Zodiac Medline 660

Stable speed demon.

by Gary Reich
Rigid hull inflatable boats (RIBs) are a segment of the U.S. boating market that is enjoying a bit of a renaissance.

Specifications

  • LOA: 21'8"
  • Beam: 8'4"
  • Draft:
  • Weight: 1,821 lbs.
  • Fuel Capacity: 24 gals.
  • Water Capacity:
  • Power: 175 hp Yamaha F175 four-stroke outboard
  • Price: $59,906

zodiac-nautic.com

Rigid hull inflatable boats (RIBs) are a segment of the U.S. boating market that is enjoying a bit of a renaissance.

Tempted by their stability, performance and handling, lots of folks are jumping ship from traditional center console and sport boats and trading up to a RIB. A new model from Zodiac that recently caught our eye is the Medline 660.

We should first discuss what makes a RIB like the Medline 660 a good choice for a lot of folks. First and foremost, the massive quantity of air in the tubes makes for an incredibly stable craft with lots of buoyancy. That not only means less rolling in a sea, but also enhanced cornering performance. Force a RIB hard into a turn and those tubes “push back” and engage, allowing aggressive cornering at higher speeds. Safety is a factor, too. Even a RIB that’s taken on water from hull damage or mechanical failure can remain afloat, thanks to those inflatable tubes.

The first thing that we noticed when we hopped aboard the Medline 660 is that the deck spaces are nicely outfitted. Up forward, a set of cushioned panels form an expansive sunpad that should be great for hanging out and relaxing at anchor. Stowing these panels expands the foredeck space. A leaning post sits just behind a relatively narrow center console/steering station, while just behind is a sturdy, comfortable bench seat. One of the nicest aspects of the Medline 660’s deck design is the ample aft deck, which is capped in faux teak planking and perfect for getting people in and out of the water. There’s even an optional integrated towing pole for pulling skiers, wake boarders, tubes and toys.

The Medline 660 comes standard with a 115-hp Yamaha F115 four-stroke outboard. Our test craft was fitted with the maximum allowable power plant: A 175-hp Yamaha F150 four-stroke outboard. Though we don’t have exact performance figures for this boat yet (since it’s so new), we expect the F175 to top out in the 45-mph range and cruise nicely in the high 20s.  

“[The Medline 660] offers a sharp 25-degree deadrise at the stern, which, when combined with the 22-inch tubes gives her a soft, dry and incredibly stable ride,” says Brent Reed of Reed Yachts Sales (reedyachtsales.com; 616-842-8899). “She is a great, all-around family boat that you can fish, ski, tube, wakeboard, or simply relax at the beach or at anchor.” 

 

Manitowoc MAR1_2017
Prestige 750 Skyscraper