TechnoRib debuts its fastest Pirelli 42 in Miami – and Kate Lardy breaks a personal record
I am starting to get concerned. The Pirelli 42 is steadily gaining momentum. I watch the speed-over-ground creep up – 48, 52, 55 knots… We are positively flying over Miami’s Biscayne Bay far faster than any car can make it down the South Florida city’s congested streets. The problem is the rapidly approaching 79th Street Causeway bridge can stop us cold. Are we going to make it?
Then we do; with the engines at almost 6,000rpm we hit 60 knots, or 69mph, and our driver quickly throttles back a few dozen yards before the narrow bridge opening becomes an obstacle.
It is the fastest I have ever gone in a boat (or in Miami by car), and while the impending causeway added to the excitement, I must admit to feeling nice and secure. That’s the beauty of the boat’s design by Mannerfelt Design Team. It combines a high-performance two-step hull with a stable RIB platform that inspires confidence.
Built by TecnoRib, the sole licensee for Pirelli boats, the 42 was the first offering in a new generation of walkaround models that debuted at Boot Düsseldorf in January 2020. The range has since grown with a 35 and a recently unveiled 50. The Milanese brand is popular in the Med with its Formula One cred and speed, but the US represents an untapped market.
This is the first Pirelli to be sold to an American boater and likely one of the fastest yet. Europeans may be content with dual 450 or triple 300-horsepower Mercury Verado outboards, but not this Miami-based owner, who chose three 450s. The extra horsepower increases the standard 45-knot speed to more than 60 knots, making a Miami-to-Bimini dash in under an hour possible.
“We have tried to put together performance and safety,” Gianni De Bonis, CEO of Sacs Tecnorib says. “This is given, first of all, by the hull, designed by Ocke Mannerfelt, [who is known for] legendary speed, so this is a very fast, efficient and safe hull. Then, here on the deck, it has the side protections,” he says. The boat is an inflatable, yet it’s not since the black tube that rims it rides high above the waterline. “You don’t feel it. The tube is only there to protect and give you a feeling of safety,” he says.
Six separate chambers render the nearly 43ft boat unsinkable. The soft tube also gives the driver the confidence to tuck into tight berths.
“You know that if you make a small mistake, it’s not going to cost you a fortune because it’s like having a big fender all around the boat,” says Andrea Loro, head of sales and aftersales.
That is a handy attribute for a superyacht chase boat, and Loro, who is hosting me on our Biscayne Bay speed fest, says that almost a third of TecnoRib’s production ends up in the service of a mothership.
Adding to the sense of security are the RIB’s low center of gravity and 28 inches of freeboard. We make a tight circle at somewhere between 40 and 50 knots, and I don’t feel the need to hold on. As another boat speeds towards us, we slow down to a still-quick 45 knots and effortlessly stomp out its wake with gentle thumps that I barely feel.
And we look good doing it. The owner opted for a dramatic all-black configuration for the gelcoat and tube, complemented by platinum gray upholstery. The glossy finish that absorbs heat and shows every fingerprint is probably a tad more high-maintenance than some owners will want, but it has the highest wow factor.
“When customers want something really beautiful and super sexy, they go with the dark colors,” Loro says.
Being the first in US waters – outside of the chase boats that come and go – this hull paved the way for others. While its dark color scheme did not make it as standard spec (that would be a white gelcoat with an Arctic gray tube), plenty of other features did. The hardtop that swoops down to become a windshield flanked by side windscreens to protect from subtropical rain showers, and the large bathroom with shower in the cabin below are standard. American owners also get side boarding steps, an upgraded navigation system with an additional 16-inch GPS screen and four extra speakers. Moreover, there are options for a “power pack” that includes a generator, air conditioning and an outdoor grill, which the Miami owner chose.
Another nifty feature of this 42 is the adjustable backrests for the seating around the extendable dining table. The bench seat can face the table aft or the view forward, and part of the aft sunpad converts into another bench. A second sunpad at the bow and detachable biminis covering both the front and aft lounges make this performer a comfortable day cruiser or chase boat with Italian style to spare.
Loro and De Bonis are confident that Pirelli boats will find traction on this side of the pond. Their timing is good as Formula One gains ground in the US. They are following up the 42’s fall debut with the new 50 making an appearance at the Miami boat show in February. Sporting an extra 600hp outboard, it will be the fastest Pirelli yet, Loro says.
First published in the April 2023 issue of BOAT International US. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.shop now