Rigid Inflatable Boats : RIBS and Inflatables
 
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[ rib reviews ]
  # 021
Ceasar P-Class 850
Review by Kevin Goulding
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Ceasar Marine P850

" graceful lines.."
 

An Early Start
After two unsuccessful attempts during 2006 to get my hands on the new P850, the Ceasar Marine newly imported flagship model from Cape Town, a chance finally became available in the early part of November 2006. Indeed, for me this was a much better time of year to review a new rib to the market rather than during the more benign summer months. Ilfracombe on a late autumn day, damp, overcast and blowing a fresh westerly F5 straight off the Atlantic, certainly provided more of a challenge.

An early 07:30 start due to a spring high tide had us waiting at the harbour's locked flood gates. The local environmental agency had kept the gates closed and locked due to the predicted 9.3m high tide. Although the gates would have been normally closed on a 9.4m tide, who's going to quibble over 0.1m especially if it meant another hour in bed for the local agency officer! The RNLI who were also key holders to the gate naturally came to the rescue and it wasn't long before we swiftly clambered aboard the new Ceasar P850, which was probably more accustomed to the sunnier and warmer climes of South Africa.

 

First impression was of a very graceful boat cosmetically suited for a luxury tender or cruise RIB. Being a large beamed RIB at just over 3 metres overall it’s also more than roomy enough to satisfy the requirements of the family leisure user. Visually it was extremely handsome in bright blue with lots of gleaming stainless steel, a real eye catcher.

Once on board I noted there was extensive locker space, a beefy double knuckled 'A' frame (which sets it quite apart from other RIBs), LED navigation lights and a flexi teak deck with LED hull inset deck lighting. Fixtures and fittings were of top quality. The seat backs on both the three jockey and the rear triple bench seats were extremely comfortable and came with a nice touch, Ceasar Marine monogrammed into the upholstery.

The height of the jockey seats and console was however a challenge for me being something of a 'shorty' at 1.67m (5' 6"). I would certainly need the deck raising behind the console to make it a much more comfortable position for me to be in full command of the boat.

 


 

The general console layout may benefit from an ergonomics study especially when compared to its targeted market, currently dominated by Scorpion and Revenger. Angular corners to console and rear seating moulds should be something to modify in the future manufacturing process. On a plus point when in need of a comfort stop the provision of the heads compartment in the console will be much appreciated.

The P850 was fitted with two enormous Honda 225hp 4 stroke outboards fitted in racing configuration, which reached just under 50kts. Performance on the smooth was very quick, positive and exhilarating, with good tight turning and stable direction characteristics, no doubt down to the hull's reverse chines. Everything was great going downwind against an ebbing tide, with good control and an ability not to 'stuff'. In the opposite direction with the wind over an ebbing tide, I have to say we did get rather wet! The general broad overall beam, especially at the bow, would account for this particular characteristic.

 

Impressive 'A' Frame
As much as I admired the look of the smart stainless steel 'A' frame, the handholds and drive controls they were all highly polished and did become slippy when wet. The trim controls were also set opposite to that which I would prefer, the port engine throttle control carried both trim switches with the forward trim control operating the starboard engine whilst the rear switch controlled the port engine. However, this is a simple electrical switch to change around. In truth my preference on this type of RIB and at this level of specification is to have Bennet Trim tabs fitted with their independent controls fixed mounted on the console.

The console was impressive and substantial but its height may make visibility a problem for people who are not particularly tall, like me! The console in front of the navigator position would benefit from an horizontal grab handle across the top of the integral heads cabin door.

 

Ceasar Marine P850 RIB

" sleek performer.."

Ceasar Marine P850 RIB

" the full length reverse chines give exceptional grip.."

 


Twin Honda 225hp Outboards

" the outboards perhaps too
close together.."

Ceasar Marine P850 RIB

" a big & beefy 'A' frame.."

Ceasar Marine P850 RIB

" family accommodation.."

 

Cruising RIB
The rib power units were set-up as a racing rig but in reality its very wide hull and onboard configuration was perfect for cruising. It would be very interesting to see how this craft performs with a single outboard in the 250-300 hp range rather than a large pair of twins. I feel that overall its performance would not be compromised and possibly enhanced due to the weight saving by losing the additional engine and a reduced fuel payload.

I guess most sensible owners would not have had the inclination to venture out on the type of day that we did and if you are looking for a head turning classic cruising rib, suitable for family fun days out you wouldn’t have to look any further than this sporty new model. Currently CE design category C: Designed for voyages in coastal waters, large bays, estuaries, lakes and rivers where conditions up to and including wind force F6 and significant wave heights up to and including 2 metres may be experienced. However the P850 will be categorised as a B rating in the very near future.

November 2006

Ceasar Marine P850 RIB

MODEL
PRICE FROM
P850 RIB, Console & Seating
£36,650
P850 RIB, Console & Seating + Twin Honda 225hp + Extras as Reviewed
£76,000
Ex Ilfracombe, Devon
All prices are Ex VAT

For full comprehensive specification, Tel: +44 (0) 1271 869101
Web: www.ceasarmarine.com
contact e-mail:
Ceasar Marine

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