New Boat Models

Marlin Boat 40: 3 x 300-hp Mercury 4.6L V8 Verados

Marlin 40 RIB, e-Ribbing test

By Thomas P.

A wonderful combination that enchanted us with its performance. I would have no hesitation to admit that the new Marlin 40 was the best RIB I tried at the 61st Genoa Boat Show in terms of set-up and flexibility, giving us that amazing feeling of flying so fast and safely carving the peaks of the big waves.

With 35 years of experience in the design and construction of rigid inflatable boats, always adopting innovative and often revolutionary applications in every project, Marlin Boat manages to be a pioneer and show a different approach. A typical example is the design of the tubes that remains a trademark of the company.

The same profile has also been adopted in the new Marlin 40, where the tubes are low in the stern area, so that they lean on the water offering great stability in any weather condition. They transition to a higher position the bow so as not to affect the navigation and create high "gunwales" that offer maximum protection and safety for passengers.

Marline 40, Genoa Boat Show, e-Ribbing

The Marlin 40 can accept outboard engines up to a total horsepower of up to 1,200 hp. We consider the triple 300s on our test RIB to be an ideal combination with excellent performance.

In this particular model, special emphasis has been given on the comfortable crew’s movement in all directions of the deck, serving the maximum possible livability on board, and less on the configuration of the cabin without this meaning that it cannot comfortably accommodate two adults.

The hull of the Marlin 40 is characterized by the presence of two ventilated steps, the vertical stem and the sharp bow entry as well as the deep V which at the transom reaches 24 degrees ensuring soft navigation and seaworthiness that translates into comfort and safety for occupants.

On Deck

The deck layout is walkaround along its entire length, with two steps connecting the main cockpit to the various levels, one at the bow and one at the stern, so moving around is easy.

A three-person sofa is formed in the bow area, ideal for sitting and enjoying the navigation when the weather conditions allow it. Underneath the sofa is a large locker that accommodates the windlass and the anchor chain plus extra space for the boat's fenders too.

On the roof of the cabin there is a large double sunbathing bed wide wide passageways on each side that let passengers can move freely without disturbing those who relax or sunbathe. The front part of the lounge is raised and becomes the backrest of a double bench looking ahead while forming a potential or dining area in the bow. Amenities in the bow include handles, cup holders, speakers and cleats in functional places.

Marlin 40 bow, Marlin 40 foredeck, RIB

The bow has a sunpad with an angled backrest on the front of the console with additional aft-facing seating fully forward.

Under the large berth of the bow is the cabin of the boat which can comfortably accommodate two adults, including a spacious double bed, a wardrobe, and two seats with backrests and of course a separate head with shower.

Three large portholes offer plenty of light and ventilation of the cabin, while the companionway next to the toilet has the right height for even tall people to move comfortably.

Marlin 40 cabin, Marlin 40 head, e-ribbing

The cabin has space for two to overnight and there’s adequate headroom.

The Helm

The helm is to port, with the instrument panel angled at the appropriate inclination so we could see the screens from a seated or standing position. Helm seats have foldup bolsters to suit any driving position. Between the seats, there’s a wide armrest that’s hinged and can be raised for a convenient storage compartment.

Marline 40 helm, Marlin 40 driver's seats, e-Ribbing

The helm has side-by-side seats with foldup bolsters and notice the stainless-steel footrest on the helm console.

On the back side of the helm seats is a bar and abaft that in the stern area, there are two benches with a large table between where six people can comfortably sit.

With a clever mechanism, the backrests of the benches can be moved by turning the rear cockpit into a dinette, sunbathing area or bow-facing seats for use during navigation.

At Sea

The Marlin 40 is equipped with the three 300-hp 4.6L V8 Mercury Verados that turned ECO Enertia 16” x 21” (40.64 cm x 53.34 cm) stainless-steel propellers through a 1.85:1 gear reduction. This resulted in an ideal combination with excellent performance in terms of cruising speed and acceleration as well as ride quality.

