|Tube Diameter||0.58m stern|
| Weight (dry)||800kg|
|Max HP||230hp single|
|Price (basic)||Lit 35,000,000 (based on 2708 Lit = £1) £12,925|
| (with GRP bow structure and windlass)||Lit 39,000,000 - £14,586|
|The latest creation from Milan based Stingher, namely their all new 686 XS, is as much a statement about innovative design as it is about good old down to earth performance. |
When seen for the first time at Genoa 96, owner and designer Giuseppe Risolo astonished everyone with his radical departure from traditional styling, even drawing upon space age influences, it appeared, in order to fashion the console of the 686 XS.
Utilising his substantial 15 years worth of experience in the RIB building industry, Giuseppe has concentrated his efforts on designing a craft that not only looks good in the marina, but also ensures a serious ride when given it's out on the water.
The 686's overall appearance is very streamline due to the longitudinal cut and taper of the sponsons, which help from an aesthetic point of view, to counter balance the fullness of the design aft where the massive roll bar and stern seating are located. In addition, the sponson cones, being slightly pronounced, end just short of the motor body, thus accentuating the craft’s modern lines even more.
On deck, the 686 is equipped with such items as an onboard shower; neatly located under the stern seating unit, this item is linked to a good sized fresh water reservoir. The deck moulding itself features several built in lockers which are accessed by hinged covers. Also, it's good to see that plenty of anchorage points and cleats have been fitted, both of which are essential for securing kit especially when cruising.
The deck itself continues aft with two small side platforms forming a protective sleeve over each of the tubes. Below these the bathing platform creates a sensible working deck space for access to the engine or for the purposes of boarding. Ahead of the drainage well, the upholstered seating unit is backed by a moulded GRP backrest where access to the fuel and water tanks can be gained. As expected, all deck surfaces are self draining with good scupper capability.
Moving ahead now to the bow, the boat tested this day sported the optional moulded GRP forecastle. This unit, if required, comes complete with stainless steel pulpit, a large locker for anchor and chain, plus an electric windlass, something I found not convenient but surely functional.
As already mentioned, the helm console is very striking in terms of its futuristic design. Its globe like structure complete with fume methacrylate wraparound screen, although very different and functional, it probably won't appeal to all tastes though.
The high performance hull of the 686XS is of a `deep vee' design possessing two spray rails which extend to the bow. All elements of the hull are hand laid using tip top quality materials that ensure a very strong end product. The overall finish to the glassfibre gel coat construction is, I have to say, pretty near faultless.
A RIB would not be a RIB if it were not for the all important inflatable bit, so what about the set on this boat? You'll note that the photographs reveal that the tubes are tapered, varying from 59cm in diameter to 45 cm. Constructed in Pennel Flippo rubber fabric with Trevire cloth support, of a density of 1670 den. (1750 dtex.) the material is covered with neoprene on the inside and a well proven neoprene/hypalon combination to the outside face. Rubber straking, swell handles, and geometric patches provide the finishing touches with, of course, a variety of colour schemes to choose from. A total of 6 separate chambers provide plenty of reserve buoyancy in the event of a puncture, whilst the addition of pressure compensation diaphragms and bridgeport valves, ensures a high degree of trouble free operation.
Swinging a 19" prop, the 150hp Mercury outboard seemed well suited to this particular craft. With three persons up and with fuel tanks at 50% capacity, she got onto the plane in 4 seconds. At 3000 rpm she made good 13 knots and at 5400 rpm, 40 knots. In the lumpy sea off Genoa she appeared to handle in a well balanced fashion with little sign of pitch or roll. She gave a nice dry ride too and kept good contact with the water. I particularly liked her preciseness and the way she handled when coming sharp about. Lateral spray was minimal and her stern wake ran flat and true.
Maximum recommended horsepower for the 686 XS is a 230hp single engine installation. (A little on the ambitious side I feel for a craft of this size, but that's what the manufacturer states and who am I to argue?)
In conclusion then, I would sum her up as being a pretty desirable boat, maybe not one that would appeal to everyone, but a RIB that would certainly catch the eye of the serious cruiser who places importance on being just that little bit different.
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