Reporting from Southampton's Ocean Village Marina, MBY editor Hugo Andreae takes us on a full tour of the ZAR 95 SL, which is a clever twist on the RIB template...
The latest innovation from Italian boat manufacturer ZAR really merits a closer look. The ZAR 95 SL stands out in a sea of RIBs with its unique design philosophy, which includes an innovative approach to the inflatable tubes.
Unlike traditional RIBs with tubes running all the way to the bow, the ZAR 95 SL features inflatable tubes that stop short, with a large GRP molding that covers the remaining hull length. This design allows for a substantial space-saving and offers a true 9.5m boat, maximising the usable space both in the cockpit and the bow.
Another feature that sets the ZAR 95 SL apart is its unusual hull design. With a deep 4ft hull that is slender and efficient, it performs exceptionally well in head seas. However, the boat’s molding flares out at the bow.
Wide, downward-facing chines create a curtain-like water ejection, enhancing stability. The hull also incorporates steps that trap air to provide lift. This combination of design elements results in a flat, stable ride even at high speeds, a characteristic that is highly desirable for a boat of this class.
The ZAR 95 SL offers several engine options, starting with a single 350hp outboard. The model we toured was powered by twin engines, offering significant power and an estimated top speed of 56 knots. This high-performance vessel is ideal for those looking for both speed and versatility on the water.
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The transom is well-protected and offers ample space for the engines to fold up. It features a robust ski pole that extends through the hull, along with practical grab rails, ideal for securing boat fenders. The unique design incorporates a cutaway section in the side, allowing those on board to enjoy unobstructed views of the sea.
Moving forward, there’s are spacious and protected seating areas, both in the cockpit and in the bow. The helm boasts a helm seat that can be configured in many different ways, providing flexibility for the skipper. The helm also features Raymarine systems, Suzuki engine controls, and an array of switches for various onboard systems.
Despite its impressive performance, the ZAR 95 SL is built with comfort and relaxation in mind. The spacious forward seating area in the bow is supported by backrests that can be adjusted for sitting or sunbathing.
It includes a table that can be raised or lowered as needed, and marine speakers mounted under the seats. The SL variant incorporates a hardtop with lights, providing protection and plenty of handholds for security in challenging conditions.
Below decks, the ZAR 95 SL offers a cabin with a berth and a functional head compartment. The cabin is well-lit and equipped with all the essentials for an overnight stay.
The 95 SL also boasts a wet bar with a sink and a two-ring gas hob, making it a versatile platform for a day of cruising or entertaining. It also includes freezer lockers and a fridge, ensuring you can keep your food and drinks fresh.
The ZAR 95 SL is a true standout in the RIB world. With its unique design, high-performance capabilities, and thoughtful features, it’s bound to catch the eye of boating enthusiasts looking for something a little bit different.
Enjoy the tour…
ZAR 95 SL specifications
LOA: 31ft 6in (9.6m)
Beam: 11ft (3.3m)
Engines: 2x 350hp Suzuki outboards
Top speed: 56 knots
Starting price: £300,000 (ex. VAT)