Charter Yacht Rodman 41

8 мая 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
Rodman 41

Charter Yacht Rodman 41- 3 cabin motor yacht — Izola, Slovenia

Charter Yacht Rodman 41- 3 cabin motor yacht — Izola, Slovenia — Description:

The R41 offers an exceptional sailing performance, thanks to the superbly nautical design of the hull, which ensures lower fuel consumption, greater range, less vibration and noise and greater comfort.

On this side of the Atlantic we are obsessed with the number of cabins. US boat buyers may be happy to pay for 50-footers with only a pair of sleeping cabins, but we invariably want more.

Occasionally, European boatbuilders have had the guts to go against the flow. Fairline, for instance, displayed their two-cabin Squadron 52 to a startled public at the 1998 Earls Court boat show. Potential buyers not only had to wrestle with the idea of one less cabin than normal, they also had radical styling and an unworkable saloon to contemplate. The saloon was redesigned, but it probably dampened people’s appreciation of the twin-cabin concept and an otherwise fine boat.

It’s fair to say that there is a consensus among European flybridge boatbuilders: below 40ft (12m) you get two cabins and a single heads; another 5ft (1.5m) means a second heads; above 45ft (14m) an extra cabin appears. If it doesn’t, salesmen find themselves fielding the question that if Brand X’s boat has three cabins, why hasn’t theirs? But although builders dabble with cabin removal from time to time, I’ve not come across one prepared to squeeze three cabins and two heads into a flybridge boat less than 40ft long. Until Spanish builder Rodman produced their 41 Crucero.

Accommodation

So how do they do it? Two aspects of the design combine to give the boat a few extra inches here and there. The first is the raised sportfishing-style sheer; the second is the more upright form of the comparatively traditional styling. These are just enough to allow Rodman to raise the customarily sunken galley to the point where they can find room for an under-the-galley twin, supplementing the usual under-the-helm cabin.

The 41’s bunk-beds may not appeal to everybody. But even if you opted to spend another Ј70,000 on the TAMD74P-powered tri-cabin Princess 45, or an extra Ј130,000 on Fairline’s Phantom 46, you’d find third cabins that only offer bunk-beds, and in much smaller compartments, no longer than the berths. To get the benefit of the classic centreline double, mirror-image twin, you would ordinarily have to spend Ј400,000-plus on a 50-footer.

Compromises on the Rodman 41 are surprisingly few and minor, considering the size of the boat. There are three you might ponder. All five berths are a good size, but the steps intrude over one of the starboard cabin berths, reducing its effective length to 5ft 6in (1.68m). Secondly, storage in the bunk-bed cabin is limited to a small bedside locker and a single hanging locker. However, it would not be difficult for Rodman to fabricate a sliding base, which extended the lower single berth into a double, reducing floor space but freeing the upper bunk for stowage.

The most noticeable sacrifice is the feeling of space inside the saloon. Raising the galley inevitably closes this area in, especially with the useful overhead storage unit truncating the view through the galley. On the plus side, the galley-up arrangement provides a great view out for the cook, more fresh air thanks to a pair of electric windows (one right above the countertop), and the bonus of a 4ft-wide (1.2m) Corian-topped chart table right next to the helm – one that’s easier to use under way than the typical small offering on the dash.

Inside the 41, Rodman tread their own path, rather than seeking to emulate the sleek sophistication of the glamorous mainstream builders. They make use of the ubiquitous high-gloss American cherry, but the contrasting trim is unconventional – muted lemon in the saloon and hard-wearing green linings in the cabins. Rodman’s commercial and military boatbuilding background shows in the practical details: stainless cappings on the steps, a single-piece moulded fibreglass ceiling in the saloon, and the heavy table that is, for once, bolted safely to the saloon floor.

This good, practical detailing needs extending in places. There were useful fiddles inside the lockers in the heads, but the doors sprung open during the test because there were no catches. And although the stowage under the saloon seats is sensibly moulded as a single large void, it’s not quite well-finished enough to chuck clothes into without protecting them with something first. Rodman fit potent lighting around the deck, in the forward cabin and the heads, but only a single overhead halogen inside the gloomy twin cabins, and none inside the hanging lockers. And how do small kids, who are not known for their urinary accuracy in the light let alone the dark, reach the overhead light switches in the toilets?

