An article by Alexey Danyaev, former editor-in-chief of “Boats and Yachts” magazine, dealing with review of the boats 505 and 315, was published in “Petersburg Fishing” magazine.
Vineta’s enduring values
As far back as a few dozen years ago the material world prevailed in our life substantially and without alternative. Through the great triunity “apartment-car-country cottage” we entered into household activities and gave their due to things put once on the books and perpetual maintenance.
Mobility and virtuality became a fetish of the new time, which undercut a good bit the former living principles. With increasing frequency we rent a car, live in rented accommodation, go shopping from computer screen, use services of “all included” recreation camps to stay in nature. Where has gone the idyllic world of things serving us truly, solid and durable? It has not disappeared, but contracted to a circle which our hands are able to embrace at a time, when the head is busy with a thousand of important concerns.
We can assume that ship designers from Vineta company thought specifically about such things, solid and durable, when they launched on the market their fiberglass boats primarily intended for lifesavers, fishers, port workers – those who use a boat as a working tool. It is such a user who is able to appreciate to the fullest extent the capability of a boat to perform its function in difficult conditions: in waves and winds, when there is no developed shore infrastructure. Boats of similar class are simple (but not primitive), rather massive; therefore they do not belong to low-budget segment, and most importantly, are made considering good marine practice, when a designer knows for certain his purposes. He knows what must be on the right and on the left from the driver so that he does not get confused with control, and does not think what is easier to catch underway and what and wherefrom is to be extracted during mooring.
When examining VINETA 505 fiberglass boat, a practiced eye will detect a whole complex of parameters permitting to classify it as an item for long and very long use in severe and very severe conditions. Expert’s guess was confirmed by the company’s representative: the ship was developed for service in units of Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergency Response (EMERCOM) where both speed and seaworthiness, as well as a possibility of crew disembarkation to unimproved port facilities are highly sought. Design solutions became conformable to the task.
First of all, the builders took exceptionally seriously the task of regulatory safety provision. The boat buoyancy, even according to the applicable Technical regulations about safety of small vessels, should be sufficient to hold afloat a flooded vessel plus 40% of redundancy. As for VINETA 505, it was designed with an eye to approval by the demanding Maritime Register, therefore self-draining cockpit with high rise deck was, as they say, “prescribed” for it. Water having penetrated to the cockpit is discharged immediately over the transom through two wide cutouts under the aft thwart. During the standard register trials the boat could not be flooded at all – water filling up the hull threw out overboard as a jet. The surveyors signed all necessary acts being bemused – the case appeared to be uncharacteristic. Moreover, like the legendary Boston Whaler, VINETA 505 can be literally cut into sections – even then all of them will stay afloat. The bottom is reinforced with high U-shaped stringers, filled with polyurethane foam, and hull plating is stiffened with modern 2- and 4-axial tissues used to obtain high strength and stiffness characteristics. Besides the Register, the boat is also approved according to ISO international standard.
Secondly, bottom shapes are three-keeled. In them there is a hint of classical Boston Whaler trimaran, known to us for a few decades due to numerous realizations and interpretations. The rectangular-plan hull with a central steering console is equipped with a wide, almost rectangular fore end, where it is free and easy to walk about with spinning in hand, having full access to high board side perimeter. Stability of this small five-meter boat will seem to you simply fantastic. By the way, you get used to good quickly.
Thirdly, equipment and the working space design are things that “make” a boat. Vineta’s designers tried to charge to the uttermost their self-engineered parts with useful host of functions. There are no sharp angles in the cockpit, to bruise oneself at rolling, each rail is grippy and rigid (diameter is 30 mm), it will be itself in the right place at the right time, to provide in addition to feet three guaranteed points of support necessary for safe stay on open board.
The steering console saves space around itself, due to arrangement of all necessary control instruments and devices on the panel a bit wider than its supporting pedestal. Engine control handle is hidden into a recess and does not get in the way in the side passage. Dual helmsman’s seat is worth attention. It is made as a locker with a turn-over back fixed in three positions: to control when seated and upright, and also to seat backwards – this position would be surely appreciated by float and trolling fishers. The back is fixed with a reliable steel latch. And if you install yourself facing aft, you will find in front of you, in motor recess wall, a surprise-transformer – a tray table where it is possible to lay out tackle or to put a thermos bottle with sandwiches.
Little hatches in the deck and on the lockers have a high coaming preventing overflow to the hold of water flowing through pump dales. Hatches lids are reinforced with rigid framing and sealed with rubber packing.
