Zar Formenti 85 SL pushed by Suzuki DF 3oo APX
6 mins read

One among the most interesting ribs of the season is certainly new Formenti Zar 85 SL, a rib already launched and well-appreciated during the latest autumn boat shows. Born as the flagship of the Sport Luxury line, which already includes ZAR 49 SL and Zar 59 SL, this boat has collected the enthusiasm of both zar-addicted and the entire universe of rib lovers.

Let’s try to understand why.
Zar Formenti 85 SL con Suzuki DF 3oo APX Let’s start from the deck. As usual, the traditional “semi-rigid” nature of the range gives Zar 85 SL an incomparable functionality and living comfort, with a large stable surface were to move and lot of space anywhere.

For example, the fore asymmetric console frees a very wide passage on the left side (on the right, on the contrary, there’s a narrower gangway, useful as service passage). Another strength is the well-designed anchor locker, provided with finishes which seem to recall a much bigger boat.

The astern zone, too, is well-arranged, equipped with a traditional U-shaped sofa, a demountable table, an efficient system to hide the awning (which requires just two minutes) and a functional kitchen, well-hidden under the captain’s seat and equipped with all you need. In particular, we appreciated the large fridge with double drawer. Zar Formenti 85 SL con Suzuki DF 3oo APX

The sporting driving console is very comfortable, equipped with a double enveloping seat with arms and headrest, a large windscreen which shelters without compromising visibility, well-placed throttles and handrails. Even while jumping on waves, the contact with controls is guaranteed.

The compartment under the console is large enough to accomodate two beds and an optional marine wc: the maximum height is 155 cm, with 63 cm above the bed which, in its turn, is 170 x 212 cm ( WxL).

We tested this rib in the Gulf of Genoa in a sunny day, where, however, an annoying long and dead wave didn’t allow us to speed up at most.

Zar Formenti 85 SL con Suzuki DF 3oo APX The boat was pushed by a single Suzuki DF 3oo APX engine instead of a couple of 200 HP engines, which might seem the most obvious solution to adopt. This means lower cost, lower weight and lower consumption but also 100 lacking HP. In a word, an interesting challenge.

As always, testing a Zar is a unique experience, which changes from boat to boat: their bottoms, in fact, act differently from the others and require a little of adaptation…but then, everything gets easy. The first strength of these ribs lies on their “miraculous” handling: even in an insidious day like ours, the boat is always easy to steer and always reacts fast but not nervously. The basic concept is that of Zar 85 SL, the bottom is deep and V-shaped, the stern is advanced and two lateral tunnels help the rib to raise on water while speed increases.

Zar Formenti 85 SL con Suzuki DF 3oo APX The bow is the typical Zar boats’ one, designed to deflect water and keep the boat dry. Excellent the interaction with the tubulars during turns: the rib is always stable and never braked.

In terms of speed, performances proved to be really great. Thanks to our Suzuki DF 300 APX engine, we almost reached a maximum speed of 40 knots in total comfort. At 4,500 revolutions, the economic cruising speed is little more than 26 knots with a Zar Formenti 85 SL con Suzuki DF 3oo APX consumption of 48 liters a hour. But we also experienced an equally comfortable situation at a 31-knot-fast cruising speed and 5,000 engine revolutions.(63 lt/h).
After all, we never had the sensation to have little power under us and consumption was really low.Zar Formenti 85 SL con Suzuki DF 3oo APX

Finally, we replaced the 18’’ x 15 propeller with a 18,5” x 16 one (see the table below) and we gained something in terms of speed but we lost a little in terms of acceleration and consumption at 90% of revolutions. Numbers don’t change much but we preferred the first solution.

ZAR 85 (21)

Zar 85SL – Technical Details

Overall length 8.55 m
Width 3.25 m
Walkable inner width 2.20 m
Tubular diameter 60 cm
Compartments 6
Net dinghy weight 1,900 kg
Maximum power kW 372 (500 HP)
Engine shaft length 1 x XL – 2 x XXL
Fuel Tank Capacity 400 l
Water Tank Capacity 100 l
Passengers Capacity 14
Beds 2
Design Category B
Styling and Deck Carlos Vidal
Naval architecture Francesco Ambrosini
Technical Project Luca Formenti
General Project Manager Piero Formenti
Basic Price (rib only) € 78,800 (VAT excluded)
Price of Suzuki DF 300 APX White edition € 24,450 (VAT included)

Zar Formenti 85 SL con Suzuki DF 3oo APX

Zar 85 SL – Sea trial

Engine revolutions Speed (propeller 1) Consumption (propeller 1) Speed (propeller 2) Consumption (propeller 2)
600 3.1 2.0 2.6 2.1
1,000 4.1 4.4 3.7 4.3
1,500 6.1 6.3 6.0
2,000 7.6 10.5 7.5
2,500 10.0 17.2 10.0 17.1
3,000 12.5 21 14 20
3,500 17.7 24 19 23
4,000 22.5 37 24.5 42
4,500 26.4 48 28.8 52
5,000 30.9 63 33.0 69
5,500 34.0 68 37.2 90
6,200 39.3 103 40.6 97

Propeller 1: 18’’ x 15, 4 blades; Propeller 2: 18,5” x 16, 3 blades. Minimum surfing speed: 11.5 knots at 2,600 revolutions (propeller 1).
Conditions of the test: 2 passengers, rough sea with dead wave. About 200 l of fuel and 50 l of water.

Zar Formenti 85 SL con Suzuki DF 3oo APX

Zar Formenti 85 SL con Suzuki DF 3oo APX Zar Formenti 85 SL con Suzuki DF 3oo APX

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