On Sweden’s coast near Karlhamn a fresh breeze is blowing this morning. In the small harbour master’s hut the coffee steams and the cinnamon rolls smell. We have a quick breakfast, because the Tiger is waiting at the jetty!
It is white and made from plastic. And exactly this is new. So far Silver Boats has not built any Fiberglass-only boats. The hulls were always made of aluminium, a Finnish classic. With the new Z series there is now a GRP series – and Silver Boats has now three model series: the X series completely made of aluminium, the Y series with aluminium hull and GRP deck and – like the Tiger – the Z series completely made of GRP.
New design for the new Z series made of GRP © Kerstin Zillmer
“If you compare it to a car, it would probably be a Volvo”, says Silver Export Manager Christoffer Wallgren, as we stand at the jetty right in front of the boat. The new hull shape, the flattened bow section with integrated lights and the low front give the Tiger a sporty look. The cockpit looks spacious and minimalist.
Stowed where you need it
The low, long running windscreen blends in well with the sporty appearance and offers good protection against the cold winds on our test day. Smart and unique are the fender boxes on the side of the aft deck. Here the fenders are stowed quickly and space-saving – exactly where you need them. The lockable stowage boxes are also a nice plus. The best way into the boat is via the bow, which leads over two steps also safely back ashore. In Scandinavia often also to the nearest rock accessible. The flat nose of the Tiger is ideal for this.
The flattened nose with integrated lights © Kerstin Zillmer
Fender storage in the right place © Kerstin Zillmer
The sunken bimini is easily accessible © Kerstin Zillmer
Lockable storage boxes © Kerstin Zillmer
© Kerstin Zillmer
Only flying is better!
I go on board with my Finnish Best of Boats Award colleague Jan Sjölund. Out of the harbour, still with a small wave, we take a run-up and are amazed how fast the tiger gets into planing. The boat cuts the waves very softly. You don’t hear any wave sound on the hull. The view over the coaming shows an interesting picture: There is hardly any splash water to see. How is this possible?
Neues Design für die neue Z-Serie aus GFK © Kerstin Zillmer
The hull of the Silver Tiger has a completely new shape: a Petestep hull, named after the founder and developer Peter Bjersten. While other hulls have stringers parallel to the keel direction, Petestep uses so-called deflectors. These gradations run – unlike the well-known parallel stringers – from an optimally calculated point to the stern.
This effectively reduces the drag of the hull in the water. Through the deflectors the water is diverted aft and not pushed to the side as a spray, as usual. This has quite a lot of positive effects: The hull lifts faster out of the water and planes earlier. According to the manufacturer, this also reduces the fuel consumption by up to 35%.
Deflektores instead of parallel stringers © Petestep
More thrust, less resistance
Due to the lower water resistance, the friction resistance is also lower. This means: more thrust. Due to the alignment of the deflectors, the hull hits the wave much softer. This makes the ride quieter and more stable. And that is what we clearly experience during our testing. The hull behaves more nimble and this feels great. Although Honda’s 150 hp engine does its job clearly hearable at the rear, the noise level is lower.
As we go further away from the coastline, the waves become more choppy. The hull remains easy to handle, soft and responsive. And even against the wave, it feels much more pleasant to be on board of our Tiger than with other boats of this size. According to Petestep, the G-force (the centrifugal force) is reduced by 30%. The stability when turning is much better thanks to the new hull. No yawing and no shifting of the hull when changing the direction fast and tight.