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Having a tanti

by John Curnow, Global Editor, Powerboat.World 3 Jul 2023 21:00 BST
Those bows. Pretty unmistakable - ILIAD 53S © John Curnow

First came across these bows at the recent Sanctuary International Cove Boat Show. They popped up again just a few days ago at Hervey Bay. Obviously, there's the super fine entry, with the stepped chine that serves brilliantly as a spray rail, and this also allows for the kind of internal volume needed to be a powercat. Now they all belong the to the very new - and as it stands for now, one of a kind - ILIAD 53S.

Big thing to note back then was that the name was not on the proud prows like it is now. I kind of loved it. I mean who doesn't have one, even now? Kids get away with it. Well, sort of. But adults? We're meant to be above that sort of thing. I'll just go and have a chat with that bloke in the mirror... Still. I loved it. Like just whom is going to see or hear you have one at sea. Not many. Then too, it could be the old answer to the rhetorical question. Boats are meant to be about chill, chill, chill, and hence this is new ILIAD powercat is the antidote.

Other big thing to note was that Hervey Bay was a mere stop on her something in the order of 5000nm journey home to Perth, via the Top End no less, from her commissioning base on Queensland's Gold Coast. Also, could not help noticing the short, sturdy game fish rods in holders on each hip, nor the gold bling-a-rama reels that looked like Shimano Tiagras, at the base of them.

Serious tuna and Spaniard hunting going on there me thinks. And this was the point. It got me back onto boats, for cruising at 8-12 knots are perfect trolling speeds depending on your target species.

Anyway, it is no secret that I have become more and more of a fan of single level boating as time has gone by, and boy has it what! Both the sedan and flying bridge concepts have merits, and this is not the paper to be going into that.

What I liked here with the ILIAD 53S was that there was good vision, which the well for'ard position helped afford by getting you up an over those high stems, but moreover, it was the expansive cruising lounge that meant all and sundry on board could interact with the helmer, should they so choose.

Conviviality was a word that came to mind when pondering her interior and living spaces. Equally, her reduced profile certainly pruned back any block of flats question right to the node, but there are two very important benefits to being vertically challenged, as it were in the powercat world.

The first is air draft overall. Perth has bridges, and is also situated up the Swan River right past a few of said crossings. Sedan works. Whereas full tuna tower is more like not in your wildest dreams. The next item is windage. Australia does have wind. Be hard not to produce the kinds of sailors we over the years without it.

People in Perth go to Rottnest Island a lot. The Indian Ocean can pick up, especially for the return, and presenting less profile to a stiff 25 knots means the catamaran's hulls can do even more to deliver a smoother ride. A pair of 440 horses pushing 24 metric tonnes (lightship) means you will be brisk, but never express, so a good ride is critical to the overall experience.

Now ILIADs are never about outright pace. The key item is cruising efficiency, and I have to say the supreme level of standard on board amenity. Just look at the opening about where we discuss the overall journey Tantrum is undertaking, and then take in the pics. Are you with me?

So here it is. Her total bunkering of 3500 litres makes for 3150l usable (10% reserve), and seven knots equates to very miserly 8.5lph combined, for a range of 2600nm. Boom. Right there. At 18 knots, the ILIAD 53S burns an equally impressive 135lph that equates to 450nm. That's Sydney to Hobart, or Gold Coast to Whitsundays in something like 24 hours of steaming. Weather dependant, of course. If you have your Centurion with you then you won't even have to top the card up when you give the tanks a splash.

For what it is worth, it would look like 21 knots is your sprint pace at WOT depending on load and sea state, naturally.

So then, what about this 'standard level of amenity'? Well it is always good to talk about boats with the right gear. Some you see, and others you don't. The important bits on ILIADs, like hulls and structural bulkheads, are made with high density foam in GRP sandwich which is infused with vinylester. Sounds good, and is code for tough, durable (over the journey), uniform, reasonably quiet, and light as possible. The fresh, grey, black, and fuel tanks are all made with 5052 Marine Aluminium.

You get A/C, bow thruster, fire suppression, cameras, deck wash, solar, inverter, lithium house batteries, LED lighting, autopilot, radar, 16" screen, AIS, fishfinder, all the exterior brightwork from swim ladder to tender stowage, freshwater hot and cold shower on the swim platform... (take a breath now)... underwater lighting, BBQ, the Bessenzoni helm seat, TV, fridge/freezer, washer/dryer, dishwasher, and basically, pretty much as you see it in these pics.

I'd say it will be a while before I can get back on board this particular one, but never fear. Soon the new ILIAD 53F will be upon us, and we could get an extended go with that one. Book your viewing now to avoid disappointment at the impending Sydney international Boat Show.

OK. Today you will find that the website has an abundance of material from right across the globe, and if you cannot find something, just try the search button right up the top of the landing page, above our logo. If you cannot find what you want or wish to want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Finally. Please look after yourselves.

John Curnow
Global Editor, Powerboat.World

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