Marlin 40 cockpit, stern, engines

In front of and around the engines, a very large free surface is formed that occupies almost five square meters, ensuring our comfortable and risk-free movement either when boarding or when preparing for our marine activities.

At Sea

The Marlin 40 is equipped with the three 300-hp 4.6L V8 Mercury Verados that turned ECO Enertia 16” x 21” (40.64 cm x 53.34 cm) stainless-steel propellers through a 1.85:1 gear reduction. This resulted in an ideal combination with excellent performance in terms of cruising speed and acceleration as well as ride quality.

Marlin 40, running, triple Mercury 300s

The Marlin 40’s sharp forefoot and blunt bow cut through the waves with ease.

What impressed us the most was that we felt like we were piloting a racing RIB with incredible flexibility despite its large size. Everyone on board felt safe even when flying at high speeds across the peaks of the high waves at full throttle.

The south wind that was blowing on the day of our test in the Gulf of Genoa raised big waves, creating ideal sea conditions for a real evaluation of an inflatable boat of this size.

With 53 gallons (200 L) of fuel and four crew members, the Marlin 40 got on plane instantly without raising its bow at all and accelerated to 30 knots in 5.5 seconds and 40 knots in 8 seconds. When we firewalled the throttles, the acceleration felt explosive, live we were driving a much smaller boat.

She stayed on plane at 2000 rpm and 13 knots, an important number to know when traveling in rough conditions. The Marlin 40 gave us a comfortable and safe navigation while maximizing our autonomy.

You can see our detailed measurements in the table below:

Marlin 40 performance, data, e-Ribbing


I turned the bow against the waves and slowly pushed the throttle forward to get a first sense of the hull behavior of the boat. The Marlin 40 immediately gained my confidence and I quickly found myself heading at high speed.

The sharp entry of the vertical bow minimized the surface of the hull that came in contact with the water and penetrated the peaks of the waves with ease, providing a pleasant, soft ride. She felt well balanced and the stepped hull always maintained contact with the water.

Marlin 40, turning, handling

Regardless of the wave direction, the Marlin 40 handled smoothly and inspired confidence.

Putting the waves on aft quarter, I could comfortably maintain 35 knots where the RIB was slipping without any resistance on the backs of the waves the bow stood steadily high without the risk of nailing in the waves’ backside. I didn’t feel the need to trim the engines.

Marline 40, rough water, e-Ribbing

Our ride was so enjoyable that the Marlin 40 constantly challenged me to have the throttles permanently nailed forward.

The Numbers

After we enjoyed the offshore capabilities of the hull we started to record our measurements.

At 3000 rpm we were riding at 25 knots burning 3 liters per each nautical mile. At 3500 rpm our speed reached 30 knots with the fuel consumption increasing by just 0.1 liter per mile. These are also the most economical cruising speeds, which is noteworthy because the boat makes good progress and would allow a crew to travel long distances relatively quickly and with great economy.

At 4000 rpm we ran at 35 knots burning 3.6 liters per mile, while at 4500 rpm we reached 41 knots with a fuel consumption of 3.4 liters per mile. At WOT, the engines reached 6000 rpm and Marlin 40 53 knots of top speed.

Marlin 40, running fast, smooth ride

It is worth noting that the above numbers can be further improved when traveling with more favorable weather conditions.

Because the numbers are the most objective judge and the mirror of boat’s performance, it is really worth taking a closer look at the slip percentages we have recorded which are extremely low throughout the whole rpm range, demonstrating an excellent set-up.

It is impressive that even at 3000 rpm the slip is only 10.7% while at 3500 rpm 8%. Excellent numbers by ECO Enertia propellers that show the amazing stern lift they achieve and lead to the minimization of wet surfaces, resulting in higher cruising speeds and maximum fuel economy.

It is really wonderful to be able to get almost the maximum efficiency of our propellers in the low rpm area which concerns the vast majority of our use, and thus be able to travel at the higher possible cruising speeds, limiting the fuel consumption and of course achieving excellent handling of our boat.

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