Mar.Co R-Evolution 26, less is more

It is smaller but lacks anything. The yard has managed to fit everything you need for a day on the water into just eight metres

by Niccolò Volpati – photo by Andrea Muscatello

The yard has established a reputation with its satisfied clients for making performance inflatables. If you want confirmation, just ask any of your friends who enjoys tinkering about their favourite dinghy. Mar.Co is very probably at the top of the list, or at least on the podium. And the new R-Evolution 26 is true to this tradition.

THE DECK HAS BEEN SET UP RATIONALLY, WHICH MEANS YOU HAVE EVERYTHING THAT YOU NEED, THERE IS A LOT OF ROOM IN THE LOCKERS AND IT IS ALSO EASY TO GET FROM BOW TO STERN.

Lakes, especially the Garlate, don’t deliver challenging waves and so the only thing left is to try out its performance. There is just one outboard on the transom: a 450-horsepower from Mercury Racing. It is one of the advantages of being smaller than its predecessor: a single motor is all that is required. The 450-hp one has the highest power rating that can be fitted, while the minimum recommended is 350. Are just under 53 knots enough to get a “tinkerer” licence? I would say so. To be exact, the top speed I got to was 52.7 knots, using 161 litres of fuel per hour. Just having one engine is an advantage, both in terms of the overall purchase cost – a saving of around 30,000 euros – and for fuel consumption. The Mercury Racing engine produces considerable power, but with fuel consumption that is more than reasonable. If you are prepared to travel at around 42 knots, for example, the litres per hour figure drops down to 100. And going slower still, at 25 knots, you just need fifty or so, and at twenty knots, only 40 litres. That is thanks to the outboard, and also due to the hull’s waterlines. The figures confirm this. Especially the figures for litres used per mile. At the minimum planning speed, so 11.5 knots, you need two litres to do a nautical mile, while at top speed that figure only rises to three litres of fuel. The span of planing speeds thus exceeds forty knots, but in terms of consumption, just one litre bridges the gap between two and three litres per mile.

The U-shaped sofa in the cockpit provides a good feeling of protection, plenty of seating and also – thanks to the backs folding down – easy access to the stern area.

But what most struck me, as I looked at the fuel consumption figures, was how consistent they are. You accelerate, the speed increases and the snapshot fuel consumption figure increases, but the litres per mile figure stays practically the same. It feels good. The Mar.Co technical department knows how to do its sums. It has proved that once again. But it is not just about maths; how the boat feels is also important. To get the boat set up right for me to get to top speed, I had to raise the trim tab a fair bit, perhaps because the engine was mounted a bit low. There is nothing bad about that, and apart from the performance and the nice feeling when the plotter showed I was doing over fifty knots, I appreciated how manoeuvrable it was.

R-Evolution 26 moves easily – it turns tightly, responds well to turning back the other way, and doesn’t heel excessively or too little. And it is also easy to handle when manoeuvring at low rev levels. It doesn’t pay the price of just having one engine. In a word, it is easy to helm and isn’t merely an adrenaline generator when you open up the throttle. Enjoyment underway is also due to the bridge set-up with an instrument panel that has got everything you need close to hand and the windscreen, which offers protection even when you are doing over fifty knots but doesn’t block the view.  So essentially you feel calm and safe when at the wheel. Something that you can’t take for granted when you are doing 53 knots on a boat that is eight metres long overall. I also liked the deck setup. That too is something you shouldn’t take for granted, especially when a boat gets shorter, but they weren’t about to make do without what you can find on larger models. The hard top is the right size, it protects the helm station without stretching back to the stern. The stainless steel structure that supports it gives a feeling of strength. Even in moderate seas and strong winds I wouldn’t have felt it moving.

The area below the instrument panel is set aside for the head, which is reached through the door located in the bow section.

The bow is just as tough: the stem head is an integral part of the deck moulding, with the anchor that comes through the hawsehole. The yard has opted to arrange the seating so that the space in the cockpit is best used. The three small sofas surround the area and give a good feeling of protection. Access to the stern is easy because one of the seat backs folds down. Moving around on board also feels very good. The stern platforms surrounding the outboard are large, and there are also side decks which means you can get to the bow without getting up onto the tubes. So basically, it has got everything, including room to move around. Finally, the dinghy has got some very decently sized lockers. That is in part thanks to the good decision to create spaces in the seat backs and to set aside a special fenders locker. That is in the stern, next to the outboard, with a practical stainless steel bar that means it is easy to put out or stow the fenders. So basically, the R-Evolution 26 is a boat for people who like to tinker with their equipment, but also one that is easy to handle and comfortable for spending a day on the water with the entire family, without anything missing.

THE STEM HEAD IS INTEGRATED WITHIN THE DECK MOULD, AND THAT MEANS IT PROVIDES GREAT SOLIDITY FOR THE ANCHOR AND CHAIN.

Engine data
The U-shaped sofa in the cockpit provides a good feeling of protection, plenty of seating and also – thanks to the backs folding down – easy access to the stern area.

MAR.CO MARINE COSTRUZIONI
Via Edison, 64
I-20835 Muggiò (MB)
T. +39 039 2787336
[email protected]
www.mar-co.com

PROJECT
Shipyard technical department

HULL
LOA 8.02m • Maximum beam 3.08m • Tube’s diameter 0.48/0.56m • 6 compartments • Dry weight 1,700 kg • Fuel tank volume 330 l • Water tank volume 100 l • Maximum power rated 450 hp 

MAIN PROPULSION
1 Mercury 450R • Outlet mechanical power 450 hp (331 kW) • 8 V-shaped cylinders • Swept volume 4.6 l • Maximal rotational speed 6400/min • Weight 313 kg

EC CERTIFICATION
CAT B 

PRICE
105,000 € (Excl. VAT) – as standard with all the options necessary for navigation, bareboat (June 2023)

(Mar.Co R-Evolution 26, less is more – Barchemagazine.com – June 2023)