Thanks to the naval architecture by Brunello Acampora’s Victory Design, the Solaris Power 44 reaches a top speed of 36 knots
by Angelo Colombo
The Solaris Power 44 which we tried out at Porto Ercole is the second unit produced in the new 44 series. Some minor changes have been made in the setup from the first model. These were requested by Giovanni Tarantino, the head of Race Nautica, the dealer for the Tyrrhenian area, who decided against having fold-down sides at the stern and instead wanted a large stern platform that can be lowered to below water level to help get a tender or jetski on board.
We appreciated how the deck is set up, with the large stern sun pad slightly raised on the stern, the dinette area can comfortably seat eight people without any modifications. And also, by moving the seat back, the sofa in the stern transforms into a comfortable forward-facing three-person seat behind the helmsman and assistant, as well as a further passenger. The entire midships area is protected by a T-Top, which uses carbon-fibre poles that can be set up in just a few minutes and provides shade up to the beginning of the beach area – something that is precious during stops at anchor, especially in the middle hours of the day. There is another large sun pad with a forward-facing sofa in the bow, in the right location from a safety viewpoint, which can be reached along the large gangways which are protected by sides, which are fairly high compared with the deck surface.
The interiors are very luminous and especially silent if you bear in mind the type and size of the yacht. You only know the generator is on because of the light on the electrical panel.
The external set-up is of a good size and is well laid out with top-quality materials. The details we admired include the rail on the hawse, which means you can let out the anchor without running the risk of it scraping against the stem or having the chain somehow scrape the bow surface. It is a system that is simple, but very effective, equipped with two pneumatic pistons that take the chain attached to the exterior.
The interiors have also been designed very carefully. Oak finishes, as an alternative to walnut, had been chosen for the model we tried out, and that brings out the best in the very large areas – there is a double cabin in the bow, a very comfortable bathroom both in terms of size and fittings and a full-beam twin room in the stern which has reasonable headroom.
The owner of this 44 decided against having a kitchen below decks, but the induction hob, the fridge, the washbasin and the waste compartment are all included on a furniture unit fixed to the floor plate between the dinette and the bridge. The bridge has two twelve-inch Garmin screens so you get a full vision of the maps and the situation with all the on-board equipment, including of course the gauges for the tanks, temperatures, comprehensive engine data, generator status and everything that means the captain can keep an overall check on the boat. Its ergonomics are flawless, and it is a comfortable boat thanks to good-sized seats which are equipped with a fold-down horizontal plane to make it easier to be on your feet while underway, and it is roomy, so you can store objects in the small but very beautiful lockers. The boat is also raised correctly to ensure the best possible view of the horizon even for short or medium height helmsmen.
The carbon fibre T-Top is of the correct size to ensure that the person at the helm and the passengers are protected from the sun.
Our test day
The 44, which is the smallest in the Solaris range, was the product of a design by Brunello Acampora which didn’t fail to meet our expectations. With two Volvo Penta IPS 650s each producing 480 horsepower, a hull with very good hydrodynamics and carefully-achieved build to ensure weight distribution exactly as laid out by the design, the outcome is a yacht that can go anywhere, with perfect trim at all speeds, low fuel consumption and performance that is exceptional for this kind of boat.
We tackled bow waves from much larger yachts, and the result was safe, untroubled handling, thanks to the hull geometry that can absorb enough of the crashes from the water. Opening the throttles up we reached 36.6 knots, but if you want to get from one place to another and look after the engines that have to do long stints, then at 25 knots the boat gives all you could want, with a very high level of comfort and without using much fuel.
Its cruising speed is around 32 knots, with excellent trim, not least because of the Humphree interceptors and the Trim Tab systems fitted on the transom, which if you put them in automatic mode are always quick to ensure that it has the right roll stability and longitudinal trim. What emerges from this is high speed turns on a boat that is always comfortable and never gets wet, not even when turning across the wakes from other boats. All of these electronics, cutting-edge technology and a high level of comfort allow even an inexperienced owner to enjoy cruising and come back to port without problems, even in strong winds and when the harbour is packed with boats. The Volvo Penta control system, using the joystick linked to the IPS is already known to make life easy for everybody.
The stern platform is a very good size, there is a sun pad in the stern, and in the bow, there is the dinette, galley and bridge. All of which means there is a lot of room to be enjoyed while underway or at anchor.
Brunello Acampora Victory Design (exteriors, naval architecture)
LOA 13.47m • Maximum beam 4.35m • Draft 1.03m • Light mass displacement 11,500 kg • Full load displacement 14,000 kg • Fuel tank volume 1,200 l • Water tank volume 330 l
2 Volvo Penta IPS 650 • Outlet mechanical power 353 kW (480 hp) • Total swept volume 5,500 cc • Maximal rotational speed 3700/min • Weight 920 kg
575,000€, excluding VAT and accessories • 623,300€ with the IPS 650 engines, excluding VAT (February 2022)
(Solaris Power 44, sophisticated Lady – Barchemagazine.com – February 2022)