A chance encounter in a nice cold windy afternoon on Lake Maggiore, Italy, allows us to know the Nuova Jolly Prince 23. We are there to test two new Raymarine tools about which we’ll tell you in the next few days: the multifunction Axiom display and the new Flir thermal camera. These two “little gems” are in fact installed on this amazing rib. The Prince 23 is not a new creation of the shipyard but, since we haven’t never tested her before, we decide to live this new experience in order to collect and tell you some impressions.
First of all, let’s start from what we consider as the key feature of this rib: the great livability of the deck, ensured not only by the considerable inner sizes, which offer 6.35 metres in length and 1.80 metres in width, but, above all, by a sort of walkaround obtained around the drive console.
Two lateral passages located on each side of the boat and an encumbered walkway surrounding both the pilot station and the foretriangle ensure excellent mobility on a rib that features an overall length of 7 metres. That, in fact, is a standard of ergonomics you would expect from larger boats.
The deck plan of the Prince 23 houses three different areas: the pilot station and two guest areas positioned on the bow and the stern respectively. Centrally located, the drive console includes a double seat and a dashboard equipped with an hydraulic steering system. Both seating and standing driving positions are comfortable and, despite a large enveloping windscreen, visibility is always great under any condition.
Just behind the drive console there is the first guest area, equipped with a U-shaped sofa whose seats (three in total) have an excellent backrest and ensure great comfort while sailing. The stern also hosts two swimming platforms and some storage compartments hidden under the seats. In the middle of the flooring, a large hatch-equipped locker accommodates the sensors of the Raymarine Axiom multifunction display.
Once we have reached the foretriangle, we feel the same sensation of comfort we have perceived on the stern. A large sun pad covers a portion of the surface hiding a huge locker where to stow fenders and equipment while a comfortable seat is positioned just next to the drive console.
As for performances, even though ours is not a real sea trial, we can say that luck is with us since it allows us to sail under different conditions according to the different areas of the lake where we are enjoying our new experience. In flat water, the Prince 23, powered by a Mercury Verado 225 hp engine, literally “flies”. At full throttle, our portable GPS device registers a speed of 39 knots. It is as if surfing makes only the final part of the hull touch the water. With no professional chronometer but with only the stopwatch of our wristwatch, we measure that the boat starts to surf in less than 4 seconds.
It is well known than, in the lake, few metres and few seconds are sufficient to create very different conditions. In the day of our test, Lake Maggiore is subject to a strong north wind which generates very steep annoying waves. And that’s exactly when we sail in the most exposed waters of the lake that the deep V-hull (25 °) shows all its qualities. Without changing the trim position and keeping it slightly negative as we have previosuly set it while sailing in flat waters to test top speed, the Prince 23 decisively cuts the waves blown by northerly wind maintaining the foretriangle perfectly dry.
Time is short, our colleagues have already landed and we have to come back to the Marina di Verbella to dock the rib. We take the opportunity to enjoy a few last evolutions in narrow waters and appreciate the extraordinary easy handling of this rib that, even in reverse, thanks to the hydraulic steering system, is always reactive. As already mentioned, it’s not a real sea trial but just few impressions collected in a dozen of minutes, sufficient enough to let us appreciate the qualities of the hull and the livability of the deck that has actually impressed us.
|Length Overall||7.50 m|
|Inner Length||6.35 m|
|Inner Width||1.80 m|
|Dry displacement||1,150 kg|
|Engine||Mercury Verado 225 Hp|
|CE Certification||C category|