She combines positive aspects : fast, maneuverable, seaworthy and well-equipped
Yacht Class n°11 (Dec-jan-feb 2018)
Imagine a 13 metre tender that can safely reach 60 knots, with a power curve to make others jealous and a praiseworthy comfort. Such a boat exists: she is Greek and her name is Ribco Venom 44. Our sea trial off Athens brought an incomparable pleasure, in many ways.
Text : Alain Brousse - Photos : Alan
The name of Ribco first appeared on our coasts during the latest Monaco Yacht Show and refers to a Greek shipyard, whose two facilities are located on the outskirts of Athens. Born in 1995, the brand launched its first unit four years later - a 28 foot - under the Scorpio franchise, in collaboration with the British naval architect, Lorne Campbell, specialized in fast hulls. Some of these are actually mainly dedicated to offshore racing. Needless to say, such a signature can only provide hulls designed to deliver high performance, especially since this speed enthusiast is a fan of steps and endowed the 44' with a triple-stepped one. Nothing superfluous there as we noticed during our trial. Ribco is headed by two tender enthusiasts, Stelios Ladopoulos et Niniiforos Valerianos, who entrusted the quickworks to Lorne Campbell while remaining in charge of the "deck layout". These entrepreneurs have perfectly embraced the notion of comfort when designing their Ribco. Tracing a wake at over 50 knots, yes, but not without having fun at anchor. It was thus in the enchanting setting of Vouliagmeni bay, 254 kilometres south of Athens, that a Venom 44 was at our disposal. With her classy black colour, tastefully contrasting with the teak floor on the deck and foredeck, she is impressive. In addition, her dynamic profile is reinforced by her massive streamline console, topped with a hard-top. Yet if the 44's black colour is nice, we cannot help thinking about the sun's rays, especially in summer, that will be absorbed by the hypalon-neoprene, making it hot - scorching even - at midday! Orca, the French world's leader of coated fabrics for floats, offers the solution with its colour chart offering a wide range of tones less sensitive to heat. The shipyard also proposes light gel-coats... That's good to know! Before unleashing the three Verado Mercury outboards potential, we were able to assess Ribco's qualitative manufacturing and equipment installation in their two facilities. No doubt, this shipyard values a job well done, from the hull and deck mouldings through to the final stage. Hence a high level of finishing.
Endowed with four sharp strakes, a neutral chine, in addition to the three steps (the longitudinal recesses of the water flow improve the sliding coefficient), her streamlined hull calls for power. But we will have to "make do" with the recommended motorization, a 3 x 350 hp Mercury Verado, which actually really arouse our curiosity. Comfortably seated in a bolster, the pilot quickly becomes familiar with the controls, the instruments and the screen of the navigation system. The dual throttle levers are conveniently located between the two seats on a central console where is also fitted the compass. As soon as we turned on the ignition, our favourite sequence began... in just four seconds, no more, she reached her minimum planning speed: 12.8 knots. One second and forty hundredths "later", the speedometer displayed 20 knots. And with the same promptness, the tachometer takes off and reached a 6 250 rpm maximum speed and… 60.5 knots! Yes, you read that right: 60.5 knots ! Which required 1 050 hp for a weight of about five tons. And if it still does not seem enough, the shipyard has another string to his bow: 3 x 400 hp for 66 knots! We were pleasantly surprised to see that we can safely take the hand off the steering wheel at the maximum speed as the Ribco imperturbably keeps going straight ahead. There were also no problems with sharp turns at 45 knots, the Venom easily turns without sudden braking. Easy to handle and quick to respond thanks to a sharp steering, she smoothly draws arabesques. Even though we tested her on a flat sea, we managed to find some yachts' wakes and assess that her hull remains unperturbable. What a comfortable navigation! Before closing on the performance chapter, let's have a look at the power band: rare is such a curve, if not flat, at least without any notable "drop", which, in addition, reveals its best efficiency at 44 knots! Hats off to this triple-stepped hull approaching perfection. Note, as it is rare: the windshield can be electrically raised, for even more salty air, at speeds up to 40 knots.
We very much appreciated the natural teak floor on the cockpit. Going from the foredeck to the aft is easy, despite the catwalks slightly narrowing at the edge of the windshield. The ten seats (one moulded in the console door, five underneath the T-top, plus four on the back seat by squeezing up a bit), are not the softer ones, because of their dense foam. The two aft solariums each feature headrest, to make sunbathing even more pleasant. A further example of comfort, and not the least one: a sanitary area with a sink, toilets and a shower is located forward the console, accessible through a hydraulically lifting door. Finally, for yachtsmen who wish to spend a night in a wild cove, the Ribco 44 also hosts a double bed at the bow, underneath the foredeck, plus a rear one, by raising the electrically-operated cover supporting the sunbeds. Otherwise, these two volumes can also be used as very generous storage space.
A largely positive assessment
An irreproachable quality of fabrication, a behaviour well above average, outstanding performances, a surprising yield and a sophisticated equipment, her list of assets speak for itself.
- Overall length: 13,15 m
- Max beam : 3,52 m
- Draft : n.c.
- Material : polyester
- Tubes fabric : Neoprène-Hypalon Orca 1670 décitex
- Sleeping accommodation: 2 x 2
- Weight: 5 000 kg
- Max Power : 3 x 400 ch
- Test motors : 3 x 350 ch Mercury Verado
- Max speed : 60,5 nds
- Cruising speed at the best yield : 44 nds à 4 500 tr/min
- Cruising range : 309 milles
- Price with :3 x 350 ch : 360 000 euros H.T
- Naval architect : Lorne Campbell
- Design : Ribco
- Builder : Ribco (Koropi – Grèce)
- Importer : Monaco Rib (Monaco)