Italian RIB manufacturer ZAR has always built boats that stand out from the crowd but this all-new Zar 130 Imagine flagship due for launch in the spring is a real statement.
This semi-enclosed RIB with a walkaround deck is clearly looking to challenge the T-top sportsboat market but its triple-stepped deep-vee hull and monstrous horsepower give it a performance edge that few of its rivals possess.
Key to this is a pair of Mercury 600hp V12 outboards, which in factory testing with 10 passengers and half fuel pushed the 130 to 58 knots.
In more normal load conditions it’s safe to say that the Zar 130 Imagine would quite comfortably top 60 knots.
Travelling at those speeds, passengers will be thankful that the hardtop connects directly to the windscreen, meaning those in the triple helm seats are protected from what is likely to be a significant headwind.
The hardtop arcs back to offer some shade to the split dinette, which gives way to a pair of sunpads, beneath which there is space to stow a small inflatable tender.
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Possibly the biggest surprise aboard the Zar 130 Imagine is the spaciousness of its accommodation, which comprises an open-plan double berth forward, another double tucked beneath the cockpit and a large shared bathroom with full standing headroom and a handsomely finished separate shower cubicle.
There may have been a time when a big RIB for this sort of money could appear out of touch but given the rise in popularity of the T-top sportsboat they suddenly make a lot of sense, especially given the immense fast cruising potential the Zar 130 Imagine possesses.
We await a sea trial with anticipation.
Zar 130 Imagine specification
LOA: 43ft (13m)
Beam: 15ft 0in (4.57m)
Engines: Twin Mercury V12 600hp
Top speed: 60 knots
Starting price: £469,043 (inc. VAT)