Seawalker 43 is the second in the range, which was launched by the Neapolitan yard with the 33’, and with it the development of a walk-around concept that respects the style rules, and is – above all – functional
by Angelo Colombo
WE WERE LUCKY ENOUGH TO TRY OUT THE NEW FIART MARE SEAWALKER 43 on a fresh morning in the Gulf of Naples. It is a model that has been created with the styling that is typical of a walk-around boat, but it has new lines. As you go onboard, you quickly see that some elements are very useful because of the comfort and safety they can provide, including the high and protective sides with a wider gunwale, within which are hidden retractable bollards, and in the bow the windlass with its locker. All of it is done with a teak cap rail which echoes the material used on the deck itself. Aesthetic aspects, such as the windscreen that doesn’t have a frame and the “knife-shaped” windows that slope down to the sides help to give the whole boat a modern and functional style that we liked.
From a construction point of view, we saw that even in the parts that were most tucked away there was a level of attention that is worthy of a top-level builder, as Fiart Mare have historically been. Furthermore, the structure in composite and the lamination of every single component is made at one of the most modern and technologically-advanced facilities that are currently active in the sector. Named Idar, it is owned by Fiart Group, which itself is part of the Fiart Mare boatyard. The organisation of the deck is also a success: it is clean, rational and functional, thanks to solutions such as the double access point to the stern platform, which is fitted with a raising system so that it can be kept out of the water when underway, and completely submerged when at anchor. The two large sun pads, in the bow and stern, also help to make the boat more functional, as does the sofa with two mobile tables that can be attached for al fresco lunches. There are also a lot of other accessories which are aimed at providing a complete set-up for cruises.
The interiors were surprising because of the height that runs from stern to bow, and because of the volumes of each room. The stern cabin is beautiful, and there is a large, full bathroom. The furnishings are delicately finished and made from high-quality material, while there are a lot of tough, storage areas. We never heard a single creak.
The interiors, which have also been very well designed, feature ergonomics and working of materials in which the attention of the craftsmen comes through with nicely-finished, functional furnishings. There are two cabins, both of them spacious and with plenty of storage, but which stand out above all because of the unusually good headroom. The thing that we most appreciated was being able to stand up in the stern cabin, which is fairly rare on boats of this size and layout. The master cabin is in the bows, and has a double bed, while the stern cabin has two comfortable twin beds. The two cabins share a bathroom of a size that is suitable for cruising, with a separate shower. It is unquestionably the interiors that are the strong point of this interesting design, which looks sporty but has real cruiser content.
The dashboard has a dominant position from where you can immediately see the full extent of the boat. The ergonomics have been carefully planned and it benefits from the correct positioning of all the controls for the onboard systems.
There are many points to highlight. One of the things that we most appreciated during our test was the location of the bridge and the helmsman’s seat. When you take the helm, you immediately realise that you can see the full extent of the boat, and getting the hang of the systems, engines, helm and plotter only takes a few minutes. A sensation of immediately being in tune with something brings with it a feeling of security and that only increases when you are underway with the Seawalker 43, and the variable V with tapered bow and volumes that always do enough to absorb the power of the waves, mean that you can push towards speeds that we normally only see during testing.
Tight turns at high speed to feel the limits of the hull were carried out in a completely controlled way. The boat never loses shape, you never feel excessive crashing against the water and the IPS works impeccably. The two 435 horsepower Volvo Penta engines with the IPS 600 system can push the Seawalker 43 top nearly 39 knots top speed. And above all they mean, it can be as agile as a small boat and start planing in just three seconds. These features go together with average fuel consumption that is low for the kind of boat and displacement in question. Indeed, at the economy cruising speed of 30.6 knots, overall consumption is 110 litres an hour.
The high sides and the wide gunwale help to give a feeling of safety to those on board, even at high speeds. Thanks to careful research, access from the stern to the bow is always comfortable and above all, safe.
It is quick and responsive like a GT but is thrifty when it comes to fuel consumption and comfortable even at high speed. This boat surprised us even at top speed with the angles of attack it managed on the long waves that we came across. Even when it comes out of the water, we didn’t feel any disturbing impact. All in all, we had a lot of fun at the helm of this beautiful Italian boat and we were helped by the sea conditions – with long waves that we used to put the hull under pressure. A further element that we appreciated was the manoeuvrability in tight areas, supported – as we said earlier – by the full visibility of all parts of the boat, as well as the precise Volvo Penta joystick, thanks to which anybody can still handle things when you arrive at the quay without a lot of room, and with a bit of wind.
The hawse anchor is nicely set in the nearly vertical bow. Alternatively, you can go for an anchor that folds down and is stowed away.
The hull has been made in injection moulding and features a V that is particularly pronounced at the bow and runs to the stern. This means that comfort and safety are always guaranteed, even with heavy seas.
The new Seawalker 43 boasts all the necessary features for us to consider it a point of reference for its segment: it is a modern and aesthetically pleasing design, the ergonomics have been very carefully and effectively done, both on deck and below. The hull holds the sea very well and is a constant guarantee of comfort and safety for those on board, while the fittings have been designed and manufactured with high-quality material, fuel consumption is not excessive, it delivers sporty performance, manoeuvrability and safety. With this design, Fiart Mare is aiming at the typically Mediterranean boat owner, whether private or commercial. Because the Seawalker 43 is a boat that lends itself to chartering because of the substantial areas on deck and the safety that it provides passengers in all conditions. Our overall view is positive on all fronts: versatility and running costs are definitely its strong points, but if you want to push the Seawalker 43 it will always let you do so safely.
The engine room has two 435 hp Volvo Penta engines, each with transmissions linked to IPS 600 tractor propellers that can push the Seawalker 43 to nearly 39 knots top speed. Comfortable cruising, even at high average speeds, is ensured by the low level of fuel consumption.
PROJECT: Shipyard technical department
HULL: LOA 13.84 m • Maximum beam 3.99m • Draft 1.04 m • Light mass displacement 12,500 kg • Full mass displacement 15,000 kg • Fuel tank volume 1,150 l • Water tank volume 620 l
MAIN PROPULSION: 2 Volvo Penta IPS 600 D6 • Outlet mechanical power 324 kW (435 hp) • Number of cylinders 6 inline • Total swept volume 5,500 l • Maximal rotational speed 3600/min • Weight 920 kg including the IPS system
EC CERTIFICATION: CAT B
PRICE: 470.000 € Powered with 2×380 hp Volvo Penta IPS 500, Excl. VAT and optionals • 505,000 € As tested, Excl. VAT and optionals (May 2021)
(Fiart Mare Seawalker 43, emotional and rational – Barchemagazine.com – May 2021)