Yacht Class n°34 (sept-oct-nov 2023)
The Venom 44, especially the in-board diesel version, can maintain high average speeds over long distances with ease. The very deep V hull, which ensures appreciable cruising comfort, and the high-tech equipment make it a high performance chase boat.
Written by Philippe Leblond – Photos Philippe Leblond et DR
The largest Ribco has entered the XXL RIB market, and therefore the tenders for superyachts one, with some serious assets. This sleek, fast, luxurious touring boat even offers ‘small coastal cruising’ comfort thanks to a double berth, fitted under the bow sun deck, and its head (WC, washbasin, shower), located under the console.
After the outboard version, here comes the in-board one
We were first introduced with the outboard version of the Venom 44 Open (our sea trial in Yacht Class n°27). Now it’s time to meet her in-board sister. From bow to helm, this Sterndrive version is similar to the first one in every respect. Let’s go aft to appreciate one of the advantages of the inboard configuration, namely a more spacious swim platform than that of the outboard version, since the two engines are located in the bilge and do not divide the bathing platform in two. On the other hand, the large volume of the stern, which on the outboard model can be used for storage or as an optional double berth cabin, is occupied by two Volvo Penta D6 (in-line 6-cylinder, 5.5-litre diesel). Other highlights of this elegant RIB, with a real teak decking, include the helm station, well protected by a ‘full’ carbon hard top, with a spacious and comprehensive instrument panel (Raymarine 16″ screen, Volvo Penta display, analogue dials, joystick and electronic control box on a dedicated console between the pilot and co-pilot) also in carbon. A fine achievement, just like the five ergonomic chairs with adjustable seats. This high-tech, top-of-the-range equipment enables its occupants to navigate comfortably and safely at high speeds.
Particularly spacious sun decks
Sporty by nature, the Venom 44 does not overlook conviviality at anchor, with a large, very welcoming aft saloon with opposite seating. There are also two very spacious sun deck, one at the stern with a central passageway, and one at the bow. The latter, once raised thanks to electric cylinders, unveils a cabin with a double berth. Sink, fridge and even a slide-out Nespresso coffee machine are also included. In addition to this sleeping capacity, which means nights away from the overcrowded marinas in peak season, this Ribco also features a large head (2.30 m high!) under the console, with a washbasin, a marine toilet and a shower with hot water. A deck shower is also available on the swim platform. The stern can be shaded by a large bimini, stretched between carbon poles, and thanks to optional side windows, this space can be completely enclosed. As you can see, one can afford an ultra-high-performance RIB without sacrificing comfort!
Responsive in all steering situations
Like the outboard version, the Ribco 44 Open Sterndrive has a triple-stepped hull. It was designed by Lorne Campbell, the renowned naval architect specialising in offshore competitions. The result: 51.5 knots (GPS) with two 440 hp Volvo Penta D6. A performance that could be improved given that the boat had spent a month and a half afloat before our test, to the detriment of the cleanliness of the hull… It is worth noting that we hit 68.3 knots, with two 600 hp Mercury during our sea trial of the Venom 44 outboard ! In short, a sporty RIB capable of high average speeds in heavy seas (0.80 m to 1 m of chop with a force 5 wind during our sea trial in Cannes), thanks to its narrow V-shaped hull, without compromising crew comfort.
Over 200 miles of range
In addition to these rare qualities, the Venom 44 Sterndrive is very responsive (even with diesels!), sensitive to trim settings and extremely manoeuvrable. It has a rigorous directional stability, a well-balanced trim, accurate trajectories in turns at full throttle, and accelerates again with full motricity thanks in particular to contra-rotating dual propellers. The Ribco has a range of over 200 miles at all speeds. This increases to 317 miles when the rev counter is stabilised at 2 500 rpm and 29 knots. Good reasons to consider long-distance without worrying about refuelling.