Inspired by a 19th century Swedish inventor, Rafnar’s unique arc-of-circle hull forms are truly one of a kind. Dave Marsh reports from Iceland
Scene 3: Coastguard HQ
Back in the warmth of the coastguard’s HQ in Reykjavík, we’re given an update on its experiences with the 10m RIB.
In short, the extensive testing it has undertaken in and around the exposed Icelandic coastline has left it so thoroughly convinced by the boat’s all-round abilities that it has now ordered its first production 10-metre Leiftur RIB.
This is very similar to the prototype I tested but with modifications that include moving the fuel tanks aft, raising the forward freeboard, and constructing the boat using resin infusion instead of the prototype’s spray lay-up.
I’m convinced that all these refinements will improve the boat further, perhaps significantly. What happens next is unclear.
The coastguard is already talking about ordering bigger versions of the OK Hull, and Rafnar is adamant that its surprisingly exacting hull geometry can be scaled to suit any size or type of pleasure or commercial vessel.
With this in mind it has already built a voluminous 15-metre pleasure boat with Zeus pod drives called Jokla (pictured below). I also saw sketches of boats up to 35 metres.
However, a 35-metre motor cruiser with a top speed of, say, 25 knots is operating at a vastly different speed:length ratio than a 40 knot 10m RIB.
So exactly how bigger and relatively slower Rafnar boats will perform, and precisely how the OK Hull’s benefits will manifest themselves at that size, I suspect only time will tell.
In the meantime, what Rafnar has is something unique, and something that largely fulfils its stated aims. In a world awash with hyperbole, that is quite an achievement.