Home BOAT TESTS Capelli 600 Top Line
Capelli 600 Top Line

Capelli 600 Top Line

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Capelli have been established in the world of RIBs since 1974, and have become well known in the Mediterranean for their middleweight family boats and luxury tenders. UK-based Ideal Boat are importing the range, fitting them out with decking and electronics, and then having them rigged with Yamaha engines.

The Top Line 600, by the nature of being in that all-popular 6m to 6.5m bracket, will have a wide appeal. There is plenty of competition in this field, but a cursory glance at this boat shows it to be well made, which, considering its heritage, it should be. The anthracite-grey heavy-duty Orca Hypalon tubes, and high-quality gelcoat, hint at what lies beneath. Opening hatches reveals well-finished GRP work and tidy electrics, and the stainless steel reversible helm seat rocks back and forth with solid precision – always a good sign.

I tend to gravitate to the console first, as I find it is often a case of first impressions – if someone thinks in detail about the end-user’s needs, they tend to get the helm sorted. In this case, the Top Line’s set-up works well for me. Though there is a double bench seat serving the helm, it is a single-console affair, and it really has to be. Ribtec used the same concept in their highly successful 585, though they flared the console top section out. With a boat of this beam you need to be able to walk forward without clambering over the tubes, which you can’t with a double console ‒ something that plenty of designers thinking bigger is better ignore. Yet this crucial part of the boat still needs to be able to do its job, which with a tall wrap-around screen capped by a stainless grab rail it does. The test boat was fitted with the optional suite of electronics comprising Garmin VHF and plotter, as well as a Fusion hi-fi.

At first glance, you might wonder why the neat brushed aluminium dash is not angled up to the helmsman. As I subsequently found when driving the boat, this creates a lower profile and hence a clear view over the bow when seated. Unlike a taller jockey seat set-up, there is not the preconception that you will mainly drive the boat standing, which you can do, as I did, should you want. This is OK as you can wedge yourself against the seat back when standing, but for this it could do with some armrests, or a convex-shaped pad for a bit of extra security when driving fast in chop.

The synthetic teak is very neatly inset throughout the boat, so top marks to Elite Teak of Portsmouth for this. Moving to the bow area, you find a large one-piece V-shaped hatch underneath the V-shaped seating. Opening up in one piece, this provides access to storage that has been maximised by not being divided. In this area is stored the small drop-in table, and the insert that converts the V-shaped seating into a sun pad. You may, depending on their length, be able to keep waterskis in here too. Having a blunt bow not only enables more sun pad space, but the fitting of a GRP moulding for a bow roller, so no anchor line rubbing over the tubes.

The aft quarters have also been well thought out. For starters, you get a small passage next to the aft seat on the port quarter, so swimmers and skiers climbing back on board do not step over the upholstery. There is also a neat transom platform fitted with a retractable bathing ladder, which wraps around the splash well. I make this point because having climbed back on board many RIBs I have then had to clamber over the transom or onto the back seat – dripping wet. Having a small platform (that drains into the splash well) to climb back onto is a good idea, especially if you opt for the transom shower from the extras list. The coamings on each quarter not only serve to provide security to those seated aft but, being capped with synthetic teak, provide a step in or out of the boat. The A-frame is detachable, courtesy of a locking nut on each quarter. Though most people will leave it up, it does make life easier when towing or storing.


Driving the 600 Top Line

The 600 Top Line is an easy boat to drive fast. This may seem an open statement, but even 6m 40-knot boats have their quirks, especially at wide-open throttle. Two aspects make this boat a safe bet: firstly its low, wide tubes, which reduce any tendency to lean into the wind at speed ‒ this also makes it a lot more stable at rest, and at low speeds with crewmembers walking about; secondly, its fore and aft trim is near perfect – it planes at 12 knots. You hardly notice it climbing the hump, and at full speed it only needs the smallest amount of leg trim out for that last knot ‒ and I imagine most people will not even bother to do this. I say this in particular because although the Top Line gave a smooth ride into the choppy weather off Calshot at speeds of over 35 knots with a touch of trim out, this noticeably improved when I trimmed the leg back down to zero. Unless you are covering some distance in calm weather at speed, and want to squeeze maximum efficiency from the boat, it is best to leave it on this ‘point and shoot’ setting. This is, of course, subjective, and there was just me in the boat, but without a doubt, even loaded with a fully kitted family, this boat will provide a smooth ride.

It steers quickly as a 6m RIB should, with a good balance of poise and response. You can happily keep one hand on the throttle and one on the wheel while you crank her into hard sure-footed turns. The low tubes do help in this department as they reduce the angle of lean to a degree, but they also prevent you from overcooking it. Performance is good, and this is from the 115hp option, which has no problems hitting 37 knots – one up. If you ordered it with the base option of a Yamaha F100 it would still be a great boat to drive, but then there is the all-enticing F130 to consider. Though this boat is rated to take 140hp, Yamaha is the brand this boat is fitted with in the UK, and the F130 built on the same 1832cc engine block as the F100 and F115 has a great power-to-weight ratio. I would opt for the F130 as there is no weight penalty over the F115, and at like-for-like cruising speeds it will certainly burn no more fuel. It will give a 40-knot top speed while enabling this boat’s full potential when loaded.


Verdict

This is a solid, well-finished, moderate deep-vee boat that is typical of this company. It provides a good combination of internal space, practical features and an exciting drive, and I was quite surprised at how well it handled the weather, especially as it is not aimed at the jockey-seated hard-core RIB brigade.


What we thought

For

  • Good handling – responsive steering
  • Soft-riding hull
  • Good performance
  • Well built
  • Good detailing and finish
  • 12-knot planing speed
  • Decent fuel capacity for a 6m RIB
  • Orca Hypalon tubes

Against

  • The helm seat back needs side rests to provide more security when standing when driving hard

Fuel figures (Yamaha fuel flow meter)

RPM                Speed (knots)         LPH            NMPG

2000                     6.2                       5.4               5.2     

2500                     7.2                       8.2               4.0               

3000                   12.0                       9.8               5.6                         

3500                   17.5                     11.4               7.0                     

4000                   22.0                     15.0               6.7       

4500                   26.0                     18.7               6.3       

5000                   30.3                     22.0               6.3      

5500                   32.6                     25.6               5.8      

6300 (WOT)       37.0                     31.2               5.4


Specifications

  • LOA:5.92m (19ft 6in)
  • Beam: 2.50m (8ft 03in)
  • Draught: 0.75m (2ft 5in)
  • Hull: Planing non-stepped deep vee
  • Transom deadrise angle: 20 degrees
  • Displacement: 720kg with engine
  • Power options: Single 100hp Yamaha F100 – single 140hp Yamaha F130
  • Fuel capacity: 130L (29 gals)
  • RCD category: B for 12
  • Test engine: 115hp Yamaha F115
  • Tube diameter: 0.55m
  • Tube material: Hypalon Orca 1100dtex

Performance

37.2 knots (2-way average), sea conditions F2, 1 crew, 50% fuel

0–20 knots: 5 seconds

0–30 knots: 8 seconds


Price

From: £29,995 (inc. VAT) with F100

As tested: £39,995 (inc. VAT)


Contact

Ideal Boat

www.idealboat.com

 Photo credits: Greg Copp and Ideal Boat

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