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Old 11 October 2004, 17:16   #1
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Testing the Parker 900

Since I am currently looking for a new rib for my charter-company, Parker invited me to Goeteborg in Sweden to test their 900 Baltic with twin 225 Mercury.
Before going to Sweden, I contacted another chartercompany in Norway which uses Parker as their charterboat. The boat had been used as a charterboat for two years when they bought it, and they have had no problems with it, which is very unusual for a rib used so hard for so many hours.
Then I contacted a friend of mine, Johan Ullmann (the maker of the Ullmann suspension-seat), and asked if he would join me when testing the Parker-rib. He agreed to meet us in Goeteborg.
When at the harbour, I got to meet the owner of the boat and the chartercompany. The rib had been used as a charterboat for 200 hours this season. We wanted to know what problems that had occured, and he told us that only two problems had occured; the rubberstrake on port side had started to come off, and that wo a hole in the fabric on one of the seats had come occured due to wear. This is amazing knowing what abuse this boat has to take. In Sweden ribcharter is the same as extreme-ribbing, where the customers expect 100% action every second!

On our way out we could eighter take the marked route out to the open sea, or we could let Ullmann take the wheel and drive the unmarked route full of unmarked underwater obstacles without a chartplotter. We chose the latter. Is was one of the biggest thrills of my life. At 100% full bore he navigated between invicible obstacles for 20 minutes, doing 90 degree turns every now and then.

When out in the open, we started off at 1m. waves, the boat just plow through them. The wavesize grew to 3m. and Ullmann jumped so that the propellers left the water for a long time again and again. How could he drive the boat so hard when it was not his own? The boat handled beautifully. It never tossed us around trying to scare us.
Then it was my turn to try this boat. My experience with boats is that I have had boats since I was 10 years old, ribs for 4 years, and done chartering for 300 hours last 6 months. I started off gently making 8-turns in the 3m. waves. I wanted to feel how the boat handled the waves from every angle. When the boat showed me that it was no problem, I started going right agains the waves untill they reached 3.5m. and we jumped really high, pulling the throttle gently back to half throttle before landing and then throttling up again. The boat performed the way I want a Rib to handle, very safe and predictable.
On our way in, Ullmann touched my shoulder to get my attention, and asked if I could try high speed turns in the 1m. waves we currently were in. I throttled up, and made sharper and sharper turns untill I did not dare to make them tighter. I was amazed that it was possible that the boat could handle so well without skidding out and jumping sideways.
Then the salesman at Parker, Peder, asked gently if he could take the wheel. My first thought was that he had had enough and wanted to save what was left og the boat, but he told us to hold un. He then throttled up to full speed before he started to turn much harder and sharper than I dared to! There is now way that I have ever experienced this kind of seaworthiness of a rib before. I do not need the boat to perform so extremely, but just knowing that the limits of the boat are so much further out than I will ever need is comforting to know.
This experience gave Ullmann and me a good reason to smile for the rest of the weekend.

So what was not so good about this boat? It is like everything else, nothing can perform 100% in every way. What this boat lacks is the top end speed. My 9m. with 2x250 makes 10% higher top end speed. But the choice is simple, Parker really amazed me.
The boatsetup I am looking for is with twin engine setup, and thereby do cost a lot of money. I therefore have to test more boats before I spend my hard earned money. But I do think it is close to impossible to find a boat which handles so well and has the same quality for the same price.
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Old 11 October 2004, 17:30   #2
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Old 11 October 2004, 19:00   #3
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a dream boat

it sounds like a story from mills and boon..........

We must have been going wrong for all this time........

Did you meet a mermaid called Chisella on your test run....?


pete
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Old 12 October 2004, 07:22   #4
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Thanks for a very interesting report Fjordrafting!

What RIBs have you had before, and what do you think it is about the Parker that means it can perform so much better than anything else?

John
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Old 12 October 2004, 07:58   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Kennett
Thanks for a very interesting report Fjordrafting!

What RIBs have you had before, and what do you think it is about the Parker that means it can perform so much better than anything else?

John

It's tubes
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Old 12 October 2004, 09:31   #6
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Testing the Parker 900

Fjordrafting

Many thanks for your detailed report. Most apprieciated specially coming from an experienced commercial operator like yourself. I suppose if the tested rib was fitted with twin 250's then the top speed would be compatable to your current rib although the Baltic is probably a bit heavier.

For those interested I am attaching photos of the ribs mentioned in the report.

One is of the Parker 900RS (single inboard Mercruiser 4.2 300) which is operating in Norway

and then the tested Parker 900 Baltic with twin Mercury Optimax 225
The hull is the same as our cabin rib which I took back by sea to Poland and will take twin inboard diesel engines

Regret but do not have any action shots
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Old 13 October 2004, 16:36   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Kennett
Thanks for a very interesting report Fjordrafting!

What RIBs have you had before, and what do you think it is about the Parker that means it can perform so much better than anything else?

John
Hi, John! Do you have the last issue of Rib International?
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Old 13 October 2004, 16:43   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Kennett
Thanks for a very interesting report Fjordrafting!

What RIBs have you had before, and what do you think it is about the Parker that means it can perform so much better than anything else?

John
Hey JK, your such a diplomat, surely you meant to say that the report should have been posted over on the "dark side", I would suggest in the torkin bollix section!!!!!
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Old 13 October 2004, 16:52   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fjordrafting
Do you have the last issue of Rib International?
No. Why?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk Diggler
Hey JK, your such a diplomat, surely you meant to say that the report should have been posted over on the "dark side", I would suggest in the torkin bollix section!!!!!
Not at all. I'm genuinely interested!

John
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Old 14 October 2004, 09:09   #10
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No. Why?Not at all. I'm genuinely interested!

John
If you did read it, there is a picture of me in my boat on the third last page, where Rib Magazine informs about what comes in next issue. They write about the journey where I drew the boat from Lymington i Portsmoth to Scotland, Shetland and then to Trondheim in Norway last April.
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