It’s a hot fall day and I’ve just arrived at the port of Marsala, Sicily. I join Ezio Agazzi, owner, together with Giulio Sottocornola, of LTN Ribs: the company, in the field of techno-boating since 1995, started to build ribs in 2014. The first aluminium rib was 26 Venom in 2015.
I load my equipment aboard, while I admire the sports design of this boat: a superstructure limited to the steering console, a slim design, a small but aggressive T-top. There are all the premises to have fun, so we don’t waste time: after checking equipment and fuel tank, we set off.
At idle speed, engines seem to be off, but the electronic throttles get gears in few tenths and manoeuvres are immediate. Thanks to an overall lightness (just 3 tons with full load), the 10 metres of LTN 34 Diamond move with no effort.
I take the wheel, on a double fixed seat. Very comfortable, it allows to pilot both sitting or standing, even if I prefer standing because I can stay a little higher and have a larger view over the windscreen. Ergonomics is excellent, wheel and throttles are at the right distance and the two touch-screen displays are always visible and reachable. Only the footrest is not deep enough and my heel can’t reach it, which could compromise stability in case of high speed.
We reach 45 knots in just 5 seconds and with no effort. We slow down a little to decrease fuel consumption, that, at this speed, uses 180 litres a hour: 28 knots, 66 l/h is perfect.
On our right, Favignana rises in all its beauty and, on the pretext to admire the landscape, I give the rudder to my companions and I test the fore sunbathing platform. It’s wide and comfortable, with hard pillows (my back thanks for this) and a fixed structure: the owner didn’t want any coffee tables, since there’s already an astern dinette for 8 people. Below, a large locker contains equipment which are not necessary every day (for those ones, there are some other spaces in the rear part).
Partially because the rib is perfectly stable, partially because weather is perfect…. I close my eyes and I fall asleep on the bow of a rib sailing at 29 knots.
Then, my companions wake me up: some dolphins are crossing our course. We let them reach their destinations and we continue to sail… to Arbatax, in Sardinia.
We have dinner and we go to bed.
On the second day, sea is rough, waves are 1-2 metres high. The rib bottom is excellent, immediate; the keel length and the low displacement let us dance on sea with no problem. In these conditions, LTN 34 Diamond gives a lot of fun. Of course, we are always careful, cruising speed is 25 knots (overall consumption: 50 l/h) but it’s a very funny and pleasant situation.
Even when conditions became harder, with 2.5-metre waves and a sudden strong mistral, stability is astonishing, with no noise nor vibrations. LTN 34 Diamond is in fact made of aluminium: hull, reinforcement elements, T-top, hatches, seat and sofas supports… everything is in marine aluminium 5083, a great guarantee of solidity.
We pass Marciana Marina, the rock of Paolina and we finally moor at Portfoferraio, out third island in just two days.
We have dinner but we don’t sleep aboard because, at the request of the owner, LTN 34 Diamond is a day crusing boat. However, there’s a cabin below the console, smartly designed by Alessandro Chessa (Akes Design). A step ladder goes down to the floor and two berths with a storable WC allow a couple to spend a nice weekend. Under the piloting sofa, there are a sink, a storable grill, a fridge accessible from the cockpit and an extendible fresh-water tap which can be used for a fast shower.
It’s early in the morning and we set course to 12° north. This time, it starts to rain, not a good thing for an open rib. In our raincoats, waterproof sunglasses and shoes, we take turn at the wheel. Rain is really annoying; undoubtedly, a more covering windscreen would have offered a better shelter but it’s a matter of choice. Anyway, the yard can change the project according to the customer’s needs , since the aluminium construction requires no moulds.
We are now arriving at our final destination and I take my last tests. I put my hands on the rudder to test some tight turns: the keel bites the water, the boat tilts little thanks to the tubulars support and, at over 20 knots, I complete a circle in few hundreds of feet. Rudder is extremely reactive and soft.
The Harbour of Genoa is just in front of us. Our Suzuki engines goes down to 1000 revolutions and, after a three-day stress test, they don’t show any strain. LTN 34 Diamond is still good as new. We, too, are happy and no tired. In fact, we would like to sail more.
Diamond 34 – Technical File
Overall Length: 10.36 mt
Length: 9.90 mt
Overall Width: 3.54 mt
Width: 2.98 mt
Unladen displacement: 1500 Kg
Laden Displacement: >3000 Kg
Maximum Power: 2 x 400 HP
Power installed: 2 x 300 HP Suzuki DF300
Fuel : 450 l
Fresh Water: 140 l
People capacity: 14
Design category: B
Material: Aluminium 5083
Project: Akes Design / LTN Ribs
Diamond 34 – Performances
revolutions kn lph nm/l autonomy (20% fuel tank)
650 2.6 4.4 0.59 213
1000 4.6 8.6 0.53 193
1500 6.0 15.8 0.38 137
2000 8.7 20 0.44 157
2500 12.5 29 0.43 155
3000 15.2 38 0.40 144
3500 23.5 48 0.49 176
4000 29.0 70 0.41 149
4500 34.0 98 0.35 125
5000 38.2 120 0.32 115
5800 45.5 180 0.25 91
Rough sea, 10 kn NW wind, temperature: 20°, clean bottom, fuel: 420 l, water: 120 l, 3 passengers
Pillows– SeaStar hydraulic rudder – Glove compartment. Electric digital panel– 12V socket – Electric windlass with stainless anchor and chain – chemical WC – Cabin with 2 beds– Navigation lights– Complete electric system– Bilge pump– Shower system– Sink – Electric variable-stream autoclave– Stainless stepladder – Synthetic teak – Lifting points– Stero system – Fore hatch actuators– Console hatch actuators– Horn – Cabin led lights- Reparation kit- electric inflator
Article also available in: English