ZAR 130 Imagine is the muscular 50-knot maxi-Rib – TEST


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ZAR Imagine 130
ZAR Imagine 130

ZAR’s new flagship, paired with two 600-hp Mercury V8s, delivers big thrills, but also a good feeling of safety. We had a chance to test it under “real” conditions. Here’s how it went.

ZAR Imagine 130

It is a maxi rib over thirteen meters in length and absolutely true to the design philosophy of the Motta Visconti shipyard: indeed, it is not a traditional fiberglass boat, but neither is it a “normal” pneumatic boat.

It is, quite simply, a ZAR. What sets it apart is first of all having the first third, that of the bow jigs, rigid, fiberglass. Secondly, below the waterline the elaborate water lines drawn by Francesco Ambrosini (deep bow V, very pronounced leapfrog, three steps, and sustaining skids) do their job excellently. Finally, the design, entrusted to Carlos Vidal, is very clean, yet sophisticated. It closely recalls the world of superyachts.


The Zar flagship’s deck plan is extremely functional, and I particularly appreciated in the stern the beautiful design of the large aft sundeck (space for a 180-cm dinghy has been carved out below it, a plus that only this rib of 13 can boast) with the central teak passageway that creates a perfect connection between the bathroom area, the swim platforms on either side of the engines, and the cockpit. This is well protected from the sun by the carbon top and is equipped with a double table and sofa facing the kitchen, placed in the classic position behind the triple driver’s station.

I particularly liked the bow area where the choice to have the anchor retracted (it comes out of the foredeck) frees up a large living area with a sundeck/sofa oriented forward and a second settee that instead looks aft (note the solid handrails also well placed in this area).

We now come to the interior, where the queen space is definitely the large forward cabin that enjoys good heights and plenty of light. The bathroom is definitely voluminous, with a separate shower stall. The second cabin is separated by a sliding hatch and is aft under the cockpit.

Given the location, it is necessarily less spacious (especially in terms of height) than the forward one, but still habitable and perfect for younger crew members.

ZAR Imagine 130 – Test

A day certainly unsuitable for going out to sea, even if only to take a simple boat ride. Conditions, however, ideal for thoroughly testing the characteristics of a boat, and primarily its hull. That’s what I was able to do on a leaden Ligurian morning with a tense and annoying sirocco lifting about five feet of wave testing Zar Formenti’s flagship, the Imagine 130. At the stern a pair of 600-hp Mercury V12s. In such challenging conditions, I was immediately able to appreciate the excellent design of the windshield and carbon T-Top that protect not only those at the controls but also those behind in the cockpit; also good is the comfortable triple driver’s station that, even when jumping over waves, offers safe support in the two configurations seated or standing; excellent then the readability of the instruments despite the “rough” navigation we had to face thanks to the two large 17” Garmin monitors.

At the helm the Imagine 130 responds surprisingly nimbly, the interaction with the two American V12s is excellent. These have a lot of torque already at the bottom, as well as bringing in counter-rotating propellers and pivoting feet that are not integral with the cylinder head and the top of the powerplant. The result is great responsiveness to the controls, which is as useful as ever when you have to do a lot of work on waves to find the best setup. During our test we touched 49 knots, barely to be honest, but still an impressive figure recorded in conditions where to be wise one might as well have stayed in port. The cruising speed, again related to the situation, is 34 knots, with a consumption of 5.9 liters/mile.

Numbers aside, however, I still like to emphasize the remarkable sense of control and safety that the interaction between boat and engines conveyed to me. A definitely very centered boat (oops, a ZAR). We were not able to test it in ideal conations to test the maximum possible speed, on the flat and unloaded, but the 57 knots claimed by the shipyard does not sound like science fiction, quite the contrary.

Data Sheet: ZAR Imagine 130

Length f.t.: 13 m
Width f.t.: 4.57 m
Diam. tubing..: 76 cm
Compartments: 8
People capacity no: 18 (Cat.C.)
People capacity no: 12 (Cat.B)
Maximum power: 1,300 Hp
Gasoline tank: 1.150 l
Serbatoio acqua: 300 l
Certification: B / C

Navigation data

RPM Kn l/h
600 3,4 11
1000 5,3 16
1.500 6,6 24
2.000 8,5 40
2.500 9,7 56
3.000 13,6 80
3.500 23,4 140
4.000 28,1 170
4.500 34,1 200
5.000 40,5 250
5.500 45,3 360
6.000 49,8 380



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