Aegean RIBs made an impression by presenting the new five-meter Aegean 494 at the Boat & Fishing Show 2015. A fresh proposal, a distillation of the Aegean 444 as well as the 616, with particularly large interior spaces, a functional deck and a length that is easy to transport, cast and handle.

Giorgos Ioannou, manufacturer of Aegean RIBS, needs no introduction since he has distinguished himself in the field of spearfishing both as a businessman and as a multi-victory athlete. His business with the manufacture of inflatables began several years ago with great success, targeting in particular the spearfishing public. The first inflatable was the Aegean 400, a boat that quickly gained impressions, since for its size it offered remarkable navigation, storage spaces, economy and the ability to sail with a particularly small engine. Given the commercial success of the first model, it was not long before the second boat, the Aegean 6.16, was built. Same philosophy as its smaller “brother”, i.e. a “cruiser” inflatable, ideal for fishing trips and fishing trips with friends. Of course, the larger hull gives it much better sailing properties so that it can cope with long trips, in remote fishing areas.

However, the era called for something even more flexible, a boat that can comfortably accommodate 4 people, make long trips with sufficient autonomy, large storage areas and all this without going overboard.

Thus the idea of the five meter 494 was born, it took 2 years until the plans were completed and the first boat hit the water just before the Boat & Fishing Show 2015. Carefully designed to create space on deck for the crew’s equipment, the ability to comfortably sleep two people in the bow section of the boat and to pay particular attention to ergonomics, both for the skipper and the crew so that offers a relaxing journey.

Its hull is of English design and origin, deep and narrow for better damping and less vibrations in waves. The high chine “lifts” the air chambers up, moving them away from the waterline enough to participate in the sail when the boat turns or in more severe waves. In this way, sailing is done with as little friction as possible (so economy in consumption and higher speeds) and the inclination of the boat is limited, keeping stability and safety during the trip. In addition, the spray stops there, keeping the deck dry.

The first 494 was designed with imposing dark colors, both on the air chambers and on the boat’s gel coat. As we mentioned above, its basic layout is made to be able to serve a group of anglers with their equipment who will want to venture even to a distant fishing spot. Four people can travel seated without any “discount” in comfort or safety. At the same time, the 494 remains welcoming and functional for use as a family boat, featuring platforms at the stern, a shower and careful design throughout the deck. On its deck are formed several tambous that will remove fishing guns or rods, a difficult piece of equipment due to its length. However, as we can see in the Aegean 494, it has 2 quite spacious such tanks, one on the left side and one on the right, where they open in such a way that they are fully usable. It can even hold a 1.70 m long rod or fishing rod. Flip flops, umbrellas and other long equipment fit comfortably in the right side pocket.

Another problem for the owners of small-medium inflatables is the life jackets. And if the necessary life jackets for the number of persons on board should be readily accessible, or better still worn on the voyage, all the remaining bulk is hardly convenient. This does not apply to the Aegean 494 since its polyester bow (dolphin boat) fits all the equipment comfortably. Lifebuoys, lifejackets, anchors, ropes, etc. all fit on the left and right of the interior. Thus, the remaining holds remain available for our equipment. The use of the bow section does not end there, for those who want to combine spearfishing with nautical camping, they can get the additional section that turns the bow into a large bed and with the addition of a sailing awning the whole space becomes a room.

The console is integrated on the right, leaving a passage for the band. At its base there is a cabinet so that we can take advantage of its volume as another warehouse while the same is done for its upper part, i.e. for the upper side, with access to a sealed plastic cabinet under the steering wheel. The stern sofa has a back and two handles left and right. The air chambers on their upper side have anti-slip plastic lining and several rope pulls for easy climbing on the boat. Of course if you prefer the easy way, there is a stainless steel ladder on the platform.

On the floor between the console and the aft sofa there is a storage area that can easily be used as an ice cooler since it has a drain.

At sea, the Aegean 494 offers a smooth sailing reminiscent of a larger boat of its class. The polyester bow and the correct weighting by the manufacturer is easily noticeable by the way it plans, travels and behaves in the waves.

The technical specifications suggest from 70 to 140 hp, the test boat was wearing a Suzuki DF 90ari having “grips” and a high speed that exceeded 40 knots, remaining low in consumption.

So this is the new Aegean 494, a welcoming RIB for the company or the family that remains a “tool” for spearfishing and fishing in general, combining very good navigation, economy of consumption, ergonomics and large storage areas specialized for this use .