The open version meets expectations. The trim while under way is always excellent, the available space is fully utilised and the design is extremely smart, both above and below decks
by Niccolò Volpati – photo by Arts-Unlimited GmbH
How do you go about creating An open version of a motorboat with a cabin? You take something away, and you leave the rest more or less as it was. It isn’t quite that easy, especially if you don’t want to get an unpleasant surprise from the trim and handling. Air is the open version of the 1414 Demon and to create it Frauscher has made some intelligent decisions. The hull is the same, but the weight is different. The boat weighs 600 kilogrammes less than the previous version but the most important thing is the centre of gravity, which has shifted half a metre aft.
It was very important to work on the right weight to make it move well, like the “old” Demon. The engines are still Volvo D6s, each delivering 400 horsepower, and the transmission is with stern drives. That is a suitable choice, something that I immediately realised when I started to accelerate. The boat has a trim that borders upon perfection. The sea conditions weren’t particularly demanding, but Demon Air didn’t ever feel the effects, not even when we went across the bow waves produced by passing yachts. It was completely unaffected by the waves, regardless of the angle at which we approached them. The hull was always completely flat on the surface.
The stern drives are perfect with this centre of gravity and reduced displacement. That is also thanks to a Bimini that is completely made in carbon fibre by a company that specialises in aeronautics and only weighs 130 kg. Broadly speaking, it doesn’t weigh things down and it also means that the top doesn’t have problems when you bounce off waves in heavier seas.
The two engines generate a lot of power: 800 horsepower in total. But Demon Air gets to a top speed of 39 knots without working particularly hard and starts planing at as little as fourteen and a half knots. So despite not having a lot of power, it provides a wide range of cruising speeds. If you want, you can fit more powerful engines, but the nice thing about the two 400 hp D6s is that fuel consumption is decidedly low. You go from 50 litres an hour to start planing up to the 150 an hour needed at top speed for both engines. Litres per nautical mile figures confirm this because all cruising speeds require between three and four litres.
And if this data is combined with that of the tank capacity, which is 1200 litres, we get an idea of the significant range that this motorboat has. The trim is excellent, as is the stability and the way it handles waves. It has all the things you would expect from a Frauscher.
Perhaps the only thing that could be improved would be the protection from spray. There is a risk that the spray could reach the cockpit when there is a bit of wind. The windscreen could also be improved, as it has a curve that gives a strange visual feeling. It changes the shape of what you see through it. It feels a bit like being in a house of mirrors at an amusement park.
By contrast, I was completely won over by the deck set-up and the interior layout. The bow area is nicely done, with the telescopic table which can be lowered down into the deck and the awning that covers the area, which can also fold away below deck level. I also liked how easy it was to get from stern to bow, and the feeling of safety I got. The gangways are wide, the sides are high and offer good protection and the guard rails are always to hand. The way to the stern is made easier by the two sun-lounger sofas, which have a wide central walkway.
But it is below decks that you most appreciate the work of the yard and the designers. I think that we can assume that the Kiska design house had less room to play with than the version of the boat with more cabins, and despite that, it has managed to fit in two cabins and a good size bathroom. One cabin is forward and the other aft, under the cockpit. There simply cannot be a lot of headroom, and indeed if you measure the distance from bed to ceiling, it is 65 cm in the bow and 82 in the stern. The surprising figure is the one from the stern, given that the cabin is located under the cockpit, but that is not the only thing.
The hallway that you reach down the ladder to get below decks is huge. There is even 225 cm headroom there, and that gives a feeling of great liveability for all the interiors. The bunks are also very large. The bow one is a metre and a half wide, and the stern one – in the owner’s cabin – is as much as 210 cm. That means it is actually wider than it is long since it is two metres in length.
In the version that we tried, there was a pair of 400 horsepower Volvo engines fitted, which meant we could get to 39 knots top speed. But you can increase the power up to a pair of 520 hp engines.
PROJECT: Harry Miesbauer and Studio Kiska
HULL: LOA 13.91m • Maximum beam 3.90m • Light mass displacement 9,000 kg • Fuel tank volume 1,200 l – Berths 4
MAIN PROPULSION: 2xVolvo Penta D6 400 A • Outlet mechanical power 294 kW (400 hp) • 4 Stroke • Bore& Stroke 103mm x110mm • Compression ratio 17.5:1 • Swept volume 5.5 l • Maximal rotational speed 3500/min • Dry weight 785 kg
EC CERTIFICATION: CAT A 12 people
PRICE: 1,035,247 €, Incl.VAT
(Frauscher 1414 Demon Air, a wonderful discovery – Barchemagazine.com – February 2020)