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Article selected from thousand boat trials performed by Nautica in nearly 50 years

Navigation trials

Please remember that the boat model described in this article could be no more available and its price, if indicated, could be outdated as it refers to the Nautica Magazine paper issue

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Text and photographs by Antonio Bignami


Arimar Pioneer 540

Arimar is a primary manufacturer of safety equipment and, few years ago, it applied the technology and technical expertise used in the project and production of self-inflating life rafts to produce inflatables. Nowadays, the range includes, among other models, the Pioneer series: elegant and reliable inflatables with GRP hull. The Pioneer series spans from the 400 to the 540, which we tested at sea. The Pioneer 540 is extremely maneuverable, very fast and, like all Pioneer inflatables, is in DTEX 2200 the strongest material for leisure inflatables.

Arimar Pioneer 540 The tubes are designed and built with the so-called "organ-pipe" compartments. We liked some of the boat's rational solutions: the anchor locker may be opened without removing the forward sunning cushions which are attached to the flooring. Inside the forward locker of the cushioned area there is a special fitting for the life buoy; in the same way, the folded swimming ladder is fitted under the pilot and co-pilot settee. The cushions may be moved forward or aft over this settee for different applications. The swimming ladder may be unfolded and fixed to one of the two base supports of the roll bar, on one side of the inflatable, in order to avoid dangerous contact of the swimmers' feet with the engine leg and/or propeller. We tested the Arimar Pioneer 540 with the maximum power for registration and testing reasons, but the ideal power is approx. 70 hp (maximum speed of 37/38 knots and cruising speed of 30 knots with a fuel consumption of approx. 6 gall/hr). If you are looking for an excellent price/consumption ratio with maximum performance, the Pioneer 540 offers dry rides, excellent trim, perfect maneuverability with a 40 hp outboard engine (maximum speed of 27 knots and fuel consumption at cruising speed of approx. 3 gall/hr!


Designer: Andrea Orselli/Arimar
Yard: Arimar (Inflatables department), Via Beneficio, 2° tronco, 57/a, 48015 Montaletto di Cervia (Ravenna, Italy), tel. +39-0544-965466, fax +39-0544-965571
Italian VAT: 20%
Length: 17'8"
Beam: 8'
Inside length: 14'9"
Inside beam: 3'11"
Tube diameter: 1'4"/1'11"
Compartments: 5
Maximum power: 120 hp (suggested: 70 hp)
Light displacement: 574 lbs.
Maximum passengers capacity: 9
Power: 115 SX OR Johnson outboard
Total engine weight: 115 lbs.
Maximum declared speed: 42 knots
Declared fuel consumption at cruising speed(36 knots): 6.6 gall/hr
Road transportation: on small trailer
Launching and recovery: with trailer
Price with standard fittings (LX version): Lit. 16,000,000 ex VAT (12,000,000 ex VAT simple version)
Construction material: Trevira 2200 DTEX covered by a mixture of plastic polymers
Hull: SVM type (monohedric hull with three planing surfaces)
Standard fittings: forward locker, oars, inflating pump, aft locker, settee cushion, anchor locker
Standard fittings of LX version: full helm station with steering wheel, single-wire transmission, stainless steel grabrails, two lockers, settee for two passengers, sunning cushioning, swimming ladder, roll bar, inflatable cover, pilot settee with cushions.


Wind: none
Sea: calm

Time needed to reach planing speed: 3 seconds
Maximum speed at 5,000 rpm's: 42.8 knots
Cruising speed at 3,500 rpm's: 35.8 knots
Crash time with reduction gears: 7 seconds


Construction material and fittings: the Trevira 2200 DT EX confers excellent reliability and safety. The materials and assembly technology of the inner components are excellent
Lockers: there are 3 lockers under the forward sunning area and 1 under the pilot settee
Deck materials and characteristics: notwithstanding the average size, the boat is comfortable and safe.