Stunning and decadent, this 43ft maxi RIB is a driver’s delight.
Big RIB design is often driven by the need to provide a level of features that outpaces the competition. In this department, the ZAR 130 is clearly a front runner insomuch as it ticks as many boxes as lots of 43ft sports cruisers. That said, it is still a RIB, not a hardboat with token sponsons. The distinctive raised and flared ZAR bow hints at this boat’s big sea abilities. With ZAR’s ‘revolutionary’ triple-stepped deep-vee hull, and 1200hp on the transom, this is a vessel that should make for an adrenaline-fuelled drive.
With its twin 600hp Mercury V12 Verado outboards, the Imagine 130 still retains a spacious bathing platform. The bonus of not having sterndrive engines is that the aft area forward of the transom is occupied by a generous tender garage – something that few, if any, 43ft RIBs offer. Surprisingly, a second level below the garage provides an area for the optional generator, air conditioning and water heater, should you choose them. Considering this boat’s stay-aboard qualities, these options are a likely choice.
The cockpit area is vast for a 43-footer.
A commanding Helm
The galley can be fitted with a big 120L fridge-freezer.
What is distinctive in terms of cockpit layout is that the dining/seating area sits separate to the twin double sun pads, without either compromising the other. For those wanting more secluded sunbathing, a short clamber out of the cockpit takes you to a very large and enclosed sunbed arrangement, which sits over the entire forward cabin coachroof. Should you need to, this area can be configured to provide a dining table.
The helm is the cockpit showpiece. Raised triple seating complete with flip-up bolsters provides commanding views, and helmsman and navigator are faced with a wide range of technology to keep them occupied. Twin 17in Garmin MFDs dominate the dash, so everything you need to know, from domestic power to speed and fuel burn, is easily seen. Forward of the throttles sits the optional bow thruster control and Mercury joystick. Behind the helm seats lies the big wet bar, whose 90L standard-fitment fridge can be upgraded to 120L. Cooking is served by an electric induction hob. Sensibly, ZAR also fit a 90L fridge below – essential for morning coffee making.
Below decks, the accommodation comprises two double cabins, with a heads and morning galley area between, into which the companionway steps descend. ZAR have not failed to appreciate the need for a sensibly sized heads compartment, with full standing headroom, and a separate shower compartment. The master cabin lies forward, with storage cupboards to port, and full standing headroom aft of the large double bed. The guest cabin is sited under the cockpit sole, and though it is large in size – stretching across the beam – not surprisingly there is no standing headroom, and the bed is at floor level. Storage consists of compartments sitting above and either side of the bed.
A good-sized heads, with a separate shower as well.
The guest cabin is at floor level, but it is still large.
Two 17in MFDs tell you everything you need to know
We will probably not see too many ZAR Imagines in UK waters. This is not so much due to the presence of two 600hp outboards on the transom, but the fact that to fully enjoy this boat’s stay-aboard potential, you will want to use the cockpit galley on a regular basis and this boat is clearly built for warmer climates. However, as a Mediterranean boat, and with a starting price of £650,000 with twin V12 Verados, it stacks up well against similar-sized sports cruisers, with the exclusive attraction of 1200hp of petrol power.
The biggest production outboards are still lighter than two sterndrive engines.
- LOA: 13m
- Beam: 4.57m
- Tube diameter: 76cm
- Tube compartments: 8
- CE rating: B for 12
- Fuel capacity: 1200L
- Water capacity: 300L