Rio 46, there’s something in the Air

The Rio 46 Air wins with some rational ideas, innovative materials and smart solutions as the third (almost) cabin

Like father like son: Piergiorgio Scarani, at the helm of Rio Yachts after his father, the late Luigi, has realized another masterpiece. The design of this 46 Air is clean, but adds a personal touch in many details. The hull is seaworthy enough to grant a great navigation in most of the situations, and the extended length improves versatility. The profile can even look aggressive, so to stand out from the crowd of boats with blurred personality. The large side windows contribute to the sleek styling, with their peculiar and original look.

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Deck of Rio 46 Air

An ample swim platform gives a feeling of safety to everybody, and leads to the cockpit gate made of stainless steel and crystal. Under a mechanized door there’s space for the tender bay, very useful for storing fenders and gear as well. Above, the aft solarium confirms that the trend is for the main sunpad to be in the back of the boat rather than on the foredeck: it0’s closer to the core of the life aboard, and better protected during navigation. To starboard the wet bar includes cooler and sink, but there’s plenty of space for the remaining appliances.
The dinette features a rounded couch and a folding table. Rather than a chaise longue, to port there’s space for the companion hatch, made of two clear parts. The wheelhouse is rather traditional and follows the brand identity: a fiberglass element stands out of the deck and clusters all the instruments, with priority to the analogue ones for a better and warmer look. The hard top slides open for half of its size and makes of the 46 Air a proper open boat.
The side decks are wide enough, but I feel the lack of guard- and hand-rails to reach the front in full safety, especially right abow the cockpit. But of course tall guardrails hinder the look…Finally, I have the chance to appreciate the cushions, well realized in a silver color that some will appreciate.




Interiors of Rio 46 Air

Down the companionway I am impressed by the warmth of the joinery, the bamboo and aluminum floor, the satin walnut bulwarks. The clear hatch I mentioned before grant a big amount of light inside, thus increasing the feeling of space. The L galley is large and complete with double sink, four spots stove and an ample free surface. It’s definitely an invitation to cook, although the general space is not too much for preparing elaborate dishes down here. Moving on, I am surrounded by so many smart solutions that I feel almost overwhelmed. First, the full beam master room. On both sides, right above the floating line, two wide windows offer a spectacular view as soon as you leave the port. The double bed stays in the middle, while to starboard a low cabinet has been covered with a cushion and works perfectly as…chaise longue with a view. To port there’s no furniture except for a closet in the corner, so the feeling of space is enhanced. The heads is well finished, with the shower cabinet featuring a seat that hides the wc. The headroom is comprised between 180 and 130 cm, the latter in the section underneath the cockpit (above the bed). Same good measures also for the guest cabin in the bow, everything is according to the best protocol and there’s an en-suite as well.
The main innovation on this model, though, comes with the lower dinette: a moving bulwark, perfectly hidden during the day, pops out and closes the space to create a third cabin, good for a third couple of guests. This is definitely the cherry on the cake for the interiors of the 46 Air, interiors which I would call one of the key selling points for this boat.


The test of Rio 46 Air

Lines are undone, the IPS Volvo joystick responds perfectly to our touches and we exit the harbor. There’s no wind, but the bad weather of the previous days has left a swell that immediately puts to the test our hull. The acceleration is good and we easily reach the plane without moving the trim tabs, which will be used only in choppier sea. The 46 Air handles very well and smoothly, with a direct response to the inputs on the rudder, up to very tight turns made in full safety. Some thuds come from the keel when we cross our wake, but in general navigation is comfortable and relaxing, and the feeling from the helm is of total confidence. The Volvo IPS 500 are perfectly dimensioned, there’s no need for extra power and fuel consumption is very good. The sensation is that any change to higher outputs would compromise what I reckon to be a perfect balance.

Technical features

Length overall     13,88 mt (45 ft 6 in)
Length waterline     10,93 mt (35 ft 10 in)
Beam     4,00 mt (13 ft 1 in)
Draught     0,71 mt (2 ft 4 in)
Dry displacement     12200 Kg
Full load displacement     14500 Kg
Max output     2×370 HP
Fuel tank     900 lt (238 US gal)
Fresh water tank     330 lt (87 US gal)
Berths     4+2
Passengers     12

Volvo Penta IPS 500 2×370 HP€ 540.000 + VAT, ex-factory

Test conditions
Swell, temperature 13° C (55° F), fuel 450 lt (119 US gal), passengers 2, partially clean hull.

1000 rpm           6,1 knots           7.0 mph             18 l/h           4.7 gph     64 db
1500 rpm           9,2 knots            10.6 mph           31 l/h          8.2 gph     66 db
2000 rpm          12,7 knots          14.6 mph           52 l/h          13.7 gph     69 db
2500 rpm          18,2 knots          20.9 mph           86 l/h         22.7 gph      73 db
3000 rpm          26,7 knots         30.7 mph            110 l/h       29.0 gph      75 db
3400 rpm            32,4 knots       37.3 mph            152 l/h        40.1 gph      76 db

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