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Old 06 May 2014, 15:31   #1
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Highfield Ocean Master 540

Hi folks. Here's a quick update on the Highfield Ocean Master 540 and Honda BF90 I bought recently. This is the 2014 5.4 metre version of the Pink and Black Panthers that featured in the PBR Round Ireland Challenge; their performance in that being a key part of my decision.

My first proper trip on Sunday was an 18 mile return run to West Bay. Conditions were fair with a southerly F3 and just enough movement on the sea to make it interesting. I had 3 adults on board, 2 behind the console and 1 on the console seat. I was very pleased with the ride and handling, but the 15 stone weight up front kept the nose down and limited the fun a bit.

Launched again in the evening with just 2 of us behind the console, and what a difference! The wind had increased slightly to southerly F4 and although still fairly flat, the onshore wind and incoming tide produced enough swell and chop to bring on the smiles.

In my limited experience, I thought the Highfield handled superbly and was totally dry, jumping through the waves, and landing smoothly without a hint of slamming. She responded well to trim and throttle with a 4-blade 19 pitch prop, and provided a very well balanced, smooth ride. Although still running in, the occasional blip up to WOT would indicate a top speed of about 38kts @ 5,800rpm

Needless to say, very happy
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Old 06 May 2014, 16:36   #2
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Looks like a great set up you've got there, Exe treme. Very nice!

How long did it take you to get to West Bay? I'm hoping to make it over there myself soon.

Maybe I'll see you out on the river at some point.

Cheers,

Dan
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Old 06 May 2014, 16:48   #3
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Hi Andy
How do you get on with those seats?
The padding looks thin.
The Rib looks very smart, and I was impressed with how they handled Round Ireland.
Looks like you have yourself a great boat
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Old 06 May 2014, 16:54   #4
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Nice outfit
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Old 06 May 2014, 17:05   #5
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Looks really nice. The 19" 4 blade seems to be a good setup or her.
Do you have any indication on the fuel usage yet?
Chunk
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Old 07 May 2014, 02:11   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanExe View Post
Looks like a great set up you've got there, Exe treme. Very nice!

How long did it take you to get to West Bay? I'm hoping to make it over there myself soon.

Maybe I'll see you out on the river at some point.

Cheers,

Dan
Thanks Dan!

I am living a bit further east now, and launched from Lyme Regis this time. I have done the trip from Exmouth before but I stopped in Beer en-route. From memory, it took about 1hr 25 minutes at steady cruising speed.
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Old 07 May 2014, 02:27   #7
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Hi Andy
How do you get on with those seats?
The padding looks thin.
The Rib looks very smart, and I was impressed with how they handled Round Ireland.
Looks like you have yourself a great boat
Hi MustRib

I have only done a few hours on the Highfield, but I had the same seat on my previous rib, and didn't have an issue. My longest trip on that was only 4 hours with some time standing, so perhaps not the best test, but the cushions are quite high density, and handled my 15 stone well enough!

They are also the same seats that Steve and Dave had on Black Panther.

Cheers
Andy
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Old 07 May 2014, 02:52   #8
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Looks really nice. The 19" 4 blade seems to be a good setup or her.
Do you have any indication on the fuel usage yet?
Chunk
Hi Chunk

No accurate figures yet as I have been all over the rev range running her in.

Going by the 50 minute return run to West Bay at a steady 3,500-4,000rpm (about 16-23kts), I am guessing I used about 9 litres, so assume 10 litres/hour.

Cheers
Andy
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Old 07 May 2014, 03:00   #9
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Nice looking craft.. But i have to say Those seats look very uncomfortable being so flat and the seat padding in non existent..
Are you sure you found them comfy?
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Old 07 May 2014, 03:42   #10
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Are you sure you found them comfy?
Hi Matt

Thanks for your concern...

The seat cushions do look a bit flat in the picture, but they are 3" thick high density foam; precisely 36 times thicker than the saddle on my road bike, and I can handle that for up to 8 hours!

Seriously though, so far so good, but if I find them uncomfortable over time, I will have some new ones made, and no doubt look to the the good people of Ribnet to recommend an upholsterer.
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