A forgiving hull, plenty of power and a set-up that is aimed at comfort, for a day outing, or a long cruise. The Ranieri flagship meets all the needs of a maxi rib owner
by Niccolò Volpati and Ranieri International – photo by Andrea Muscatello
Like David Bowie. In the right place at the right time. Antonio and Salvatore Ranieri aren’t rockstars, and they weren’t born in Brixton, but in Soverato. But like the Thin White Duke, they are innovators, who can anticipate the times. No genius and recklessness, just a good knowledge of the market, a bit of intuition, courage and a lot of programming. A few years ago, Ranieri International realised that RIBs were in great demand. There was a significant part of the market that was looking for an inflatable. No sooner said than done. In a short time, they managed to develop a complete range alongside their traditional production of fibreglass boats. Then the fashion for maxi-RIBs appeared, and once again the yard was ready: first came the 35, a bit later the 38 and now the 45-footer.
Once we got outside the sea wall in Varazze, there were still long waves of just less than a metre. It isn’t difficult to sail, you just have to get into a wave trough and you can accelerate without any difficulty. On the transom, there are three Mercury Racing engines each delivering 450 horsepower. The acceleration is breathtaking. In two and a half seconds the 9,500 kilos of the Cayman 45.0 Cruiser rise out of the water, and the RIB similarly reaches top speed: we got there in just under twenty seconds.
The hull has two steps which do their job well. It is easy to plan, and steering is child’s play. A large amount of power on the stern accentuates its characteristics. So, I decided to take the waves head-on. The hull felt very accommodating. Every time that I found myself on the crest of a wave I quickly accelerated, but – and this is in part because of how long the hull is – I couldn’t ever get it to slam on the waves. It always came down perfectly. There weren’t any “holes”, and it always felt as if there was enough water under the hull. You can go at between thirty and forty knots taking the waves on the bow without suffering at all. It is a nice comfortable feeling when underway. And you don’t even have to be especially expert, you just have to adjust how much throttle you use.
I also appreciate the ergonomics of the throttles on the bridge, the wheel and the distance the enveloping seat is from the console. You can steer sitting or standing, always with excellent visibility. That isn’t something that comes automatically. Increasingly onboard maxi RIBs or other fast boats, one finds that visibility has been sacrificed to make concessions to design and style. That isn’t the case with the Cayman 45.0.
There is a lot of protective glass, but the view isn’t restricted by the framework or by surroundings. Also, the windscreen is a continuation of the hard top, which is long enough to cover the entire central part of the boat, with only the stern sun area left uncovered. When you are at anchor you can add an awning which means you can even protect the aftmost area of the cockpit from the sun. The other nice feature is the lack of splashes or spray. There was practically no wind and the conditions weren’t conducive to water coming on deck, but the tubes did a perfect job of keeping out the spray from the bow wave.
As far as performance is concerned, this is a RIB that can do over fifty knots with the right propellers. What I liked was the comfort that you feel between thirty and forty, which I think is the most used speed. Furthermore, if you go between 25 and 30 knots, the three engines don’t use much fuel at all. That ranges from between 120 and 150 litres an hour in total, which is a figure you might expect from a mid-size inflatable, and not from a maxi RIB. If you want to deploy all of the horsepowers, then you have to accept that it will use more fuel, and you go from using five to twelve litres per mile with an increase of just 700 rpm. That is the choice of the owner. And that is another nice feature of this maxi RIB. People who use it as a chase boat for a large yacht, or a tender for a villa, and don’t intend to grind out the miles, are probably more interested in the top speed, and in doing over fifty knots. But anybody who wants to go for a cruise and travel further can calibrate propellers and trim so as not to burn too much fuel.
Cruising isn’t just an empty word, but something one actually does, and not just because there is no shortage of space on a 13-metre boat, but also because the whole set-up on the deck and the interiors are in line with that kind of use. What I liked on the deck was the robustness and the length of the hard top, which has as many as six supports: two forward alongside the console, two midships and two more very strong ones holding up the stern section of the roof.
There are no steps throughout the entire deck surface, from the stern platforms right up to the bow. The side decks are broad and easily accessed, there are plenty of grab handles and even the positioning of the two self-inflating life rafts under the linear sofa in the cockpit shows the yard’s special attention to safety when underway. The areas below decks are the same, and there too it is not just a question of space, but also details which make the difference. There are small windows in the hull which mean there is light in the bow cabin. But there is even one that looks out onto the deck in the stern cabin. The space in that cabin isn’t as restricted as you might expect, given that it is under the cockpit.
There is good headroom everywhere, the set-up has been designed with care and there is a quality in the finish which make you feel that comfort is guaranteed while cruising. There is even a 4kW generator and air conditioning, and – thanks to the integrated Navico system – everything, and I mean everything, is easy to control and manage. With the plotter, or even an app used remotely, you can even check the level of the waste water tank or if the generator has enough fuel. What do you need all of this technology for? To make life easier, given that the user interface means even a boomer like me didn’t have any problems with the screens. It is useful for an owner who sees the maxi RIB as a boat that is easy to use, which they can handle without needing a captain or crew. So, whether it is for family cruises, as a maxi tender for day trips or as a chase boat serving a large yacht, the Cayman 45.0 Cruiser has everything required. Perhaps we should bet that it will become as famous as some of David Bowie’s songs.
With three 450-horsepower Mercury Racing engines it can get to over fifty knots, but a pair of 600s, also Mercury, can be fitted. That combination may be more appropriate for people who use it more for cruising, and less for racing.
MOTONAUTICA F.LLI RANIERI
I-88068 Soverato (CZ)
T. +39 0967 25839
Shipyard technical department
LOA 13.90m • Maximum beam 4.20m • Light mass displacement 9,500 kg • Tube’s diameter 0.65m • 10 compartments • Fuel tank volume 1,450 l • Water tank volume 200 l • Max rated power 1,450 hp • 4 berths
3x450R Mercury Racing • Outlet mechanical power 330 kW (450 hp) • 8 v-shaped cylinders • Swept volume 4.6 l • Weight 313 kg
CAT B – 16 people
550,000 € (Excl. VAT) – as standard, bareboat • 880,000 € (Excl. VAT) – as tested (December 2022)
(Cayman 45.0 Cruiser, we can be heroes… just for one rib – Barchemagazine.com – December 2022)