traveling in bad weather conditions.

Behind the driver-co-driver seats, there is a large three-seater seat with a single wide backrest, under which the boat's refrigerator and the faucet with the sink are accommodated. In its rear part, very nicely and recessed, is the highly functional table which, when raised, turns the rear cockpit into a comfortable dining area.

Sitting comfortably in the driver's bucket seat, perfectly protected by the T-top and the glass windshield that form a single unit with the pilot station, I was observing the wonderful visibility that is ensured towards the bow of the boat allowing the skipper to have complete control of her, a fact very necessary especially when traveling in high wave conditions. 

The steering wheel and throttle controls are at the proper height and at the ideal distance from the operator so that our hands do not get tired after long journeys. Everything is designed with ergonomics and ease of use in mind, as is the layout of the instruments on the panel which is made of carbon and, excellently finished, has plenty of space for placing large navigational devices, while it has the ideal inclination for reading the screens easily either while driving seated or in a semi-upright position.
Venom 34 strongly gives you the feeling of a pure open inflatable boat, with a luxurious Mediterranean character and a purely offshore orientation, which at the same time protects you from wind, rain and spray, allowing you to enjoy our great mistress with all your senses.
After all, the T-top is one of the strongest elements in the long list of unique features of all models in Venom series and is entirely made of carbon, weighing at least 100 kg less than a conventional one with the result, among other things, that it maintains lower the center of gravity of the vessel. It is a real masterpiece of aesthetics and finish that fits perfectly with the design lines of the boat and clearly demonstrates the high standards of the yard.

The aft sofa, with a width of 1.95 m, can comfortably accommodate 4 adults, while in its center there is a detachable section that hides a very useful passageway for our movement to the engines’ area.The same useful passageway is also formed on the sunbed at the stern, which with dimensions of 2.00m x 1.10m is the second relaxation and sunbathing area of the boat. Underneath there is a large space that can be kept as storage one or easily converted into a tent-type cabin, where two children or teenagers can comfortably spend the night.

At Sea

Equipped with two 4.6L 300hp Mercury outboard engines the gearboxes of which were turning two 4-blade 14 5/8΄΄ x 25΄΄ Revolution propellers with a 1.85:1 reduction ratio, Venom 34 reached a top speed of 61 knots, a great number for a Rib of its class.

It is worth noting that the 61 knots come without any particular effort, while the Rib travels very comfortably at 30-35 knots of cruising speed, even in the weather conditions of our test, with absolute control and safety while maintaining a wonderful riding angle, a fact that stems from mainly the ideal balance of the vessel.

With 200 liters of fuel, 3 people crew and the entire equipment of the boat we went out of the bay of Anavyssos.

On the day of our test the winds exceeded 20 knots so we had the opportunity to evaluate the virtues of the boat in a fairly large wave height, getting a very good taste for the offshore character of its brand new and very fast hull.

It is really worth noting that the flexibility of Venom 34 was excellent, which allowed us to correct very quickly our course in relation to the direction of the waves, managing  always to keep the most suitable angle, making our riding particularly enjoyable.

In terms of ride quality, it was excellent across the whole rpm range with the Rib standing perfectly on the water even when we were flying from wave to wave at full throttle, giving us very soft cruising and a high sense of confidence and security.At times we even pushed her a bit more than the given weather conditions would allow and, running very fast, we traveled more comfortably than I thought it’d be.

The Rib was planning in less than 5 seconds and standing on plane at 2300 rpm with 16 knots.

The throttle response was immediate while accelerations throughout the whole rpm range were very good with the boat reaching 30 knots in 8 seconds and accelerating to 40 knots in 10 seconds. 

At 3000 rpm, we were cruising at 26.4 knots burning 1.89 liters per nautical mile.
At 3500 rpm we were running at 33 knots with a fuel consumption of just 1.85 liters per mile recording the most economical cruising speed. Great numbers that allow us to cover long distances quickly and comfortably even with the weather conditions that prevailed on the day of our test. 

At 4000 rpm, the fuel consumption increased slightly to 2.05 liters per mile while riding at 40 knots.
At 4500 rpm we were running at 44 knots consuming 2.15 liters per nautical mile, while at 5000 rpm our speed was 50 knots with the engines starting to get thirstier asking 2.34 liters per mile. 

At full throttle, Venom 34 reached an admirable top speed of 61 knots with the engines consuming 3.11 liters per nautical mile reaching their max rpm limits recommended by manufacturer.  

You can see our detailed measurements in the table below:

During our test, with the port engine out of the water, Venom 34 cruised comfortably with 22.5 knots at 3500 rpm with the starboard engine alone, while at 4000 rpm she was running at 28 knots and at 4300 at 33 knots, showing that she can return us safely to our port in case of one engine’s failure.
Taking a closer look at our measurement table, we see that the slip values we recorded are slightly high compared to the propellers we ran, which means there is still room for performance improvement.

Also evaluating the fuel consumption’s measurements, we can only accept that Venom 34 is one of the most economical Ribs in its category, perhaps even the most economical, comparing it to what we have tested so far.
One of the most important reasons that Venom 34 achieves excellent consumptions, apart from the general design of its hull, is also its excellent ride attitude, which, as we have seen, characterizes all Ribco’s marine models, a fact to which the excellent performance of its boats are also due.
But what is most impressive is that the cruising angle remains excellent both in medium rpm and at full throttle, something that is particularly difficult to achieve and certainly can't be balanced on the trailer. On the contrary, it takes relevant knowledge and endless hours of sea trials in the real world of the sea.
Given that the position of the "dynamic" center of gravity of any planning boat is constantly changing according to its speed, it is understood that it is theoretically impossible to achieve the ideal riding angle over a wide range of speeds.

If we accept that two of the main factors that affect the ride attitude the most are the weight distribution of the boat in combination with the appropriate propeller then it is understandable that endless hours of testing are required to improve it. If our Rib is not properly balanced or the design features of our propeller do not match the characteristics of its hull and the performance we desire, then under no circumstances will we be able to improve the ride attitude. 

And of course, the proper ride attitude, apart from optimizing the ride quality, also implies an increase in performance in terms of cruise speed, fuel economy and top speed due to the limitation of both hydrodynamic and aerodynamic resistances. 

In other words, by maintaining the best possible running angle you can travel further and faster…  

...keep Ribbing!             
  • Overall length: 9.98m
  • Beam: 3.30m
  • Weight: 3000 kg
  • Max draft: 0.529m
  • Hull Type: Deep stepped V 
  • Max Power: 2 x 350hp
  • Fuel capacity: 2 x 250lts

RIBCO Marine
178 Agias Marinas - Koropiou Ave., 19400 Koropi
Tel.: +30 22910 90800,
Fax: +30 22910 92159
email:  sales@ribcomarine.com

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RIBCO Venom 34 – Twin Merc’s 4.6L 300hp Verados
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