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that the boat model described in this article could be no more available and its price, if indicated, could be outdated as it refers to the Nautica Magazine paper issue

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 Roberto Moneda


Moderating the aggressiveness and the racing spirit of the flag- ship "Adrenalin 50', the "Off Course" boatyard introduced in 1996 a new "open" off-shore yacht, the Top Runner 45. This is a fast commuter, just slightly under 14 metres Length Over All, showing a peculiar line and surprising interior space capacity. We tested this craft on a bright sunny day in the Golfo del Tigullio, a unique occasion to test her sea qualities and the interior characteristics.

Fitted with two powerful 435HP turbo diesel Caterpillar inboard engines, the Top Runner 45 reached top speed of about 40 knots with four people on board, quite a remarkable and exciting performance, especially due to her sea worthiness and to the extreme easiness of steering . At about 200 rpm, the Top Runner 45 reached an average speed of 32 knots, quite a considerable cruising speed, which allows fast crossings with reasonably low fuel consumption. Moreover, the deep "V" shape of the hull induce great smoothness qualities, which is a further "plus" of this craft as far as passenger comfort is concerned.

The same standard of comfort can be found below decks, an elegant atmosphere perfectly balanced between the elegance of the lacquered woods and the natural leathers of the upholstery, and the privilege of large open spaces: something which is very evident in the comfortable forecabin, whose en-suite heads ranks among the brightest and well-ergonomically designed ever seen nowadays in yachts of this size.


Yacht designer: Off Course
Builder: Off Course, via Stradivari, 4 - 20131 Milano - Tel +39 2 29406549, +39 337 200715 - fax +39 2 2047784
Fully cleared for offshore navigation
VAT: 20%
Yearly licence: L. 1.033.500
Length overall: 13,70 metres
Maximum beam: 3,90 metres
Building height: approx. 1,80 m.
Draft below propellers: 1,00 metre
Full load displacement: approx. 10 ton.
Maximum allowable load: 12 people
Total number of berths: 6 in 3 cabins
Engines: 2x435 HP Caterpillar 3208 TAS
Total power: 870 HP
Total fiscal power: 122 HP
Total weight with gear box: 1.886 kg.
Empty load displacement/installed engine power ratio: 11,49
Transmission: shaft drive
Maximum speed: 39 knots
Cruising speed: 32 knots
Fuel consumption at cruising speed: approx. 95 litres/hour
Operating range at cruising speed: approx.400 miles
Fuel tank capacity: 1.200 litres
Water tank capacity: 400 litres
Price: with standard specification and engines: L. 590.000.000 + VAT.


Hull: prominent "V" with longitudinal strakes
Construction and structures: hand stratified fibreglass, reinforced with balsa wood and composite (kevlar on request), well-dimensioned roll-bar, leaning towards the bow
Deck: moulded in fibreglass, semi-enclosed overhanging aft deck, lateral passage from the platform to the cockpit, aft sundeck, "L" shaped settee in the cockpit, deck basin and fridge, risen steering position; the deck can be reached through lateral passageways
Foredeck: anchor windlass, anchor well, chain locker, low longitudinal stainless steel handrail running alongside the deck, three wide hatches
Cockpit: aft passage with hatch to starboard, deck fibreglass basin with fridge, anti-skidding deck, settee in the middle of the cockpit with a folding table, spacious aft sundeck.
Aft deck: wide and partially integrated, large stern lazarette for storing the pram; aft shower, folding swim-ladder.


Layout and specifications: central access to below decks; starboard access to the living room with a large semi-circular settee in blue natural leather. En-suite heads to port, close to the galley area, with folding worktop. Guest cabin aft, with access from starboard, right in front of the heads. It is a twin berth cabin, with standing room for half of its length. Beyond the living room there is the entrance to the spacious owner's forecabin, with central double berth, vanity corner, large hanging lockers and private access to en-suite heads with two well-dimensioned portholes.
Steering position: to starbord, on deck; the instrument panel is lined with blue synthetic fabric. Double steering position with single throttle controls and automobile-like steering wheel.
Galley: to port, with folding worktop in blue lacquered material and burr-finished shutters. Two port-holes on the galley wall, large marine fridge and oven.


Standard equipment: electrical windlass, electrically-hydraulically operated flaps, log, eco-sounder with alarm, VHF, navigation lights, cocktail cabinet in the cockpit with fridge, hot and cold water aft deck shower, shore power (several other equipment, as per specific list)
Optional equipment upon request


Wind: nil
Seas: calm

Time to plane from standstill: 7,2 sec
Minimum planing rpm and speed: 1.800rpm, 18 knots
Maximum speed: 39,8 knots at HP 870 and 2.850 rpm


Sea quality: excellent in every condition; good trim and sensitive to flap action
Helm response, trim and flap: clean and smooth under every point of navigation
Visibility in different conditions: good, even when seated. The foredeck is permanently in sight and one gets easily accustomed to the dimensions.
Docking manoeuvrability: the single lever power/gearbox is simple and very functional. The anchor windlass is very useful.


Deck: not easily accessible because of the narrow passageways; however it is covered with good-grip anti-skid and secured by two lateral handrails
Interior: the standard of finishing up and the quality of fabrics and materials are slightly over the average. Natural leather, lacquered woods and quality upholstery are used everywhere below decks. The look is slightly impersonal, but the semi-circular leather settee in the living room is very comfortable. Unobtrusive and functional galley furniture. The double-berth aft cabin is spacious and sufficiently spacious. The owner's head is placed at right angles to the hull centre line, in the middle of the yacht. It is roomy, finished in single coloured lacquered wood and is bathed in light and air. Elegant forecabin with several interesting solutions to maximise space.
Passenger comfort: high, both on and below decks. Interior ergonomically designed, spacious and comfortable.
Steering position and comfort: steering position on the cockpit, to starboard, with a wide windshield connected to the roll-bar . "Traditional" control panel fitted with all instrument controls and the main navigational instruments. Double steering settee with padded seat back
Chart table: adjacent to the instrument panel or below decks.
Galley area: below decks, it spreads out on port side, equipped with all electric kitchenware needed on board
Heads: two separate heads, one accessible sideways of the living room area; the owner's heads can be accessed directly from the forecabin
Accessibility and functionality of the engine compartment: excellent, due to the hydraulically lifting sundeck.
Electrical equipment panel: below decks, in the galley area, with well conspicuous functional buttons. Instrument repeaters on the steering position.

The level of interior finishing. The spaciousness of both cabins. The ample room and brightness of the owner's heads. The excellent performance in navigation and the yacht's seaworthiness.
The access to the foredeck, which is made more difficult by the too-narrow lateral passageways; and the accessibility from the cockpit, made more difficult by the roll-bar. The steering position is a little bit too "anonymous" and "cheap".