inflatable boat

Selva 320 VIB: in its fourth year of testing it doesn’t miss a beat

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This is the fourth year in a row of testing for our inflatable-keel Selva 320 VIB tender, which has spent the winter, as usual, under the deck of our lab-boat without anyone having bothered to clean it or fold it up too carefully: we do this on purpose, we always want to stress it to the utmost, so that our test is as truthful as possible.

selva 320 vib inflatable keel tenderLast year we took it with us on the ‘1000-mile cruise in the Tyrrhenian Sea’, and it was really indispensable considering that we practically spent the whole time at anchor, do you remember?

This year we put another 900 nautical miles or so on its shoulders between Sardinia and Corsica, mostly leaving him towed by the boat, so as to take full advantage of the zero-impact recharging effect of the Epropulsion Spirit 1.0 Evo engine.

This is how it went.

Launching the Selva inflatable keel tender

We take it off the deck and it comes back to me how we had stored it: badly. It is still full of salt, as we had purposely not rinsed it, which has had an impact on its colour, which is of course no longer that bright white of a few years ago, and there are several creases caused by the fact that we had folded it up and folded it in no more than 10 minutes without paying too much attention to the shape.

It inflates quickly, the creases disappear and I pay attention to all the details to see if there is any deterioration damage. The tubulars still fill evenly, but I had no doubts about that, so I focus on the most delicate parts, i.e. the valves, which are the area where most air leaks could occur, but nothing: it is inflated, stable and ready.

Sure, it needs a clean and after a wash with a special product we remove the accumulated salt and the various encrustations: here too I am particularly careful, but the Selva 320 VIB’s quality is very good and, apart from the obvious and symptomatic ‘signs of time’, I do not notice at first glance any problems that could affect its sealing or stability.

Daydreamer and Selva tender

But I look in detail and check the flaps, I run my fingers over the entire V-shaped hull, diligently searching for a few air bubbles, then I dedicate myself to the handrails, the towing attachments and the engine support plates, but nothing: it is a solid fighter and I can smile because I think that it has fared well this year too. But now it’s time to launch him.

We’ll hoist it aboard a little this year, even in windy conditions and rough seas we’ll try to leave it in the water as much as possible: it’s now in its fourth year of testing and I already know that it won’t let me down.

Selva 320 VIB Test

The retaining line is firmly secured to the stern bollard of our lab-boat, and follows us everywhere.

Its tubulars are very solid, all the Selva quality we know so well is visible, but at the same time the structure is very light, as befits a tender. Its dimensions are sufficient for what we need: 3.20 m long by 1.53 m wide, for a floor area of 1.41 square metres, where we can fit four people without any problems.

We use it a lot.

Sometimes to pick up some guests who come to visit us on the boat, sometimes to run small or big errands, on the boat we are an average of 4 to 6 people, so there is always something to go ashore to stock up on or to retrieve something, or simply to disembark in the evening and go to some little restaurant.

DaydreamerIt’s practically always in the water: even when sailing for long stretches we keep it there, to let it take the waves and the sea, and stress its joints. Moreover, the fact that we always leave it in the water is not only convenient but also very useful, since we have an Eproplusion Spirit 1.0 Evo electric engine that recharges itself while we drag it along in the wind. It’s something that always excites me when I think about it: maximum output, minimum expense, and I never get stranded.

Between nights at anchor, rough seas, time spent working but also, and above all, the pleasure of sailing, we have put another 900 miles on its shoulders, but it doesn’t seem to have felt them at all and indeed I detect a note of sadness as we go to put it away. Everyone notices that: this is one of those gestures that mark the end of the season and so melancholy is always a bit in the air.

Once again this year, no favourable treatment for the Selva 320 VIB inflatable keel tender. We don’t even rinse it out, tighten knots and ties, and store it on deck. It will stay there all winter, waiting for the next season, and as I say goodbye to it with the customary pat of thanks, I already have the feeling that I already know that not even another year will affect this solid and irreplaceable friend of mine.

Of course, I will let you know…

Previously published tests

July 2019: Selva 320 VIB and Selva Guppy 2.5 : a revolutionary tender-outboard duo. The test begins

August 2021: Selva 320 VIB after 3 years of testing: it proves to be indestructible

Nuova Jolly 850 XL: uncompromised space

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Nuova-Jolly-850-XL-top-viewUnveiled in Paris in late 2021, the 850 XL couldn’t miss the Genoa Boat Show where it showed all the quality of Nuova Jolly Marine production, which once again has really thought of everything.

