Suzuki powers world record RIB voyage from Palermo to New York
Friday, November 8, 2019 7:05 PM
Suzuki was proud to be the outboard brand of choice for the recent ‘Ice RIB Challenge’ which saw Captain Sergio Davì take his 11m Nuova Jolly RIB from Palermo in Italy to New York City in America.
The challenge saw Davì travel a total of 6,270 nautical miles on his own, which took 84 days including 20 stopovers in various countries along the way. The world record achieved is the total distance completed single-handed but also the fact that the adventure was completed on board of a standard 11m boat at such extreme latitudes.
The mission also had specific scientific objectives. In particular, Sergio Davì collected data during the voyage which will be used to help combat micro-plastic pollution.
Upon completion of this adventure Davi said, “I started to plan this challenge immediately after completing the successful sea crossing, from Palermo to Recife in 2017. It took about two years of intense organizational preparation, and I must say a big thank you to my team. The support that I received from Suzuki’s Dealers and Distributors during this voyage was incredible and I can’t thank them enough – they are like my family.”
A twin installation of Suzuki’s flagship, dual-propeller DF350A were the outboards of choice for this adventure and they did not let Davì down. With 330 sailing hours at an average cruising speed of 20 knots the only maintenance that the outboards required was the standard oil and filter changes at the intervals prescribed in the Owner’s Manual. These were carried out by Authorized Suzuki Service Technicians in Spain and Iceland in addition to cleaning the hull of the boat.
Davì also received Suzuki support during his stopovers in: Gibraltar, Portugal, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Canada and America.
With regard to the Suzuki outboards, Davì commented, "As soon as we started testing I admit to being pleasantly surprised by the performance of the Suzuki outboard motors due to the dual prop. The boat was quick to plane already at around 15 knots, which helps to keep the fuel consumption so low.”
He continued, “I noted that in the cruising speed range between 15 and 30 knots fuel consumption per mile tended to remain the same. Fantastic! I never had any doubt about reliability of the motors which gave me the confidence to take on this challenge."
Remarkably the average fuel consumption for the journey was 3.33 litres per nautical mile and a maximum of 68.19 litres per hour for both outboards.
At 350 horsepower, the DF350A V6 4-stroke is the largest, most powerful outboard Suzuki has built to date. It represents a significant milestone in both engineering and design, with its dual-propeller perhaps being the most significant innovation.
The DF350A’s dual propellers provide three key benefits, compact size, increased stability and greater grip in the water.
By distributing the power of the engine over six blades, instead of just three, the size of the gears and gearcase could be kept to a minimum, which in turn allowed for the design of a sleeker, more hydrodynamic gearcase.
Suzuki engineers spent many hours in computer simulation and on the water, knowing that reducing drag underwater would be essential to improving overall boat speed and performance.
Contra-rotating propellers also provide added surface area, for more stability and increased ‘traction’ or grip underwater. This results in exceptional acceleration, or hole-shot, truer directional propulsion (eliminating steering torque) plus outstanding top speeds. Importantly, these benefits are apparent even on heavier boats with full loads of fuel, gear and people.
Daisuke Kawatari, General Manager for Suzuki Motor Corporation’s European Liaison Office said, “We must congratulate Captain Davi on this amazing achievement. We are proud that he chose Suzuki outboards to power his boat and our colleagues around the world were happy to support him in his endeavor. This is a great endorsement to just how robust and reliable our outboard motors are.”