Cayman 26.0 Sport, plenty of thrust

A new model not just on paper, but also in reality – as proved by its performance. It travels quickly with just a single outboard engine, and its fuel consumption is low too

by Niccolò Volpati

THE MARKET IS ALWAYS DEMANDING NEW MODELS, and Ranieri International, a shipyard based in Soverato in southern Italy, is used to keeping up with the requests. According to those in the know, this need for constant innovation is even more frantic than it once was. «We don’t wait for the market to demand it», Salvatore Ranieri says. «Every year we offer new models to complete and update the range». On hearing this, you might expect a slight restyling – change colour, alter the furnishing a bit, and Bob’s your uncle. But that’s not true at all. I am in Soverato, onboard the Cayman 26.0 Sport, a boat that marks a complete break from its predecessors. The hull, the style and the furnishing are all new.

The transom has just a single outboard engine, a Honda 250, the maximum power available on this boat, which is a total of 7.80m long and relatively low in weight. The sea is calm, there are two of us on board, and the tank is a quarter full, i.e. approx. 65 litres of petrol. I push down the throttle to see how it handles. What strikes me immediately is the thrust. Not so much the acceleration to planing speed – that’s a characteristic shared by many engines – but from 4000 revs upwards.

Low fuel consumption also means a large range. The 260 l tank provides almost 200 miles of navigation at cruising speed.

It is easy to go quickly, and the dinghy is always stable, in part thanks to the tubes resting on the water at all times. Even at above 40 knots it always feels under control. There are no waves during our test, but even when turning it does not present any problems at all. As well as the GPS, the most striking thing about the boat is its efficiency. The pairing of the hull of the 26.0 Sport with the Honda 250 outboard engine is perfect. The instant consumption is always low: planing requires just over 14 litres/hour, and even at top speed it consumes less than 80 litres/hour. Even more surprising is the litre/mile consumption, which remains constant at just above 1, requiring just 1.8 litres to travel for a mile at top speed. This all stems from Honda’s technology, with lean carburetion and the ECOmo system optimising performance levels and producing excellent results.

A single motor means a lower list price and reduced maintenance.

The outboard engine was recently redesigned, and even the rudder has been designed to reduce friction to a minimum – everything on board plays its part. Such low values cannot be explained by the engine alone; achieving this kind of performance at speed also requires well-designed waterlines. The dry weight of 1,150 kg is also significant. Other similar dinghies can weigh as much as 400 kg more, and this boat’s lightness undoubtedly improves both its speed and fuel consumption. The other major advantage is the range. The tank is not huge, but nor is it tiny, with a 260-litre capacity, and with such low consumption levels, the Cayman 26.0 Sport can achieve a range as high as 200 miles at cruising speed. If you are happy to travel at 20 knots, this rises to an impressive 260 miles.

Lightweight does not mean precarious, however, either in the boat’s piloting or the way it is fitted out. Everything on deck feels suitably sturdy, and the roll bar and the bow roller that holds the anchor are the appropriate thickness. The bow roller is particularly convenient – the hoist is outside, making maintenance easier. Only the rode fits into the locker, but there is space for many metres, and the structure can hold the anchor’s weight even when bouncing across a rough sea.

It is excellent in the water, combining high speed and low fuel consumption with consistently stable and safe handling, achieving the best of all worlds. The deck layout is versatile, meeting all needs.

Engine data
The transom power rating ranges from a minimum of 175 hp to a maximum of 250 hp. Given the performance achieved with 250 hp, I’m certain 175 hp would be adequate.

Loc. Caldarello
I-88068 Soverato (CZ)
T. +39 0967 25839
[email protected]

PROJECT: Ranieri International technical department

HULL: LOA 7.80m Maximum beam 2.80m Dry displacement 1,150 kg Tubes diameter 0.60m 5 compartments Fuel tank volume 260 l Water tank volume 60 l Max power rated 250 hp

MAIN PROPULSION: BF 250 D XRU Honda Outlet mechanical power 183.9 kW (250 hp) OHC V6 Swept volume 3,583 cc Bore&Stroke 89mm x 96mm Compression ratio 2.00:1 Weight 288 kg Maximal rotational speed 5300/min-6300/min


PRICE: starting from 35,530 €, Excl.VAT (bare boat). Honda 250 Sporty White engine: 25,565 , Inc.VAT

(Cayman 26.0 Sport, plenty of thrust – – March 2021)