There are boats – and the FB 38 Corsa Stab is one of them – destined to remain in one’s memory for a very long time. Instead, they will remain there for ever, if dementia permits. In other words, every single boat has its own dignity and raison d’être, specifically suitable for a precise customer. In most cases, however, boats represent something different from what you have just tested, seen or used. From a journalistic point of view, this aspect is even more emphasized by the number of boats where we climb on board for work.
When, on the contrary, work takes you on board a craft that travels at 70 knots, you don’t need to go look for the key element that makes it different from the model next berth. And when you finally see that you are successful on board a normal recreational boat – that is an open powerboat that, despite its sporty styling, features no details or limits that could alter its genuine recreational nature – then you realize that the boat in front of you is a really unconventional one.
38’ Corsa Stab SF – Description
The new 38’ Corsa Stab SF is based on the long experience of FB Design that is the world’s leading exponent of high performance patrol boats. The boat features a multitude of innovative solutions, such as a trim adjustment system that works with a fore tank that can be filled with seawater when sea conditions require greater submerged volume in the fore hull section. The system doesn’t compromise the hull line and the water sent to the fore tank comes from the engine cooling circuit: it is sent to the bow automatically and, if the pilot decides to keep the bow light and not to fill the tank, it is discharged at sea through a scupper that is quite similar to the anchor locker’s one. Furthermore, in order to guarantee safe navigation, the bow is equipped with anti-dive fins: on the upper part of the first third of the hull, the bulwark has two additional volumes that guarantee greater buoyancy when sailing in rough waters and reduce the chance of bow diving.
Stability is also guaranteed by another distinctive element of the Buzzi 38′: the Stab. This torpedo-shaped inflatable tube is positioned beneath the saddle tank and stretches over the aft section of the two bulwarks. Higher in its fore part, it reaches the water level in its terminal part. This accessory, that recalls the profile of some older RIBs with its thin and streamlined lines in the bow and greater volumes in the stern, has two main functions.
The first is to solve transversal stability problems that generally affect narrow boats, more suitable to sail fast under any condition but less stable in this sense. The Stab increases the beam without adding extra weight. Advantages are clear, both when at the anchor ( a crucial moment for a recreational boat) and when sailing in rough waters.
Of course, the boat is still usable if the tubes are removed or damaged. A patented bonding system allows easy replacement of the Stab tubes by sliding.
Like many other FB Design’s models, the 38′ Corsa Stab is totally unsinkable thanks to the so-called Structural Foam injection system: the main structure is the base platform in fiberglass, injected with closed cells polyurethane foam and five longitudinal stiffeners attached both to the hull and to the cockpit floor.
Boasting sporty styling, the hull features three steps that help to keep the deck dry and reduce dynamic friction. Power comes from twin Mercury Diesel 6.7L 550 hp engines, equipped with five-bladed Trimax Surface Drive 2100 l propellers ( hidden and sheltered by the long fore swim platform). According to the yard, no maintenance is required. We had no time to find out whether it is true or not but we want to trust our reliable interlocutor.
From a stylistic point of view, the Fb 38′ Corsa Stab SF is far from the exaggerations commonly found on American counterparts. The boat is very narrow – just 2.30 metres wide if we exclude the Stab tubes that add 40 cm on each side. The bow is sharp and streamlined. The sheer is neutral but the curved handrail implemented into the aft dodger makes the boat look like an off-shore racer.
The long fore deck, that stretches over the whole forward half of the boat, is transformed into a large sun pad with upholstered cushions that, in the model we tested, were characterized by an attractive mustard colour. The space below this area, abaft the anchor locker and the stabilization tank, is entirely dedicated to larger lockers.
The forward section of this area is inclined upward and, in addition to a convenient backrest, offers enough protection to the pilot. The steering console is located amidships, further sheltered by a small but highly efficient plexiglass windshield. The cockpit of the model we tested was furnished with four wraparound cushioned armchairs that guarantee comfort and stability even at high speed.
The steering console is equipped with a compass and a VesselView panel, which is part of the wider Mercury SmartCraft system that displays all engine and boat data: rev rate, speed, fuel consumption, engine temperature, trim and so on. The electric panel, with its old-fashioned lever switches, gives the environment a pleasant d’antan style. A small display is specifically reserved for the Trim Tab system. The steering wheel is small and polygonal (we will see why later). The Mercury electronic throttle, positioned on the left of the pilot, is equipped with separate inverter and gas control, both accommodated in a beautiful stainless steel box which ideally closes the pilot area. The chartplotter is located on the dashboard between the twin stations while an additional VesselView display and a lever fore tank control system are positioned opposite the co-pilot’s settee.
Behind the two rear passenger settee, two loungers with inclined backrest are located on the engine box. The hull is completed by a large swim platform that can also function as a real “beach club”.
Fb 38′ Stab SF – Sea Trial
While the first time we had climbed on board the Buzzi racer – at 2017 Genoa International Boat Show – the sea was choppy with 15 cm waves, during the Mercury Days, the surface of Lake Maggiore was smoother than the Autocamionale della Cisa road surface. As you know, such perfect conditions are not good to test the genuine performance a boat. However, it was a perfect occasion for us to shoot this missile at its maximum speed.
The best way to sea trial a boat is to adopt an approach which is completely different from its conventional end use, especially in terms of performance and fuel efficiency. In other words, it makes no sense to try to determine the planing speed of a boat if we steer it slowly. On the contrary, it makes more sense to see how the 38′ Stab keeps planing speed at low speed.
The boat is absolutely easy to steer. Of course, you need to get a little acquainted with it, especially if the particular gas-inverter system – independent for each engine – is something completely new for you.
If you are angering for adrenaline, this boat is all you need: in open sea, the 38′ Stab gets on plane at 22 knots even if, as we will see later, you’d better to go faster if you want to save more fuel.
Off-the-line acceleration is extraordinary: from 600 to 1,500 revs you can reach from 2 to 8 knots. However, from 1,600 to 3,100 revs, things become even more exciting: every additional notch on the rev counter displayed on the VesselView monitor results in additional knots. Speed increase is perceivable but never annoying since, like race cars if you want, you always feel like you are glued on your settee backrest.
Even at 70 knots, despite the total absence of superstructures, passengers can stay in the cockpit comfortably without feeling light-headed.
|rpm||Speed (knots)||Fuel Consumption(l/h)||Fuel Consumption(l/nm)|
|Economic cruising speed||2,000||39.00||80.00||2.05|
FB Design FB 38’ Corsa Stab SF – Technical Specifications
|Length Overall||11.40 m|
|Length Overall (stab tubes inflated)||3.13 m|
|Length Overall (stab tubes deflated)||2.32 m|
|Laden Draft||0.85 m|
|Unladen Displacement||4,800 kg|
|Laden Displacement||7,210 kg|
|Total Crew Capcity||6|
|Engine||2x Mercury 6.7L|
|Power||2x 550 hp|
|Drive shaft||Triman Surface Drive 2100 l|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||210 l|
|Construction Materials||fiberglass, injected with closed cells polyurethane foam|
Buzzi high build and engineering quality combined with powerful engine-drive duo result in an amazing achievement: yachtsmen can sail at 70 knots without giving up their usual habits. On board the Fb 38′ Stab Corsa FB, passengers can chat without shouting, enjoy stops at the anchor without suffering transversal stability problems and board after bathing easily without having to ascend bulwarks or climb uncomfortable rope boarding ladders. In short, a normal boat with common fuel efficiency but extraordinary performance.