Hard not to be dazzled by the beauty of the Pirelli 50. Aggressive, extremely fast and luxurious, it is the new flagship of the TecnoRib walkaround series which, in just three years, has enjoyed worldwide sales success with its first two models: the Pirelli 42 and the Pirelli 35.
In fact, the family feeling is unmistakable and, in accordance with the design of the series, also characterizes the lines of the brand-new Pirelli 50, which here take on even more sporty and exciting overtones. A boat that we couldn’t resist testing thoroughly.
A day aboard the Pirelli 50
Having the chance to test a boat for a full day is not a recurring situation. It is an optimal condition, where you can assimilate everything happening in real boat use, including transfers to the selected destinations, behaviour at anchor, the adrenaline of turns and so on.
This is what I am thinking about as we cast off and prepare to leave the Airport Marina, a condition in which the Pirelli 50 already reveals its first quality: it is a maxi-rib with a magnetic appeal.
It’s hard to go unnoticed aboard this one-off craft, people turn their heads, look at it and follow its slow pace with their eyes, as it sails slowly through the waters of the port.
A bit like when a Ferrari passes by, it doesn’t need to run, you just look at it and you know it’s made for this. And the new Pirelli 50 is just like that, delivering adrenaline even when stationary.
The stern accommodates two Mercury Verado 600s which, as well as providing a good 1,200hp of thrust, thanks to the technology they have at their disposal, manage to make the manoeuvres of this 15-metre boat easy, with the joystick evolving effortlessly even in tight waters.
Out of the harbour I speed up, curious to get a feel for the characteristics of this twin-stepped hull designed by the famous Mannerfelt Design Team, a studio with a wealth of experience in the construction of stepped hulls. Speed increases but, even at 10/12 knots and with the trim at zero, probably the worst conditions for a maxi-rib, the boat remains flat, an undeniable sign of the system’s efficiency.
At 12 knots the Pirelli 50 gets up on plane, detaches the wake and accelerates naturally to over 20 knots, with an increase of just 500 RPM, almost as if it were developing no friction. Further increasing the RPM, the speeds increase quickly, a slight pressure on the electronic throttles and we’re up to 40 knots in no time, a very interesting cruising speed that the boat holds without any problem. Under the shelter of the large windscreen, even at this speed, the comfort is superb.
But now it’s time to get it on, so I slow down until I stop and then pull on the throttles ahead. The counter-rotating propellers bite into the water as the acceleration pushes me towards the seat. In just over 11 seconds we pass 30 knots and in less than 20 we reach the 50-knot mark, then, trimming carefully, we record a top speed of 51.8 knots. Not bad at all for a 15-metre maxi-rib.
I turn around and look at the wake, it’s flat! The Pirelli 50 practically moves no water. The hull creates a very efficient air cushion, which supports the weight of the maxi-rib, reducing friction and cushioning the passage over the wave.
I slow down to 30 knots and then turn decisively, the boat tilts and follows the course as if it were on rails. I accelerate violently while I’m still in a turn but the Pirelli 50 doesn’t care, it uses the power to increase speed and continues on the curved course I’ve given it without widening, without a single bump.
Really a great hull, very fast, comfortable and very, very safe.
The Pirelli 50 in detail
In just over 20 minutes, cruising in first class, we covered the 20 miles between Genoa Airport and Portofino. Perhaps this is exactly what the owner of a Pirelli 50 expects, fast and comfortable travel to dream destinations. And so we do, with the excuse of taking a few photos, stopping at Portofino, San Fruttuoso and then finally Santa Margherita where we stop for lunch.
At anchor, the size of the Pirelli 50 is noticeable, the boat is stable and the roll is always limited. In such conditions you can also appreciate the remarkable study of on-board circulation that the yard has developed for this model.
The Pirelli 50 takes the walkaround concept to its extreme, using all the walkways to create spaces that are ideal for their intended use. A clear example of this is the area where the eight-person dinette with opposing sofas has been masterfully created, with a service area with a central corridor that not only accommodates three fridges and a freezer, but also offers a “bar counter” overlooking this large lounge area.
Further aft, a large sundeck has an additional transverse walkway which, despite the two outboards, creates a “wet area” that can be lived in with great comfort.
Thanks to the opposing sofas, the bow creates a second lounge area reminiscent of the “Portuguese bridge” layout typical of large yachts. The forward sundeck also has two comfortable chaise lounges that will certainly be some of the most popular places on the boat, even when underway.
Whether at anchor or in port, the Pirelli 50 becomes a perfect, luxurious party machine capable of entertaining a considerable number of people, who will be able to walk far and wide without ever getting in the way.
Below deck there are two cabins and a large head with separate shower which, depending on the owner’s requirements, can comfortably accommodate four people for a medium-range (fast) cruise.
Although, in my opinion, the best use of this super maxi-rib is exactly what we tried out today. Performance, fun and adrenaline, partying at anchor and returning to port at sunset, flying over the water at 50 knots.
Emotions that only the new Pirelli 50 can give.
|RPM||Speed in kn||l/h||L/Nm||Range in nm|
|Acceleration,speed in knots||Time in seconds|
|Max Beam||4.70 m|
|Max Passengers Capacity||14|
|Design & Project||Mannerfelt Design Team – TecnoRib|