Cooks will be happy with their lot. Along with the views and the fresh air, there’s plenty of countertop, albeit unfiddled. Tucked in the corner, the single sink is awkward to use, but its position maximises stowage space. Rodman’s large tailored crockery and cutlery drawer under the front screens relieves the pressure on the two lockers, and when these are full there are still five deep drawers, an eye-level locker and microwave unit, and a drinks cabinet in the nib of the galley.

There’s enough saloon seating to cope with the six adults that the 41 can accommodate – four around the fixed crescent, and another pair on the loose stools. However, with its corners rounded off, the table could easily overflow at meal times, and a larger folding affair would be better for those who plan to take advantage of the 41’s good galley rather than the local restaurants.


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On deck

Ah, the joys of using a huge bathing platform unencumbered by the topsides swooping aft and closing off the sides! Boarding from a pontoon is so much easier, something that can be priceless when you are mooring in difficult conditions. And with 4ft 7in (1.40m) of teak laid platform to play with and no obstructive ends, extra-large tenders and toys can be carried. There’s good detailing here too, like the two pairs of inset handholds around the edge, invaluable for hanging on and tying ropes to when you come alongside in a tender. There’s a large fender-sized locker fitted with powerful gas struts – drained, of course, but still benefiting from a rubber seal to keep the water out and stop rattles. And every deck hatch can be padlocked.

Moving around the 41 is straightforward – the optional teak in the aft cockpit and on the flybridge steps ensures you won’t slip up, handrails provide you with plenty to grab hold of, and low-level lighting helps you find your way around the deck when it’s dark. A large U-shaped flybridge seating area ensures that all six crew could sit around the small optional table, although the seat-back cushions are far too low, leaving the stainless rails digging uncomfortably into the spine.a chunky 30mm diameter, which is bigger than normal, but the bases have little support under the deck, so it’s easy to wiggle the rails around. And the flybridge screens were flimsy. Both these things need beefing up or they will eventually work loose.

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Driving the Rodman 41 Crucero

The Rodman is a nippy boat. Fitted with the 430hp 74L diesels, it achieved 32.5 knots in cool, calm conditions. However, at only Ј4,600 extra, I’d find it impossible to resist Volvo’s latest generation engine, the more powerful 480hp TAMD74P, which should provide another two knots and a relaxed 30-knot cruising speed with less engine noise. Volvo’s consumption figures and my experience with the 74Ps suggest that the larger engines won’t cost more pounds per mile.

Underneath the water, the 41 is a different shape to the Olesinski-designed Fairlines and Princesses. It has tunnels, but it also sports a small keel, finer sections at the bow and flatter sections aft. Even in the calm conditions we had during our test, it’s easy to feel the difference on the water: the keel and the flatter sections mean it turns with just a slight inward lean. The 41 steers very quickly and precisely, although it takes a lot of effort. Rodman are thinking about increasing the number of turns to decrease the exertion, but with six turns lock-to-lock already, power steering would be a useful option for those as muscularly challenged as me.

Rodman have put a lot of effort into providing two good helm positions with clear dash layouts, excellent visibility and big, legible compasses. Headroom inside is surprisingly good at 5ft 10in (1.78m) and the interior dash sports a simple flat, wide panel, ideal for adding all sorts of electronic paraphernalia. There’s an oddments tray and a 12V cigarette-lighter socket for powering a mobile phone or a GPS. But to this promising set-up Rodman have added a pair of fixed helm seats. The flybridge seat is perfect for lower-limb amputees, whereas the inside helm was modelled using a 7ft orang-utan. If fixed seats worked for driving, you can be sure that the bean counters at Ford, Fiat and elsewhere would have been using them since the Model T.

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Engineering and construction

There are clear echoes of Rodman’s commercial-boat heritage in the engineroom with vertical stainless handrails, rubber treads on the steps, and an ultra-simple fuel balance and tank-selector system. Leaving the water tanks and the calorifier in the lazarette has left the engine room unobstructed, with good access to the large, clear bowls on the Racal fuel filters, and the raw-water strainers and seacocks. The oil and water are easy to check, and there’s enough space above the engines to do the topping up if necessary.

