A new design, a new hull, and a new boat. Everything has changed, but the outcome is always the same: comfortable, spacious, low fuel consumption and easy to helm
by Niccolò Volpati – photo by Alberto Cocchi
Once upon a time, there was a hull, the hull of the Absolute 58. It worked well, but the yard didn’t feel that was enough, so it has designed a completely new hull. The Absolute family knows its boats perfectly and knows what it wants from new designs. The 60 was the first model that combined the characteristics of a Navetta boat with the flybridge range, and the 56 is the second-born of this new line. That is why the hull is completely new and not a simple adaptation of the one on the 58.
What does it mean to combine the characteristics of the flybridge range and the Navetta? Good performance in terms of speed, without ever overdoing it, and above all low fuel consumption. And then it has the volumes, comfort and spaciousness that are typical of a flybridge boat. The thing that most struck me during the trial was what I registered when we were doing 22 knots when the flowmeter showed overall fuel usage of just 200 litres per hour. That seems like a figure for a pair of outboards and instead, in the engine room, there are two IPS 800s with two Volvo D8s each developing 600 horsepower. Moreover, it has to move a boat around 17 metres long with three levels: the cabin area, the dinette and the flybridge, which covers the entire cockpit.
It isn’t a small boat and nor is it a flyweight, but fuel consumption is limited at any rev level. I believe that it stems from the fact that Absolute and Volvo are a tried and tested pairing. The yard, since its creation, has chosen this kind of transmission and has now clearly developed the waterlines that fit perfectly with the engine characteristics. The top speed I got to was 27.6 knots, which is nevertheless an excellent performance. Overall fuel consumption at that speed was 247 litres per hour, while at planning minimum, so 12.5 knots, just over one hundred litres were needed for both engines. These figures, together with the fact that the fuel tank holds 2,600 litres, lead to another consideration. The Absolute 56 Fly is a boat that has a significant range. When underway in displacement mode, at around ten knots, it can do as much as 500 nautical miles, but even when it speeds up to plane, the distance that you can travel is around 300 miles. If these cold hard figures aren’t enough to spark something, there is also the warm feeling that being at the helm gives. It is always easy to handle, whether turning or manoeuvring at low revs, not least because of the IPS and the associated joystick.
The sea off the port of Varazze was calm and didn’t allow us to give the hull much of a test. But by turning back and forth I managed to produce a wake with as much crisscrossing as possible. Getting over it seemed to be very easy, and the feeling is that even with moderate seas it would still be a comfortable ride. In terms of onboard comfort, the first thing I noticed was how quiet it was. The engine room is well insulated and the decibels produced by the engines are never a bother at cruising revs. And then there are the areas that the Absolute manages to exploit best. I’m tempted to say that they are the masters of this skill, and the 56 Fly is no exception to that. There is no lack of living spaces, sun pads and dining areas both on the main deck – fore and aft – and on the Fly deck.
You get onto the flybridge with a ladder that is sufficiently wide and not very steep, so it is not at all difficult. On the top deck, there is room for everything: there is the second helm station with a place for the skipper and co-pilot, a sun pad, a U-shaped sofa with a table and even two other parallel sofas in the aftmost section. In the dinette, the area flows through from the cockpit because the stern door opens up completely. What is more, the lounge is surrounded by glass which gives a 350-degree view, which is also helped by the two large side windows in the dinette which are electrically operated.
THE SOUNDPROOFING OF THE ENGINE ROOM IS EXCELLENT, WITH VERY FEW DECIBELS REGISTERED AT ANY SPEED. ONLY AT TOP SPEED
DID IT EXCEED 70 DBA.
The bathing platform in the stern can be lowered. There isn’t a garage for the tender, because the area is taken up by the crew cabin which is accessed from the stern platform. That cabin is generously sized, as are those for the owner and guests. There are three rooms in the sleeping area. One is midships and has bunk beds, and then there are two other cabins, one in the bow and the other going aft and so close to the engine room. Both are large, so you struggle to tell the master cabin apart from the guest one, and of course, each has its bathroom with a separate shower cubicle.
The yard has again gone for Volvo IPS systems for this model. In this case, they are IPS 800s with two 600hp D8s. The outcome remains the same: performance, manoeuvrability and low fuel consumption.
Via Petrarca, 4
Loc. I Casoni – Gariga
I-29027 Podenzano (PC)
T. +39 0523 354011
Shipyard technical department
LOA 17.64m • Maximum beam 4.79m • Full displacement 31.73 t • Fuel tank volume 2,600 l • Water tank volume 650 l
2xVolvo Penta D8-IPS800 • 4 stroke • 6 in-line cylinders • Outlet mechanical power 441 kW (600 hp) • Bore&Stroke 110mm x 135mm • Compression ratio 16,5:1 • Maximal rotational speed 3000/min • Dry weight 840 kg
Starting from 1,450,000 € (Excl. VAT) (January 2023)
(Absolute 56 Fly, low fuel consumption – Barchemagazine.com – January 2023