In the beautiful background of a Lake Maggiore tinged with the typical autumn shades and an expected temperature typical of a perfect summer day, we have got Ispra early in the morning to sea trial the new Zar Formenti Zar 59 SL Limited.
An evolution of the successful Zar 57, the Zar 59 SL features wider spaces, a U-shaped layout for forward benches, a different type of seating in the pilot house and a new Suzuki engine option: the mechanical 150 that promises lower fuel consumption without sacrificing power and performance. As is tradition for the established boat manufacturer, the concept is based on a well-conceived hull, designed to be stable and fast while providing passengers with a high level of comfort in any situation.
Separated into different groups to test the various models at our disposal, we are the first to carry out the test. In addition to me, Luca and other two colleagues, Alberto, Commercial Director of the group, climbs on board to show us all the details of the boat.
The water of the lake is slightly rippled by the morning air that is already getting weaker, which suggests the possibility to steer and “launch” the Zar 59 SL at full speed without any restrictions. The exit from the marina is a little hard since the level of the lake is at an all-time low and forces us to steer with the engine almost totally trimmed out of the water. Despite this difficulty, we successfully follow the narrow channel and stay on course; a sign that the boat we’re testing is well-balanced and agile in shallow waters.
As soon as we are in deeper waters, we move to observe the boat and plan the sea trial schedule together with Alberto. Without realizing it, we are all on the same side while the boat travels at a slow/moderate speed. Despite the clearly wrong weight distribution, we notice that the 59 SL is not affected by that in terms of stability and this is certainly an additional point in her favour, especially if we consider that we’re on a boat of less than 6 meters in length.
We sort ourselves out and, then, we take the helm and step on the gas; at 12 knots, the boat starts to surf on the almost flat surface of the lake. The 150 horsepower of the Suzuki engine are great and, within just 17 seconds, allows us to reach a top speed of 39 knots at 6,000 rpm. The sound is limited and does not prevent us from talking with the other passengers.
We stay on a course that is perpendicular to the western shore of the lake and we easily find the right drive trim. The rubber boat stays parallel to the water without swinging, the bow is stable without any annoying shocks. The feeling is like having a nice cruise with friends; we maintain the speed and take some photos of the other rubber boat on test, with the beautiful landscape in the background.
We record engine revs, speed and fuel consumption and I realize that the numbers written on my notebook don’t tend to take a strange shape as the speed gradually increases as often happens; indeed, I can take readable notes thanks to the low vibrations and the total absence of sudden movements on board.
We take turns to perform increasingly faster turns, we are always agile and able to maintain a good constant speed. Encouraged by our good impressions, we decide to perform increasingly tighter turns, without never changing our speed. The boat stays glued to the water, the stern is always stable and the feeling is like having a full control of the boat, always.
Once all the passengers have performed their maneuvers, in addition to their satisfied gaze, we realize that, despite our efforts, not a water spray has entered on board and the upper part of tubes, too, is perfectly dry! Despite the trains of waves engendered by the boat itself, we have never slapped on the water and we have always benefited from a total comfort without the need to hold on the handrails during our test. The sensation of safety and control are absolutely clear.
Another point to highlight, in order to fully understand the spirit of this rubber boat, is that, during the test, all six passengers have got a seat on board and much room was still available. This is made possible by the typical Zar Formenti’s building technology that uses a fiberglass structure combined with plastic struts that make tubes highly comfortable. Each passenger will enjoy a spacious, dry and well-protected seat.
In order to give you an idea of how this boat is, I’d compare it to a touring car. It is absolutely able to adapt to any needs, without never sacrificing comfort and performance.
The rubber boat
Thanks to a particular rigid superstructure, large storage compartments and lockers where to accommodate all sort of equipment which can be useful during a cruise, the boat offers a high level of comfort and security on board.
Backrests, for example, are available on both sides of the bow and consist of two movable doors. Once removed, they give access to two lockers that cover almost all the length of the fiberglass structure, offering an extraordinarily large space where to accommodate fishing rods up to 2 meters in length.
Even the area that separates the engine from the astern seat is reclining and features some useful compartments where to accommodate diver’s masks, flippers and small fenders.
As we have already mentioned above, the pilot house offers an interesting novelty in terms of drive position and pillow ergonomics. The seat is, indeed, reclining and can act as a comfortable support or, with the seat down, as a convenient pilot seat even during the tightest turns.
As for volumes and the capacity to accommodate passengers on the seats – which is a very important detail, considering the multi-function vocation of this boat – we can assure that, in the forward section, 5 people can seat comfortably on the U-shaped benches and on the central one positioned just in front of the driving console, below which even an optional icebox or a refrigerator can be located.
In the stern, the seat backrest splits the sun pad in two: the front part can accommodate two passengers while the rear one is perfect to place bags and backpacks; moreover, it can be extracted and used as an extension of the sunbathing platform.
Performance (Tanks at 50%)
Zar Formenti Srl
Vigna della Pace 2/2
20086 | Motta Visconti (MI) – ITALY
TEL +39 02.90000788 | FAX +39 02.90001850
Article also available in: English