Just look at it and you are immediately struck by its size. Its length is 8.73 metres, which, according to designer Matteo De Francesco himself, is comparable in terms of liveability to a 10.5-metre boat, but with one huge advantage: this boat is also trailerable. In fact, once deflated, its width reaches the maximum limit allowed for road transport with deflated tubulars, which, as I see it, is incredible.

Its numbers are in fact impressive. 3.40 metres wide allowing comfortable passages at every point, a 2 metre by 2 metre bow sundeck, stern platforms that can be modified as needed to accommodate up to two 225 hp outboards each, and the possibility of accommodating as many as 16 people aboard.

Clearly, with dimensions like these there are no limits for the Nuova Jolly 850 XL, which has in fact already been chosen for multiple uses. From tender for large yachts, to yachting, camping, military use and even work, there is no challenge that this boat is not ready to accept, fully satisfying every expectation.

One might think that with spaces like these, cruising performance might be somewhat reduced, sacrificed for comfort. Nothing could be more wrong. Its hull designed in-house by Nuova Jolly Marine is a masterpiece of design that not only makes it glide through the water at great speed (in fact, it reaches 54 knots) but also allows considerable fuel savings.

In short, if you think ‘bigger is better’, I will now explain why this is the right RIB for you.

THE NUOVA JOLLY 850 XL IN DETAIL

What does it mean NJ 850 XL sternto think big? If you ask Nuova Jolly Marine, the answer would probably be to never stop and to accept every new challenge head-on, without compromise. And the proof is this 850 XL.

All Italian-made, it is the result of a careful design where every step has been engineered: from the fibreglass moulds made from 3D drawings, to the jigs, right down to the hatches, every element of this boat is expertly thought out to exploit every last centimetre to the full.

Its hull is wide but sharp. It starts at 23° at the stern and reaches 60° at the beginning of the bow wheel with a plate in the centre of the stern itself, which not only facilitates cruising speed but also reduces consumption and friction.

The bowplate is hybrid, a distinctive trademark of this line made up of the tubular that wraps around the entire boat, with an integrated concealed fairlead that has a double advantage: aesthetically it is very clean and there are no bulky elements in sight, but at the same time it is easy to manoeuvre when docking.

The boat is also very side-deck comfortable to drive. The helm station accommodates a large two-seater sofa in front of which a modern console with a 12” screen opens out, with space next to it for storing everything you need, thanks to two storage compartments, a double cup holder and electrical sockets for various recharges.

Then, of course, its interior spaces: it is when relaxing that you understand that XL acronym. The sofas are large and comfortable, and both fore and aft offer the possibility of sitting at the table or transforming them into wide, extremely comfortable sundecks. Between the lockers and watertight compartments there is all the space you need to store everything you need for a yachting day, but also for camping or work, making the Nuova Jolly 850 XL truly perfect for any occasion.

There is also a toilet with a 1.70 metre chemical toilet, a 42 litre refrigerator, sink and chopping board which naturally become essential elements for its liveability, as well as the long awning which, using the steel or fibreglass T-Top, extends to the entire 8.70 metres of the boat. Personally, I always find this a great thing, as I often find myself camping with the family and, at the time of my girls’ nap, all this shade makes resting definitely more pleasant.

Last but not least, the stern houses one last practical innovation, namely the movable swim platforms which, depending on your choice, can accommodate one or two outboards of up to 450 hp: which means going fast, and enjoying that aspect of the sea that we can’t leave out, namely the pleasure and adrenaline of driving. In the water it is very stable, but as soon as it gets up on plane its 1,400 kg (dry) disappear to leave room for great handling, which adds to the list of positive aspects.

This boat wins you over with a simple, extremely clean style that definitely stands out. But it is once you are on board that you realize its full potential: if in fact everyone has their own needs at sea, with this 850 XL the Nuova Jolly Marine has thought well of satisfying them all.

TECHNICAL SPECS

 

DESIGN & PROJECT

Nuova Jolly

DESIGN CATEGORY

B

MAX PASSENGERS CAPACITY

16

SHAFT SIZE

1XXL – 2 XXL

NO. COMPARTMENTS

6

LOA

8,730 cm

MAX BEAM

3,400 cm

MAX POWER

2 x 225 HP

FUEL

300 l

WATER

65 l