Chopped water, strong winds: not enough to impress us from aboard the new Frauscher 1414 Demon Air. We touched 38 knots, easily in very difficult conditions.
Michael Frauscher and his brother Stefan are the third generation owning the Austrian boatyard. But the family tradition will go on as the fourth generation is already there, with Michael’s son Maximilian ready to step in.
They are the perpetrators of a tradition which started in 1927 in Gmunden, Austria, on Lake Traunsee: over the decades they pursued speed and innovation, so much so that alongside fast competition boats, in 1955 Frauscher yard built their first electric boat.
Funny enough, their story is pretty similar in certain aspects to that of the Italian dealers, Cantiere Nautico Feltrinelli. Feltrinelli is another family who can count a century-old tradition in building and serving boats. The reason I name them is because it’s right at Feltrinelli premises where I meet Michael Frauscher and Mauro Feltrinelli, for the test of Frauscher 1414 Demon Air.
The boat, as explained by Michael Frauscher
Having the chance to give word to one of the boat’s fathers, I ask Michael Frauscher to explain to us in first person the new Frauscher 1414 Demon Air.
It introduces another innovation in the range of the Austrian builder: the hardtop. Of course, a hi-tech one: it’s made in carbon fiber and weighs less than 120 kg.
“With the Frauscher 1414 Demon Air we complete the doubling of the range – explains Michael Frauscher: for each model, from the 747 Mirage to the 858 Fantom, from the 1017 GT to this 1414 Demon, we have added to the cabin model an open-bow sibling, conveniently named Air. They all share the Frauscher family feeling with a look that makes it recognizable at first glance. All this is the result of large investments in terms of design: we partnered with Gerard Kiska, whose studio Kiska Design is behind a series of prestigious brands, from KTM motorcycles to important German automotive manufacturers“.
We are on board the Frauscher 1414 Demon Air, this year’s novelty, so let’s focus is on this model: “The aim of the Air models is to enhance open spaces, in different areas. For us a “good design” is a simple but very personal project, which means less things but very accurate in design and in every detail. Other manufacturers decline exclusivity by loading their boats with important furnishings, rich and redundant finishes. In Frauscher we aim exactly at the opposite: a clean, almost minimalist design, but extremely recognizable and made with extreme care. Take for instance the hardtop of the 1414 Demon Air, the first we made: it’s all in carbon fiber, but it’s very sturdy (to prove the point, he steps on it) and weighs less than 120 kg. It is not the only detail made of carbon, a material that we have been working on for some time and that we use more and more on our boats“.
“Another of our strengths – continues Michael Frauscher – is the fact that our yard is a family-run business: we are the ones who manage it, we are the ones who make the decisions, we are the ones who develop ideas: with my brother Stefan there is a single purpose unity. This is how we came to produce 90 boats last year, of which 25 were electric: from 1955, when we started the production of electric propulsion boats, we built over 3 thousand. For us, each model is an opportunity to develop new solutions and we are always open to respond to the needs of our customers: with eight models currently in the range we have can cover different needs. Still, we reckon the typology of our customers can be divided into two macro-categories: the entrepreneurs in their 50/60s, frequently self made men, who want to state their success with an exclusive boat. And, cultured and refined customers that consider the Frauscher a different product, that stands out for the design and rewards their status. But both categories are given a product that fully meets their demands: not a bus, but a supercar, or better an exclusive superboat“.
It’s finally time to test Frauscher 1414 Demon Air. The sea outside Port Adriano, a few kilometers from Palma de Mallorca, is hit by strong winds, which is the best payground for our boat. The push comes from two 400 hp Volvo Penta D6s with sterndrive transmission. An excellent choice for the powertrain compartment: cruising on the 1414 Demon Air is a pleasure at any speed and pace. Despite the not-so-friendly sea, we almost touch 40 knots, although we prefer a comfy cruise at 25 knots where fuel need is halved and we can enjoy a relaxed navigation in total comfort, enhanced by an extremely soft passage on the wave.
The minimum planing is below 15 knots at 1800 rpm, burning 40 liters per hour, so we still prefer the 25kn cruising speed that we mentioned before. The acceleration in our opinion is a rather important figure, in this case it took us less than 7 seconds to reach the plane and 33 to touch 38 knots.
Moving on board is easy and safe even at high speed, as handrails and the windshield grant the needed protection. More, we stay always dry, and just a couple of really sharp maneuvers make water sprays reach the deck. If you decelerate abruptly (quite an unusual situation) water gets back up the walkway between the two stern sun beds. A note of merit goes to the dashboard: a rare example of simplicity and good design, even complemented by “old” analogue gauges which I normally would replace with electronic screens. Heres it’s good just how it is.
On board, my attention goes to the fore cockpit: the table has three-positions to do…its job, or contribute to create a solarium, or disappear into the flooring.
Among the stowage under the U-shaped sofa there’s even room for a triangular cooler.
As for the futuristic center console (especially if you look at it from the bow), the helm double settee is comfortable and can serve both for upright or seated piloting.
The hard-top look is original and, despite the mentioned sturdiness, it looks really light. It even merges perfectly with the side vents.
The aft area includes a large sofa with a center passage: even the table is split into two parts. The two sun beds hide a locker for the fenders, but this is also the big lid for the engine room. And here’s the difference with boats featuring multiple outboards: a clean and livable stern area.
I wasnt expecting much from the small area below deck, still Frauscher 1414 Demon Air can impress. There’s a comfortable cabin with four real bunks (two in the bow and two under the cockpit, behind the ladder) and a large heads. If you really want to spend a weekend on a open boat, it won’t be a sacrifice, rather an experience to remember with pleasure.
The numbers of 1414 Demon Air
- Length overall………………………… 13.90 m
- Beam ……………………………… 3.90 m
- Draft …………………………… 1.10 m
- Displacement ………………………… 10.000 Kg
- Engines ……………………… Volvo Penta D6 2×400 hp
- Fuel reserve …………… 1.200 l
- Fresh water reserve …………………… 200 l
- Passengers …………………… 12
- rpm – knots – mph – lph – nm/l – mpg – dB – km/l – range
- 600 – 2,5 – 2,9 – 3,4 – 0,74 – 3,21 – 64 – 1,36 – 706
- 1000 – 6,9 – 7,9 – 8,2 – 0,84 – 3,67 – 66 – 1,56 – 808
- 1500 – 10,0 – 11,5 – 26 – 0,38 – 1,68 – 73 – 0,71 – 369
- 2000 – 16,0 – 18,4 – 53 – 0,30 – 1,32 – 80 – 0,56 – 290
- 2500 – 25,0 – 28,8 – 76 – 0,33 – 1,43 – 80 – 0,61 – 316
- 3000 – 33,0 – 38,0 – 114 – 0,29 – 1,26 – 89 – 0,54 – 278
- 3400 – 38,0 – 43,7 – 158 – 0,24 – 1,05 – 93 – 0,45 – 231
- (Range is calculated without 20% of reserve)
Moderate to chopped sea, clean hull, fuel 1000 l, fresh water 0 l, 4 passengers