- The Selva 600 is a useful family RIB in a compact package that performs very adequately when married to the Selva XSR 100 …
- The stylish red and black livery looks superb on the water and sets what is otherwise a simple RIB apart.
- One excellent feature was the throttle position, actually inset into the console so it is protected from accidental engagement.
The 6m RIB is a popular choice, and Simon and Anna Everett try the Selva version on Lake Como.
Selva are a well-known family in the Italian boating industry, having had considerable success on the racing circuit, and are a pure boating firm. Everything Selva do is geared to the marine industry, either boats or engines, and they are especially renowned for their development work. I know they are currently working on a 50hp turbo-diesel outboard, which utilises a twin-crank design. This has nothing to do with the RIB in question, but does give a flavour of the company and how involved it is in marine matters.
The new Evolution 600 is from the middle of a 12-model line-up that ranges from 4.7m through to an impressive 9.6m and is the first to feature black Hypalon tubes, with all the others sporting white or pale-grey collars. The Evolution line is conceived as a sporty leisure-use RIB typically capable of taking far greater horsepower than the optimum. For instance, the 5.0m version is rated for 90hp, while this 600 is plated for 170hp, but is ideally suited for much less. Our test boat was rigged with the Selva XSR 100 and in less than perfect conditions she acquitted herself brilliantly, reaching a top speed of over 40 knots, despite the presence of many white horses kicking up, and she remained bone dry throughout our thrashing.
Now what are the attributes that people look for in a 6m RIB? Efficient speed is one, so we can tick that box. A comfortable dry ride is another and we can tick that box as well. Seating comfort – well, the Selva isn’t a sophisticated RIB; she has seating, but the layout is straightforward rather than sumptuous. The helm is given a stand-up leaning post with upholstered top that can also be perched upon in calm conditions, but with my legs dangling I wouldn’t want to be up there at any speed or in a seaway. Leaning against it provides good support, and as you would expect, the best view of the water ahead.
The aft seating is comfortable but low, so the console, and anyone at it, blocks the view forward other than down the tube, so you only get a sectored view on your side because the seat is well inside the tube line. The upholstered seating is fitted into a rigid moulding that provides great lateral support as the seat back wraps around to the sides, enclosing the seat. The armrests could do with a bit more padding, though, as the edges are a bit exposed. As usual, the seat lifts to reveal a decent volume of stowage below.
The console is a convenient height for most people, with the screen not so high that you can’t see over the top. One excellent feature was the throttle position, actually inset into the console so it is protected from accidental engagement. It sits in the ideal position too. The rest of the console is straightforward, but thoughtfully there is an open locker below the wheel for loose items, such as sun screen, binoculars, camera and those small bits that otherwise get wedged around the place.
The forward area converts into a large sunbathing space, hinting at the type of easy use the RIB is meant for. The hull, though, is quite accomplished and provided a confident, soft ride that dealt with the 1m lake rollers with disdain – but then she has been devised to cope with the quite rough waters that the coast of Sicily throws up, and it shows. Anna says she felt totally confident in the way the boat behaved. As an occasional boater, she was a bit apprehensive at first, because of the conditions, but within minutes she was completely confident to press on with the waves at any angle, allowing her to relax and have fun, which is the whole object of the exercise. I can’t see the point in having a family boat that has you on your toes the whole time, with no chance to relax in case it bites you.
The large-diameter tubes provide plenty of stability and keep the spray out, while the hull provides the lift and wave-cutting ability through the heavily curved rake of the bow. The combination works perfectly well and isn’t slow either. The stylish red and black livery looks superb on the water and sets what is otherwise a simple RIB apart. There are a couple of handles either side of the bow, for ease of manhandling – for instance on the beach or recovering onto the trailer. The soft rubbing strake has a downward-facing overhang to help reduce spray, which it does very effectively without adding any additional weight. The bow is reinforced with a moulded section that a strong cleat is mounted to, and the moulding protects the tube from the anchor warp, which is given a dedicated chain locker for stowage right below.
The Selva 600 is a useful family RIB in a compact package that performs very adequately when married to the Selva XSR 100, and with the larger engine options would be considerably faster, but I wonder if the balance of the whole package would be compromised. Should you need to carry a significant amount of extra load, then it would be worth considering the XSR 150, which is the largest motor the boat is rated for and will give a thrilling ride, that’s for sure.
RPM Speed (knots)
- 600 2.7
- 1000 3.6
- 2000 6.2
- 3000 11.1
- 3500 cruise 18.2
- 4000 21.9
- 5000 30.7
- 6000 40.5
- LOA: 5.99m
- Internal length: 5.50m
- Max. beam: 2.63m
- Internal beam: 43m
- Dry weight: 480kg
- Tube diameter: Tapers from 50cm to 60cm
- Chambers: 5
- Tube material: 1300g/sqm Hypalon
- Fuel tank: 150 litres
- Max. crew: 10
- Max. payload: 1170kg (including engine)
- Max. power: 170hp
- Recommended power: 80–115 hp
- EC standard design cat: C
- Dependable, confidence-inspiring handling
- Good turn of speed
- Protected throttle position
- Excellent stability at rest
- Generous stowage
- The cushions need better fastenings, to stop them blowing overboard
- Bow cushions were a bit thin
From: £26,100 (inc. VAT)
As tested: £27,390 (inc. VAT)