Flipper 900 DC: sea trial for a refined day cruiser
Modern lines with reminiscences of the past, top quality materials, ergonomics and excellent nautical skills characterize this pure day cruiser of Finnish construction: the Flipper 900 DC is a real go-kart on the water.
At the helm of the Flipper 900 DC, you feel like a kid: she is fun, agile and fast, the turns are performed in a handful of meters with very pronounced roll angles. The result is an excellent evolutionary ability with safe maneuvers even on waves.
The hull seems rather soft even when landing after having “flown” on the wave, which suggests that hull lines, dead rise angle and support skids are sized in the right ratio. Furthermore, all this translates into an optimization of performance and consumption; for example, at 32 knots of fast cruising speed only 88 l/h are consumed for 2.8 l/nm while, at 14.2 knots of slow cruising speed, 36.8 l/h are consumed for 2.6 l/nm.
Speaking of safety, never predictable at sea, it is necessary to specify how the bulwarks in the cockpit, delimited by the glass and steel windscreen, are really high and enveloping, very protective both from the risk of falling overboard and from splashes and waves.
On the day of the sea trial, the Ligurian Sea offered a limited yet increasing wave and wind around 15 knots: well, the navigation with the Flipper 900 DC was always completely dry despite the “acrobatics” we performed at the helm. The designers, evidently mature in their experience on the sea, have provided strong handrails in the key points of the boat: for example, there is a counter-tubular along almost the entire stainless steel structure that borders the windshield; at any point you want to stand near the wheelhouse or the companionway, it is always possible to hold on securely.
On this 9-meter boat, curculation is facilitated everywhere by wide walkways; the bow deck is accessible through three steps integrated into the wheelhouse structure, passing through the openable central section of the windscreen. Last but not least, the boat is super-equipped as standard, with both bow and stern thrusters, and double joystick in the helm station.
The sea and wind conditions during the test limited the potential performance of the boat, which normally can reach 48 knots on a completely flat sea: the 42 knots reached in those conditions, however, represent the proof that the hull is really designed and built with care and expertise.
The sophisticated appearance of the Flipper 900 DC is essentially that of the classic day cruisers with open cockpit and wrap-around windshield, made more modern by a precise stylistic research that, while hardening the shapes through flowing lines and edges, amplifies the functionality of the boat with logic and rationality. Each element is not accidental: the design, as in the best stylistic tradition of northern Europe, follows ergonomics.
As a result, the cockpit, classically furnished with a C-shaped sofa and a table, can quickly turn into a sun pad by electrically lowering the table itself and placing additional cushions. The backrest of the aft sofa lowers to offer even more space when stationary, or it can be left in an upright position when sailing, for greater safety.
Underneath the sofa, a storage compartment can accommodate all the sofa cushions: not bad for a 9-meter boat. Contrary to the majority of the boats of this type, this Flipper has many storage compartments: under the floor, extremely useful and versatile volumes are obtained everywhere, always closed by watertight hatches.
Passing the sofa in the passage on the left, you can enter the “bathing area” which, although the boat is designed for a climate that is certainly not Mediterranean, offers a large and comfortable area with a locker for snorkelling equipment and mooring lines, double platform on the sides of the engines and bathing ladder: a sturdy stainless steel tubular parapet is mounted on the safety line, useful for keeping in the passage.
The kitchen cabinet, impressive but not bulky, contains a fridge, some doors, a sink and an electric barbecue plate. A retractable awning with electric movement, which reclines in hidden boxes behind the sofas, shades the entire cockpit, deckhouse included. An additional cockpit refrigerator is installed under the pilot seat.
The helm station is equipped with three folding pilot seats for upright driving and a large and fully-equipped console. Particularly impresive is the double Simrad screen mounted flush under a glass panel and the stainless steel pushbutton panel below.
The driving position is escellent, the steering wheel and gas levers are well-sized but the console for seated driving is a little high: obviously studied on the Nordic stature, in my case the ideal driving is that of sitting on the special flap of the armchair , or standing.
The bow section, embellished by the teak central part and by two elements in dark glass which will then reveal themselves to be as many ceiling windows shaded by blackout graphic elements, offers the rest of the walkway treated with non-slip diamond coating and a low stainless steel rail open in the bow.
The windlass is positioned inside the bow locker, equipped with a deep chain dropper, two cleats and complete mooring equipment. Recessed in the extreme bow, not visible from the edge but well noticeable from the sea, is a LED light, whicb represents an equally useful and aesthetically valuable solution.
The interiors of the Flipper 900 DC
A comment that immediately conveys the idea of the interiors of this Flipper 900DC? Unexpectedly large! The access is guaranteed by a companionway with sliding acrylic door and three steps that lead to an area divided into three zones: the first at the entrance is the aft cabin, equipped with a double bed located under the cockpit and a sofa; the second is the bow area organized as a full-surface bed; the third one is the closed bathroom. The headroom below deck is by no means limited and the spaces are rather large despite the small size of the boat; even the supply of doors and cabinets is rich. Both furniture and furnishings are made with fine construction precision in solid wood left opaque (if you notice the flaming of the wood, the elements are obtained from the cutting of unique slabs), with a very refined taste, also pleasant to the touch.
Long windows open onto the sea but light also filters through the ceiling windows and the opening portholes. Even the bathroom features a comfortable layout and equipment, equipped with a large window on the side which also includes an opening porthole for air circulation. The hull (whose water lines are designed specifically for each model) is made in infusion using a double frame technology that guarantees maximum structural rigidity, soundproofing and insulation. Even the internal surfaces of the lockers and the bilge are glossy gel-coated not only for the benefit of an obvious aesthetic reason, but also for greater ease of maintenance and cleaning.
We get off this Flipper 900 DC, fully satisfied with both the test and the quality of the materials. It’s a boat designed with extreme care and authentic craftsmanship. The price is not exactley affordable….It’s really a boat for connoisseurs.
Flipper 900 DC: performance detected
|Minimum Planing Speed (trim: 0)||9 knots at 1,900 rpm|
|Minimum Planing Speed (trim : +26)||8 knots at 1,850 rpm|
|Fuel Capacity||445 l|
|Water Capacity||93 l|
|Displacement||3,100 Kg + engines|
|Engine Power||1 x 350 HP – 1x 400HP – 1 x 450HP – 2x 150HP – 2x 250HP – 2 x 300HP|
|Test Engines||2 x Mercury Verado V8 fourstroke 1,200 cc 250HP|