The new Zodiac Open 7 shows a fast hull, but one that can cope with rough seas. The 3.4 litre capacity in the new Mercury V6 can really get it moving, without fuel consumption suffering
by Niccolò Volpati, photo by Andrea Muscatello
The hull is a deep-V, there’s no doubt about that. The deadrise actually measures 24 degrees. And in the stern there is a 200 hp engine, and a very unusual one. It is Mercury’s new V6. What is special about it is that it has a full 3.4 litre capacity, which promises to deliver a lot of power.
We are on the lake, however, and as so often happens, there are no waves at all. The only slight movement of the water comes from the numerous inflatables and boats that dart around during the Mercury meeting. They can’t cause a tsumani, but at least they produce some wakes, which means we can test the boat’s qualities. It behaves well and is well balanced, with the ability to plough through waves and the performance is good in speed terms too.
Open 7 by Zodiac Nautic is a fast and sporty boat. That is thanks to the water lines and the limited weight, but also because of the outboard engine. You can feel the 3.4 litres and they make a difference. We realise that when we accelerate, given that you just need four seconds to plane and twenty to reach top speed.
The fastest we went, at 5,800 rpm, was 43.2 knots. And that isn’t an insignificant figure, if you take into account that 200 hp isn’t even the largest power output available for the boat. The transom can actually take a 250 hp motor. But the most significant qualities of this engine aren’t its performance in speed terms, but relate to fuel consumption, which is very contained.
For example, you only need 20 litres an hour at 20 knots, and at 25 you need 26.8 litres, and at 30 knots you get to 33.6 litres an hour. Those are all very low figures. They increase, of course, when you really want to deploy the full power of the 200 horsepower engine. At top speed consumption is still under 70 litres an hour.
The figures are even more relevant if we look at the flow metre when it shows the nautical miles covered with a litre of fuel. From minimum planning speed, at just over 15 knots, up to 35 knots, the litres/nautical mile figure stays at 1.1. Beyond 35 knots, the consumption figures only go up a bit, given that you get to 1.4 and 1.6 litres/mile to go at 38 and 43 knots respectively.
The engine is good, but so is the hull, otherwise results like that couldn’t have been obtained; but what I liked about the Zodiac Open 7 wasn’t just under the waterline. The deck isn’t weighed down by bulky superstructure. It is fitted out in a very versatile way, and you can go from a version with a lot of stuff, which is especially good for sports activities, diving or fishing, to a more cruiser-orientated version with a large sun area in the bows.
I liked the grab bars because the boat has them where it needs them, but they don’t get in the way. They aren’t the traditional ones in stainless steel, but are black and can be found aft of the sofa in the cockpit and frame the cushions in the stern.
The one close to the cockpit sofa is a kind of mini rollbar that has a dual function. It is there to hang on to when you have to get to the engine or right in the stern, but it is also useful to support antennas and navigation lights. The bow grab bar means you can hold on even when the sea is rough.
The advantage is thus that you gain some secure seating, even if you have a lot of people on board. The C category certification allows 16 people, and clearly not all of them can be around the console or on the sofa in the stern.
The category with 16 passengers is perfect for those who use the inflatable for diving. Those who don’t need to transport so many passengers can choose the B-certified category, with a maximum capacity of seven people.
The Zodiac Open 7’s console locker has also been very well done. The deck hatch is very practical as it uses two hydraulic pistons to open upwards. That means it is really very easy to get to all the space available to stow bags or other material.
ZODIAC OPEN 7
Hull: LOA 6.95m • Maximum beam 2.54m •Inside Length 5.71m • Inside Beam 1.39m • Tube diametre 0.57m • 5 compartments • Fuel tank volume 200 l • Unload displacement 910 kg • Maximum rated power 250 hp
Main propulsion: Mercury V6 FourStroke • Outlet mechanical power 149 kW (200 hp) • 4 stroke 6 cylinders V shaped 64° •24 valves DOHC • Swept volume 3.4 l • Bore&Stroke 65mm x75mm • Gear ratio 1.85:1 • Maximal rotational speed 5800/min• Weight 215 kg
EC Certification:CAT C 16 people – CAT B 7 people
Price:32.630 € + VAT as standard
Z NAUTIC GROUP
20, rue Troyon
F-92310 Sèvres – FRANCE
PT Marine Srl
Viale Lombardia 10
I – 23801 Merate (LC)
T: +39 039 9906749
M: +39 3485801901
(Zodiac Open 7, a versatile boat – Barchemagazine.com – dicembre 2018)