I had been trying to organize an offshore sea trial aboard the Nuova Jolly Marine Prince 50 for some time. The hull qualities of these inflatables are legendary and deserve to be tested, thoroughly and extensively. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why, when Teo Aiello of Nuova Jolly suggested me to jump on board during the transfer from the Cannes Yachting Festival to the Genoa Boat Show, I seized the opportunity and set off.
The following is the account of a sea trial which, taking place in fairly prohibitive conditions, was really useful for getting to know this exceptional maxi-rib in depth.
Nuova Jolly Marine Prince 50 : a 100-mile sea trial
It’s Monday morning and the lights of the Cannes Yachting Festival have just gone out. It’s raining and the forecast is not the best, which is certainly not the ideal given that a good 100 miles of sea await us on our way to Genoa.
However, this is the type of test I prefer; if you want to thoroughly test a boat, a long course allows you to understand all its facets, its strengths and, if there are any, also its weaknesses.
Sure, in such conditions most yachtsmen would stay in port but, for this very reason perhaps, it is better to have professionals measure the limits of a boat.
The Nuova Jolly Prince 50 is waiting for us at the dock, this Maxi-Rib was one of the most admired during the show, both for its size and for its lines that manage to be both aggressive and elegant.
We are late, the marine weather conditions are expected to worsen further, so we have to leave quickly. Said and done, we release the moorings and head out into the open sea.
We throttle up and our Prince 50, at 12 knots, pulls away from its wake and immediately gets up on plane, which means that we will have many different speeds to deal with the sea ahead of us.
Indeed, just outside the gulf, the sea manifests itself and lets us know that today will be tough. Waves of a couple of metres, crosswind and rain, the perfect mix for the 100 miles that await us!
However, we are travelling at more than 25 knots with a level of comfort that is amazing for the situation, the hull is excellent, it doesn’t slam into the waves and leaves the boat very steerable and responsive.
The breakers of the waves raised by the crosswind are certainly not pleasant on the face, but just moving a bit inside the large windshield is enough to minimize the problem.
Cruising between 25 and 30 knots we arrived fairly quickly at Loano, where we have planned to refuel. The consumption of the Prince 50 is not very high, even in these conditions we have always remained in the range of 5.5/6 litres per mile, it was the trials during the boat show that drained the big tank!
We approach the fuel station dock with great ease despite the wind (how I love Mercury’s steering joystick) and … and the operator tells us that the pump isn’t working! As time passes and the weather worsens (and we are already almost resigned to a taxi ride with jerrycans), an idea comes over us and we ask the service station operator to try to restart the system. A very common practice in the age of electronics which, fortunately, proves to be effective and allows us to refuel, albeit slowly.
We have wasted more than two hours and in the meantime the wind and sea have increased out of all proportion.
We put our raincoats back on, put on our self-inflating jackets and head the Prince 50’s bow out of the harbour. The wind is now blowing at more than 30 knots, the sea is white with breakers and the waves are much higher than before, in many cases more than three metres.
In displacement we are navigating well, the boat is stable and safe and the comfort is still high but, due to the various delays, we cannot afford to take it easy, we will arrive too late and the darkness does not agree with these conditions.
We are on plane and bring the Prince 50 up to around 20 knots which, once again, surprises us and demonstrates a superlative ability to hold the sea. At this speed the mountains of water that we pass seem like two-storey houses and climbing them is only possible thanks to the thrusters of the four Mercury V10 400s that literally bite into the water and push the Prince 50’s 10 tonnes uphill.
In such conditions the boat has to be steered well, trying to avoid the highest peaks, making its way through the space between one wave and the next. It is a continuous work of attention, which the buckets of water in our faces make even more tiring, so much so that we have to take turns at the helm. Fortunately there are two of us and we have been boating together for some time.
The situation continues to deteriorate until Genoa where, thanks to this extraordinary boat, we get in just before dark without having had the slightest problem on board.
Not a break, not a squeak, not even in the worst impacts. I have tested very few boats like this in my life….
The Maxi-Rib in detail
It is definitely well made, with techniques and materials above the market standard. The hull is made entirely of vinylester resin infusion, using multi-axial mats that guarantee greater stability and structural strength. The structural grid is oversized and fitted with oversized main floors and keelsons. The interior, where the fibreglass is exposed, is counter-moulded with glossy gelcoat; the furniture is simply perfect, resulting from the mastery of long-experienced woodworkers.
The exterior, penned by Luca Macchi, is that of a pure open boat of unparalleled beauty. Traits that would not suggest how the Nuova Jolly Prince 50 can offer such a spacious and welcoming interior.
A wide hatch with a curved sliding closure and a two-step staircase lead below deck where the one room that welcomes the visitor is organized and designed to be multi-functional.
At the entrance there is an extension of the main outdoor galley: a sink, refrigerator and microwave oven are mounted in a side cabinet, all standard in the standard version. Opposite the galley, the bathroom is complete and equipped with a separate shower stall, while further forward a door conceals a large wardrobe.
The entire bow area is furnished as a lounge with a single-leg aluminium table. This area can be quickly converted into a very large master cabin with a king-size double bed. The room has good headroom and is very bright due to the presence of a fixed glass window in the ceiling and a large opening hatch that considerably increases liveability and facilitates natural air circulation on board.
Towards the stern there is a second double cabin, which, with sufficient headroom, accommodates another large bed equipped with shelves and storage compartments of undoubted utility.
The interior is equipped with both air conditioning and heating, conveyed through vents and grilles distributed throughout the rooms.
Nuova Jolly Prince 50: Technical Specs
Fuel Tank Capacity
Water Tank Capacity
Various options available