Greg Copp reveals how Rodman take a step into the small boat sector with the debut of the typically tough, no-nonsense Ventura.
Rodman’s new Ventura 690CC is a totally new concept for this Spanish company. Long established in the field of middleweight cruisers, motor yachts, fishing boats and tough commercial craft, the launch of a 7.7m open day boat seems very much ‘off the menu’. It is the first in a new range of outboard-powered boats from 6m to 8m, which will come in open, forward cabin and hardtop versions.
However, it still appears to be very Rodman. Its topsides are higher than most boats of its size, and the console is sensibly tall, and wide enough to provide a credible degree of weather protection. On board you will find two distinct areas – the aft cockpit and the forward bow section. The cockpit has a rear seat option in the form of an L-shaped bench/sofa, which can be completed with a side module and a table. The helm and navigator seats can swivel round to provide seating for five around the table. There is also the option of covering this area with an extendable bimini-type sun canopy. In the bow section, this boat offers a second seating area, which can be equipped with cushions and another table. Should you wish, you can turn the entire bow section into a big sunbed, courtesy of an infill. From a social perspective, this forward area is the place to be, and it can also be covered with a sun canopy, while the blunt bow provides enough width for a wide anchor locker.
This boat also excels at what you can’t see. The console door provides access to what can be described as a console cabin. This large storage area extends under the foredeck, and in standard form it is not fitted with anything bar a wooden floor. However, there is the option of a chemical toilet, and should you want it, RBS Marine, UK Rodman agents, can retrofit a sea toilet, or a toilet with a holding tank. On this last point, the storage beneath the cockpit is vast, with the fuel tank taking up a fraction of the space available, so fitting a holding tank poses no issues.
In terms of performance, this boat is claimed to have a top speed of 40 knots with the 200hp V6 Mercury FourStroke engine option. Alternatively, you can choose between a 175hp and a 150hp Mercury FourStroke. RBS Marine, when testing a 690CC, found that the boat returned 4.1nmpg at 3500rpm, with the boat running at 22 knots. At 26 knots, efficiency decreased to 3.6nmpg at 4300rpm. These fuel figures are pretty reasonable and make a good case for the more leisurely engine speed of the 200hp Mercury over the 175hp and 150hp options.
The options list is quite extensive, not so much because you get the boat in a very basic naked form, but because there is a fair degree of choice for a boat this size. Foamed teak decking at £1,500 is always going to be a favourite, but some people may find it odd to fork out £1,700 for a pair of bathing platforms. That said, the basic cost of £53,000 (plus VAT) for the 200hp-powered version makes a good case over a RIB with a six-figure price tag.
- LOA: 7.74m
- Beam: 2.55m
- Draught: 0.4m
- Engines: 150hp, 175hp and 200hp Mercury outboards
- Fuel capacity: 200L
- Water capacity: 77L
- Top speed: 40 knots with 200hp Mercury V6 outboard (claimed)