pirelli 42 sea trial

Pirelli 42: the devil and the holy water. An unforgettable super test

9 mins read

It’s not every day that you have two Pirelli 42 at your disposal. If you then find a Mercury 450R triple and a Verado 400 couple at the stern, it means that you are about to have a super test, one that will enter into the annals.

TecnoRib seems to have thought of the same thing, as it has chosen a decidedly aggressive grey livery for the Maxi-Rib with the most powerful engine option available, while the Pirelli 42 is dressed in white for the “quieter” (so to speak) propulsion option, as if to conceal her innate sporty nature.


Engines and colours that seem to celebrate the multi-faceted nature of this boat which, as you’ll read in a moment, has really won us over.

Pirelli 42 Sea Trial

Presented in Dusseldorf in 2020, this boat marks a quantum leap in the development of Pirelli Maxi Ribs, innovating traditional models with a range of walk-around boats characterized by a completely new design, created by the prestigious Mannerfelt Design Team, which combines undoubtedly pure design features with proverbial experience in the creation of high-performance hulls.


This is what I’m thinking about as I arrive at the pontoon and catch sight of the two Maxi-Ribs moored side by side, their very different colours already making the first choice: devil first or holy water?

What a question, the devil first of course! And in no time, I’m on board the grey Pirelli 42, which shows three Mercury 450R outboards at the stern that to define aggressive would be an understatement.


We leave the berth easily, Mercury‘s Joystick Piloting doesn’t miss a beat and makes everything really easy. I engage the gear and enjoy this navigation at minimum revs, while the panorama of Lake Maggiore flows by in absolute silence.

boat bowpirelli-42-test

A  light push on the electronic throttles and the Pirelli 42 springs forward, gets up on plane at about 12/13 knots, leans on the hull steps and starts sailing with the bow horizontal on the water. Acceleration is simply portentous, each press on the throttles corresponds to a powerful push back that glues you to the seats.

But it’s the stability and course precision that impress; at 30 knots it still feels like standing still, such is the feeling of security that this hull conveys, an explicit invitation to get into it. I push the throttles all the way down and, instantly, the Pirelli 42 accelerates with extraordinary progression.

pirelli test

Forty, fifty, sixty knots… and it still doesn’t stop. At 63 knots the boat is stable and safe, it sails straight with no fumbling or hesitation, I try to play with the trim and stop the log at 65.1 maximum.

What speed, guys, what speed… In the blink of an eye we have already sailed the stretch of lake between Lisanza and Angera. Now, it’s time to turn.


Then, I slow down to 30 knots and turn sharply, the Pirelli 42 skids and follows its trajectory without uncertainty, the hull is glued to the water. I counter-steer up to the maximum turning radius, the inclination is great but there’s no way to widen the trajectory, we’re sailing as if we were on rails.

I get back on the straight and, I really can’t help it, I push the throttle all the way down again and, in a matter of seconds, the miracle is repeated: seeing the log exceed the sixty-knot wall is exciting. I slow down to fifty knots and realize that we’re at cruising speed, at 5000 rpm, and we’re consuming just over 5 l/nm – super!


Reluctantly, I remove my fingers from the helm of the dark Pirelli 42, take one last look at the Mercury 450R and move to the white boat, powered by twin Mercury 400 HDs.

I climb aboard expecting a much slower boat but…. but instead, even with the due differences, the Pirelli 42 with the 400 HD sticks to my seat. Progression is remarkable and this Maxi-Rib quickly takes me up to just under 45 knots, a decidedly interesting speed if we consider that we have “only” 800 HP at the stern.


Once again I perform a series of tight turns. Turns and counter-turns that only a Maxi-Rib of high lineage can afford, but we are aboard a Pirelli 42 and there is really no trace of faults. The hull literally flies over the water, keeping the boat perfectly horizontal and, when I cross the waves produced by my own wake, it cuts through them with absolute softness, almost as if it were the water giving way to the fast pace of such beauty.


What’s better? Devil or holy water?

The two engines option we tested make the two boats very different from each other but, despite the difference in power (1350 HP vs 800), they both display an unmistakably sporty attitude, the characteristic that all Pirelli Maxi-Ribs have in common.

rib power

To explain better I use an automotive-style comparison: it’s like testing an Audi R8 and an RS6; one is certainly faster than the other, but both have great acceleration and are equally able to contribute to the production of adrenaline.

What do they have in common? An amazing hull, probably the best tested in recent years.

About the Pirelli 42

boat T-TopIn 2020, the Pirelli 42 marked Tecnorib’s entry into the world of sporty walk-arounds which, thanks to a careful study of on-board circulation, offer a deck plan that manages to be both very functional and, above all, beautiful.

The stern features a large beach area which, thanks to the large central sundeck with fold-down backrest, is also used to create the first of the two opposing sofas that create the external dinette, which in turn has a convivial table that can be folded open.

Noteworthy is the development of the large and beautiful T-Top, an essential element of this architectural form around which the central and bow areas are developed.

An element with an pirelli 42 testingenious, sinuous shape, which starts solidly from the stern, taking advantage of the galley unit, and rises up to protect the large console, before declining towards the bow to form first the windscreen and then the amazing double chaise longue.

All this is surrounded by comfortable side walkways, which make it possible to pass from the stern to the bow on both sides, with great comfort and, above all, in complete safety.

The interiors are characterized by a large, luxurious open space which, depending on the intended use of the Maxi-Rib, can be converted into a cabin or used as a large convivial area. Equally noteworthy is the head which, equipped with a shower, offers comfortable and large volumes.

Super test in numbers

3 x Mercury 450R 2 x Mercury  400 HD
Individual engine weight320 Kg Individual engine weight303 Kg
Reduction ratio1.60:1 Reduction ratio1.75:1
Thrusters21 ECO + 19 ECO CENTRALThrusters 17 ECO
RPMSpeedfuel consumption lt/hlt/Nm RPMSpeedfuel consumption lt/hlt/Nm
1,0006.719.22.9 1,0005.18.91.7
1,5009.238.84.2 1,5007.5152.0
2,0001264.65.4 2,0008.924.42.7
2,50017.286.15.0 2,5009.439.84.2
3,00024.8111.24.5 3,00011.7574.9
3,50034.3140.64.1 3,50016.468.44.2
4,10041.5187.64.5 4,10019.388.84.6
4,60046.1235.75.1 4,50025.3112.94.5
5,15052314.26.0 5,07031.7138.94.4
5,70058.7387.76.6 5,60038.2172.64.5
6,40065.1507.97.8 6,40044.9215.14.8

Pirelli 42 Technical Specs

Overall length:
13.1 m
Overall beam:
4.1 m
Tube diameter:
0.6 m
Hull and deck design:
Mannerfelt Design Team – TecnoRib
Air compartment:
Number of passengers:
Fuel tank capacity:
950 l
Water tank capacity:
200 l

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