Solution of the canvas is rather unexpected. On boats of such configuration it is used rarely because of a conflict with the central console: in installed condition a full-size canvas will hinder the boat control, if it is not supported by “flying” top of “T-top” type. On VINETA 505 the canvas is made partial, covering the fore part only, and such a compromise will surely suit many people. It will cover luggage on the fore deck from sprays, and at the same time will not limit freedom of the ship control.
Finally, the boat has simply harmonious lines, its side is smoothly bent, rising the bow upwell, and steering console with the helmsman’s seat is in the best position near the centre of gravity, where motions are minimal.
A four-stroke outboard motor of power 115 h.p. seems an ideal match for a boat with such dimensions. Surprises are continued: as it turns out, the vessel is fitted with a pair of non-regulated interceptors – cover plates on the transom, improving acceleration characteristics of the boat. VINETA 505 with two test engineers onboard reaches easily cruising mode, worthily withstands any manipulation with the steering wheel and accelerates on the straight up to 66 km/h showing no signs of power overload. Short and “fierce” wave of Neva reaches in stormy day of trials (wind exceeded 10 m/s) did not have any significant effect on the boat navigation. The trimaran was initially created for navigation by open water, in swell and in wash it stands as steady as a tank, giving no chance to doubts. Hold firmly and boldly press the “trigger”. This boat will take you to safety even from situations in which you would never have got involved willingly.
Three meters of perfection
Other applicant for purchasers’ sympathies from Vineta looked much humbler. If one jumps to conclusions, VINETA 315 can be called a usual cartop – a boat with minimum dimensions suitable for transportation on roof luggage rack. However, such a characterization will be very superficial for a thing created according to “long use” ideology. We see cartops compete intensively with inflatable boats. Please tell who looks more substantial – an inflatable PVC boat or little, but solid copy of the Boston Whaler?
VINETA 315 can be called not just a solid plastic boat, but a micro-motorboat. It is equipped with a compact, very good-looking remote control steering stand with a steering wheel and gas-reverse controller onboard. A nameplate on the transom recommend a motor with power up to 10 h.p. – it is a serious power for a three-meter tiny tot, at that it will not be required to register the boat in local office of State Inspection of Small Vessels. The hull of three-keeled type is as stable as possible with its super-compact dimensions, and allows to stand up straight during embarkation.
It does not matter that helmsman’s thwarts is not big, in return it is functional, equipped with soft clasped pocket with partitions for little things and moves in grooves, allowing to adjust centering depending on load. Under hatches inside the hull compartments for effects, including those guaranteeing effects dryness, are hidden. If you decide, nevertheless, that the weather is against you, deploy above the cockpit a true canvas tent. It is spanned from the aft on solid stainless arcs, is equipped with numerous zip-out small windows and openings. The canvas can be installed in 10-15 minutes, at that completely inside the cockpit, right afloat.
The test micro motor boat was equipped with a budget motor Hidea with power 8 h.p. We know from our experience, that “Chinese” powers are not yet equal to Japanese or American ones, even more so it is not the “ten” allowed in the passport and increasing seakeeping properties. Nevertheless, the tiny tot turned out to be not simple. The driver with a passenger accelerated up to 36 km/h, and the driver alone reached 42 km/h. A PVC-boat similar in dimensions can boast of such speed parameters with a much more powerful motor, up to 15 h.p. It was, in general, somewhat frightening to observe maneuvers of a little motorboat in one-and-a-half-meter river wave- the cartop freeboard is not high at all – but within the limits of allowed distance from the shore and permissible weather conditions VINETA 315 is a true insubmergible vessel which can be entrusted by one with both himself and a partner, as well as with a catch.
The globalized world tests both the manufacturer and the consumer of the boat products. In the conditions of a fierce competition and a high threshold of entering the circle of maximum demand, the buyer has a great desire to “bear”, and the shipbuilder turns out to be gripped in “scissors” of increasing components prices and lessening of demand for goods of “second priority” like a leisure vessel. Vineta works in several fields, therefore it can allow itself to manufacture boats in small series, being concerning not so much about maximum turnover, but about attention of “its own” customer – experienced and, as it were, niche. And we, the consumers, should appreciate Vineta’s desire to keep a high bar of quality. There comes a time when a range of things which we fully own and trust in, begins to get narrow. Let into it really high-quality, proven things.