Pirelli 50, Fifty squared

Fifty feet long, with fifty knots top speed thanks to a pair of Mercury Verado V12s of 600 hp each. It’s the flagship of the Pirelli Walkarounds line

by Niccolò Volpati

Good things come in threes. And so, the PIRELLI 50 has arrived in the wake of the 42 and the 35. In just two years, TecnoRib has rounded off its 10-15 metre Walkarounds range. I would say that some of the features reflect earlier models, whereas others show a new direction. Let’s start with what we have already seen before. An important fact first: the hull was designed by the Mannerfelt Design Team.

Outside the Genoa Airport Marina, the waves were just over a metre high, and the wind was blowing at twelve knots. A fifty-foot boat shouldn’t have too many problems with that, but one that says it is going to fly at up to fifty knots might just show a bit of uncertainty. But because of its hull, the boat delivers the comfort level that Pirelli has got us accustomed to.

It is easy to manoeuvre, manages to turn tightly without losing power or control, and doesn’t even feel the effects of the waves. And it does all of that not at twenty knots, but fifty. We came close to the official top speed, with the GPS showing 49.2 knots. This is also because of the two outboard Mercury Verado V12s, which each develop 600 horsepower, and the many other accessories that you can have on the bridge.

The auto trim ensures you are always perfectly balanced, without having to worry about the angle of the midsection, and when it comes to turning, the technology in these engines makes use of two vital structural elements. The first is that the engine midsection turns, but the powerhead is fixed. That means you can fit motors just an inch or so from each other, so they take up less room on the transom, and also that the gearcases can tilt independently of each other. Put simply, if the midsection of the outer engine is more tilted, you can turn more easily, and more tightly. It is like power steering on cars. The second element comes from the electronic steering integrated into the engine which means any change, of course, is simple and smooth.


So essentially the M+M pairing, meaning Mannerfelt and Mercury, allows the boat to be stable, safe, and easy to handle, even when you are touching fifty knots. The deck always stayed dry, despite a fairly stiff wind. That was thanks to the inflatable part, which accentuates the work of the rubbing strake. It is nearly an add-on part which hardly rests on the water surface. It is as if the tubes were a large rubbing strake, and so it makes sense that it should be difficult for the spray to get into the cockpit, even when you are turning hard in a moderate sea.

The other characteristics that I feel show similarity with the other walkarounds can be found on deck. The hard top is a continuation of the windscreen so it provides a lot of protection. You need to look at the SOG on the GPS to realise that you are doing fifty knots. Visibility is nevertheless good, because the glass is in a single piece, and the supports that surround it are reduced to the minimum to prevent blind spots. Getting down the deck from stern to bow is easy. The grab handle is incorporated into the sides, and so doesn’t change the overall design, but is always there to hand. Deep in the bows, there is an anchor that comes out of the hawsehole, while the hatch to the chain locker is coated with the same rubber as the tubing. That has now become practically a trademark of Pirelli boats.

With a top speed of nearly fifty knots, without using a lot of fuel: just under 200 litres per hour per engine.

But something slightly different can be found in the stern. There are two outboards, but, despite that, the stern platform hasn’t disappeared. That is because the two Verado V12s have fixed powerheads, and it is only the submerged midsection which turns to steer the boat. That means there isn’t much space between the two engines, and the transom isn’t wasted. There is a swimming platform, and it is enough both for moving around alongside the engines and for getting into the sea.

The other characteristic that, at least in part, sets the 50 aside from the 35 and the 42, can principally be seen above decks. It is a larger boat, and so also has larger volumes. So, all in all, the PIRELLI 50 is a real cruiser-racer, which is fast and sporty, while also being comfortable for cruising, thanks to the two cabins and bathroom. The inflatable part almost seems to be there because of the family feeling with the rest of the range, rather than because of its structural significance. There are tubes, but they aren’t essential. It is a motorboat dressed up as a RIB. And the quality of the finish, both on deck and below, shows that it is a luxury product. And finally, there is the integration with the Simrad instrumentation. And that is also a new development, in the sense that it represents the best possible integration. The Navico Group, of which Simrad is part, has been bought by Brunswick, so Mercury itself. And that is why all of the engine controls, electronic instrumentation, joysticks, skyhooks, trim assistance devices and even the entire entertainment system are close at hand on the bridge. People shouldn’t be scared by the terminology: what that means is that everything that you could think of while you are on board is easy and intuitive, as is helming the boat. You just have to start it up and open up the throttle.

Sacs Tecnorib
Rather than merging, what SACS and TecnoRib have done is to integrate. One plus one is always one, in that one firm hasn’t absorbed the other, but there is just a single company. «The idea is that we should continue doing what we are already doing, but do it better. We united the teams and specialised departments and filled the gaps that we were struggling to fill before. It’s a kind of rationalisation», said Gianni De Bonis from TecnoRib. One of the gaps that needed filling was managing to be competitive in important markets like the US. Nowadays it is not just a question of selling – above all you need an efficient after-sales service. And joining forces becomes essential to ensure you can do that. The investment made across the Atlantic is substantial, and the synergy between the two companies means we have sufficient resources to make that investment.

Engine data
The 600 hp Verado V12s are the perfect match for the boat because they deliver excellent performance even at mid-range RPMs.

Via Resegone, 18
I-20027 Rescaldina (MI)
T. +39 02 72080357

Mannerfelt Design Team

LOA 15.20m • Maximum beam 4.70m • Tube’s diameter 0.60m • 6 compartments • Displacement 12.5 t • Fuel tank volume 1,600 l • Water tank volume 400 l

2xMercury V12 Verado 600 • Outlet mechanical power 441 kW (600 hp) • Swept volume 7.6 l • 12 V-shaped cylinders • Compression ratio 2.50:1 • Maximal rotational speed 5600-6400/min • Weight 572 kg (including the propeller)


915,000 €, Excl.VAT (August 2022)

(Pirelli 50, Fifty squared – Barchemagazine.com – August 2022)