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NAUTICA MAGAZINE
NAVIGATION TEST

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that the boat model described in this article could be no more available and its price, if indicated, could be outdated as it refers to the Nautica Magazine paper issue

For possible updated information on the model tested in this article and on all other models builded by this shipyard please search our YACHTING CATALOGUE

Text and photographs by Antonio Bignami


MARCHI VIRGOLA 33

Once in a while a real innovative boat is introduced on the international boating market. All innovative concept require, due to their own nature, a reasonable testing time; in our opinion every boater should consider unusual ideas because they can, sometimes, change and improve the way we all live at sea. The Virgola 33 is "the innovative boat of the year" without any doubt. This yard, managed by Ezio and Franco Marchi, has, on the other hand, introduced, recently, several innovative boats, preserving, however, that precious craftsmanship capability of which they are reasonably proud of . All we are trying to explain is that innovative concepts require new ideas and strong building capability, which are only ensured by a long tradition.

The Virgola 33 is a futuristic boat: a modern multihull which is capable of superior performances together with excellent docking capabilities usually found on single-hull boats and which will perfectly fit the standard marinas berths. The two side hulls, in fact, shift, with a simple operation which require just 5 to 10 minutes, till they lay completely alongside the main hull, thus reducing the max. beam from 8,35 to 3,50 meters. Sea trial were performed with moderate swell and a boring 15 knots E/SE wind.

The boat was, anyway, very interesting both under sail and under power achieving a remarkable comfort and low fuel consumption. The recovery operation of the two side hulls, has been performed in the marina harbor, displaying all its practicability: the operation took just 5 minutes. The Virgola 33 feature excellent accommodations as well. The steering wheel can be placed on the center of the cockpit or at its side as well thus improving the working space while a large stern cabin can be found below deck. Forward of it there is a practical convertible dinette followed by the galley and the V berth bow cabin with lockers.

The bathroom is spacious and ensure a convenient access from the bow cabin and the galley area as well. In conclusion, all the boat's innovative features compared with its overall dimensions, make of the Virgola 33 a perfect "boat of the year".

TECHNICAL DATA

Builder: F.lli Marchi; via Passo 124 30030 Campalto (VE) Italy; tel.: +39-41-900569
Project by: Berardo Cittadini
LOA: 10.0 mt
LWL: 9.71 mt
Hull length: 10.0 mt
Max. beam: 8.50 mt (open) ; 3.50 mt (closed)
Beam at WL: 8.35 mt
LWL to beam ratio: 0.8599
GRT: 2,9 tons
Max. draft: 2 mt (0.30 mt with keel up)
Wetted surface: 15.53 square meters
Prismatic coefficient: 0.6390
Relative displacement (displacement in grams / LWL in feet cubed): 117.95 (100 for ultra light constructions)
Full load displacement: 3000 kg
Mast: NACA foil section
height: 13 meters
Standing rigging: stainless steel
Sail area: Gennaker: 35.5 square meters; Main sail: 32.5 square meters
Total sail area: 54.5 square meters
Wetted surface to total sail area ratio: 0.28
Engine: Sail drive 10 hp - inboard
Displacement to installed horsepower ratio: 300
Top speed (declared and under power): 10 knots
Fuel capacity: 45 liters (the tank is placed underneath the cockpit sole)
Fresh water capacity: 135 liters (tank placed amidship)
Tested boat price: (VAT not included) 200.000.000 Lit.

CONSTRUCTION PARTICULARS

Construction material and details: fiberglass hull; sandwich construction on deck with Termanto and Carigel core materials; hull to deck joint with trough bolts and fiberglass bond; steering wheel with adjustable position

TRIAL RESULTS

SEA AND WEATHER CONDITIONS AT TRIAL TIME
wind: 15 knots E/SE
sea state: swell

PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
Visibility: excellent
Close hauled routes: excellent course steadiness
Cross wind routes: the boat is stable
Reaching routes: fast with excellent maneuverability
Seakeeping: excellent course steadiness and comfortable wave impact
Power navigation: excellent speed and quietness together with low fuel consumption. The engine installation is vibrations free
Docking capabilities: excellent, thanks to the impressive and practical retractable side hulls, reducing the max. beam from 8.0 meters to 3.50 meters.

COMFORT AND FUNCTIONALLY EVALUATION

Project: excellent hull design. Sail plan: well dimensioned and practical. Deck: easy to walk and well built. The non-skid surfaces should, anyway, be improved.
Construction: excellent building materials and finishing
Deck: sufficient comfort is provided by the side walkways. The non-skid surfaces should be improved. The handrails are well dimensioned and placed. The fore deck feature practical fittings. The chain locker provides the required space. The quality fairleads and cleats are well dimensioned.
Rigging: High quality mast. Stainless steel standing rigging. The practical sails are of the required quality
Running riggings and controls: The steering wheel is practical and feature an innovative two-position device which allows to improve the cockpit space. Excellent genoa furling system. 4 Lewmar winches. Two genoa tracks. Engine throttle. Navigational instruments including: compass, wind station, VHF, depth sounder and log.
Cockpit particulars: Overall dimension: 180x170 centimeters. Excellent comfort is provided in spite of the unusual boat design. The space is improved by the innovative two position steering console, while the steering comfort is always ensured. The cockpit is noise and vibration free even under power. Three lockers are provided. The life raft is placed in front of the mast.
Cabin entrance: comfortable and safe entrance is provided. Excellent watertightness.
Interiors: A 185 centimeters clearance is provided in the main saloon. The dinette is comfortable in spite of the limited space available. The table is 90x60 centimeters. Excellent ventilation is ensured by the two portholes and there are several lockers and storage spaces. The bow cabin has a 90 centimeters minimum clearance. The twin bed is 190x130. Two portholes provide light and ventilation. Several lockers and storage spaces are fitted. The aft cabins ensure a 180 clearance. The beds are 200x160 centimeters. Minimum bed clearance is 80 centimeters. two portholes. Several lockers and storage spaces are provided.
Galley: minimum clearance is 185 centimeters. Two sinks with pressurized fresh water. Two burners stove. Working top. 60 liters refrigerator. Several lockers. One porthole. The galley is practical and safe.
Bathroom: minimum clearance: 185 centimeters. Sink. Comfortable both at sea and at berth. 60x60 shower space. Telephone shower. Spacious lockers. One porthole.
Engine room space: excellent noise insulation. Practical access from the cockpit. Maintenance spaces are always ensured. Blower and natural ventilation are provided.
Electrical plant: 12 volts power plant with main electrical board in the saloon. 2x240 Ah batteries. Well dimensioned and placed fuel tank. Well placed water tank, we would appreciate a larger capacity anyway. Pressurized water plant. Two bilge pumps. Excellent owner's manual.

WHAT WE LIKED MOST
the two retractable side hull are really the most innovative idea we found on board, which is practical and smart. The excellent performances, both under sail and under power, have to be noticed.
WHAT WE LIKED LESS
the stern design which has been purposely shaped to keep the length over all above 10 meters (it is an advantage in some European countries). We will appreciate additional non-skid surfaces.