For this size and speed of boat, Rodman’s construction is on the sturdy side, especially the weight of the topside laminates, and boats are always stiffer and stronger with a keel beefing up the bottom. The reason that all the hatches are so heavy is the thickness of the teak. I’ve seen teak as thin as 5mm on well-known powerboats – Rodman use expensive 15mm planks, which means a sturdier construction and a much longer life.

The guardrails are a chunky 30mm diameter, which is bigger than normal, but the bases have little support under the deck, so it’s easy to wiggle the rails around. And the flybridge screens were flimsy. Both these things need beefing up or they will eventually work loose.

Rodman 41

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Trim tabs and tenderness

Rodman fit large, wide, slow-acting trim tabs – an interminable 15 seconds from full-up to full-down. However, the wait is largely academic, because the 41 doesn’t like to be tabbed. It becomes more tender and, although it’s hard to quantify, the boat just doesn’t feel right. Rodman have found that their 1250 (shown here) – a walkaround design based on exactly the same hull – works fine without trim tabs, and I think their 41 would too. The deep, fine bow sections will reduce the need to tab the bow down going upwind in rough conditions. And with the keel and the fine sections increasing the directional stability, the boat should heel less in a cross-wind (more directional stability means less corrective helm to maintain course, less side slip and turning, and less heeling) so there will be less need for the trim tabs here as well.

Another area where slight tenderness was evident was crossing the wake of the Fairline Phantom 50 photo boat. It’s not marked – MBY photographer Lester McCarthy didn’t notice anything at all – and it’s not a problem, just a matter of degree. I initially put this down to the Rodman’s height and a corresponding rise in the centre of gravity, bolstered by the weight of the raised galley. In fact, the height was illusory – a function of the 41’s upright styling. Wandering around the marina with a tape measure, I discovered that the overall dimensions (length, beam, height, bulk) of the Rodman 41 are very similar to Fairline’s Phantom 43. However, like a lot of today’s 35ft-plus flybridge boats, the Phantom’s hull extends to the back of the bathing platform, whereas the Rodman 41’s platform overhangs by 4ft (1.2m), reducing the run of the hull by about 12%. Tenderness is difficult to quantify, but I feel that around 12% more than the Phantom 43 is a fair approximation.

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Verdict

All of Rodman’s design dexterity would have been wasted if the unusual tri-cabin, twin-heads layout on the 41 had been crucially compromised. It is not at all, and for a 40-footer, the cabins and the heads are neither cramped nor unworkable. This is a remarkable achievement. Remarkable because it is a

forbidding task to produce something that is fundamentally different without dishing up a significant concession in return.

Rodman’s 41 is not without fault – most noticeably the laughable helm ergonomics. There are also some small details to sort out, like the door catches, the lighting and the flybridge seat-backs. However, the 41 has more to offer than just its three cabins, such as its robust build and business-like engineering installation, superior bathing platform, and its good top speed. Decor is a subjective thing, of course, but the 41 is a refreshing change from the glitz and glamour of the majors. I found its more muted finish easier to live with; it’s something that you might be less concerned about scuffing or scratching.

There’s no doubt that the 41’s biggest draw will be its third cabin. Even if you don’t plan to cruise regularly with six on board, it can be invaluable – for two older children who need their privacy, for single guests who don’t intend to get too familiar with each other, or for boozy gatherings where you no longer care who or what you sleep on, as long as you don’t have to conduct another search for your car keys. If you want all this, but don’t want to part with more than between Ј200,000 to Ј230,000, I’m not aware of a better alternative.

RATES:

HIGH SEASON (from 1.6 to 30.6) / (from 1.9 to 30.9)

Price: 7900 EUR per week

TOP SEASON (from 1.7 to 31.8)

Price: 8900 EUR per week

Amenities and Toys . GPS, Entertainment System, Snorkelling Gear

Rodman 41
Rodman 41
Rodman 41
Rodman 41
Rodman 41
Rodman 41
Rodman 41
Rodman 41
Rodman 41
Rodman 41

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