BOAT REVIEW Rodman 890 Ventura

February 2023 Power Boat Reviews
Words by Andrew Howard. Photography & video by Roger Mills.
Build Quality
MODEL Rodman 890 Ventura
DESIGNER Rodman Boats
BUILDER Rodman Boats
LOA 8.90M
LENGTH (Waterline) 7.99M
BEAM 2.91M
ENGINE 2 x Mercury 200hp V6 o/b
  • Great weekender and fisher
  • Excellent ride
  • Handles like a bigger boat, spacious interior and generous cockpit

The Galeón Andalucía is a replica of a Spanish galleon. It is the only one in the world sailing today, based in the southern coastal waters of Spain, and it took five years to research and build.

Galleons were intended to discover and establish trade routes between Spain, the Americas and the Philippine Islands, forming what was then called the ‘Fleet of the Indies’. These ships were the type of vessel used by the Spanish Crown for maritime expeditions from the 16th through to the 18th centuries. For 300 years, Spanish galleons crossed the Atlantic Ocean back and forth, sailed the Caribbean and the Americas, and traversed the Pacific. They carried plenty of seamen, merchant traders and settlers to the New World, returning home with holds full of gold and the fabulous fruits of the American and Asian trade.


In New Zealand, despite Spain’s maritime history, we don’t often consider Spanish-designed and built boats. But I suspect our perspective might begin to change with the 37th America’s Cup being held on the east coast of Spain – and the growing number of new Rodman boats arriving in New Zealand ready to explore our shores.
Rodman Group, Spain’s oldest company in this sector, designs and builds Rodman boats. The company has been shipbuilding since 1974 producing over 15,000 boats. Based in a sizeable 162,000m2 site in the northwestern coastal area of Ponteverde, Rodman Boats has the experience to build high quality vessels. The Rodman Group is split into three boat divisions: steel ships, professional sailing vessels, and pleasure craft. Rodman Boats pleasure craft are represented exclusively in New Zealand by Daniel and Kim of Your Marine Limited.
From our test boat, the Rodman 890 Ventura, it was apparent from the outset that this is a vessel that draws upon a long history of exploration and transportation, just like a galleon.

Practical layout
The bow is home to a Sarca anchor and electric winch with 30m of chain and 60m warp. There are anchor controls at the helm station, but there are also foot controls on the bow. This a great feature that is typically only found on larger vessels.

The walkaround decks are functional on both port and starboard sides. There are handrails for everyone to hold onto, and the next addition to the test boat will be a set of roof racks to house standup paddle boards.
The cockpit area offers wide access access to the hull and voluminous storage. This area has been designed to keep loads low in the boat, improving seakeeping ability, and it proved easy to step down into. This means less back bending when loading and unloading toys and supplies.
The cockpit provides plenty of seating, the stern section slides forward to allow the outboards to fully trim out of the water and the removable and adjustable cockpit table will easily seat a family of six.

Depending on the situation, the pilothouse doors can be fully opened to either the port or starboard.
The top-quality bait board is large and removable. It can be set up on the transom for any stern-facing fishing activity or placed in slots on the starboard side, where it can be used as a bench for a barbeque When not in use, it can be stored under the deck. Made locally by Manta Marine, it matches the large rocket launcher by the same company.

In the Mediterranean, pilothouse-style boats are the norm, and we see more and more of them in local waters. It is a style that lends itself to all weathers, water conditions and usages. The visibility from the Rodman’s cockpit is outstanding. The huge windows, combined with the starboard sliding door next to the helm station, ensure that this vessel is safe and easy to operate, whether on a solo trip or battling adverse sea conditions.

The helm station layout is wonderfully clear and straightforward. It is finished in carbon fibre, and the bank of switches is easy to see and reach. A Garmin 12-inch screen is home to navigation functions and the depth sounder/fish finder. Engine management data is displayed s on its own screen, which I found helpful, as it saves scrolling through the main screen to find it. The captain’s chair can be set up for driving in either a standing or seated position. On test day, we did both to see whether one option was better. It wasn’t. Both were great in terms of visibility and comfort.
The helm is also the location of the fuel shut-off valve control, which is an excellent place for it in event of an emergency.

The pilothouse sports a manually operated sunroof, which serves two purposes: letting in light in and allowing air to flow through. The manual operation worked well, there’s no need for an electric version.
The dinette table is a good size for a vessel this length, easily able to cater for two adults and two young children. The table also drops down to create a berth, which would work for a single adult or two children top and tailing.
The galley sits behind the helm station. It is both discreet and functional; the fridge freezer is perfect for a weekend’s worth of fresh food, the microwave is nicely away from eye height, and the sink is easily be covered and hidden away. An additional fridge unit could easily be installed in the transom hold, which is a good place for cold beverages and fresh bait. Another option to include would be an electrical or a gas cooking top. Everyone has their own preference, but I’d go for the gas option – installed correctly, gas cooking is safe and there is plenty of height and airflow in the galley. And unlike an electric hob, a gas cooker does not require a genset to operate.



Hull performance
The hull design incorporates a semi-plumb bow, an interesting balance between the traditional raked bows we see on most New Zealand-built boats and a growing number of new boats with plumb bows. The plumb bow gives the Rodman 890 Ventura an increased waterline length, which has two significant impacts on the boat. The first is that it increases the size of the forward cabin and consequently that of its beds. The second is that the boat feels significantly bigger when underway than a waterline length of 7.99m would suggest. The boat’s length overall is 8.90m, and indeed, on the water it handles like a bigger boat.
The test boat was equipped with a Zipwake Automatic Trim system. The hull quickly responded to any changes these interceptor trim tabs asked of it, limiting roll when underway. The Zipwakes were not needed to assist in getting the hull to the correct pitch for planning –the hull is balanced enough to do that on its own. That said, when loaded up full of fuel, water, half-a-dozen scuba divers and their equipment, the Zipwakes will probably help in this respect, too.

Our test boat was powered by a pair of 200hp Mercury outboards. The engine setup proved to be plenty of horsepower for this vessel. In the test day’s calm conditions, a cruising speed of 17.9 knots at 3250rpm returned a fuel burn of only 33.9 litres per hour.
While returning to the marina after the photoshoot, I sought out a decent ferry wake from the large Waiheke passenger ferry. I wanted to know how the boat performs when the conditions are less than perfect. This ferry usually runs at 20-plus knots, leaving a large wake that jet-skiers love but sailors don’t. We found this wake and ran through it at 30.6knots – 4800rpm, burning 74.0 litres per hour. The hull loved it, slicing through much better than I expected. That neither of the Your Marine team bothered to move from their seats in the rear cockpit area to see what was happening was a testament to their confidence in the hull’s performance
At wide open throttle, we sprinted at 37.2knots – 5750rpm and 130 litres per hour fuel burn. When these motors are fully run in, there should be a few more knots of speed, and I would not be surprised to see this setup achieve 40 knots at full rate.

The cabin area under the bow is large enough for two adults to sleep, and under the companionway stair, there is another large berth big enough to sleep another couple of adults. The cabin area under the bow can be separated by sliding doors for privacy.
Below on the starboard side is an electric head and freshwater shower, with hot and cold water. The hot water comes from a 20-litre hot water cylinder under the cockpit sole, heated by an inverter.

The wiring junctions are tucked away inside the head, behind a sealed panel. They are at head height, making for excellent access should a fuse change be needed. This junction is where additional power sources can be set up, so additions are easy to make and cost effective.

Pricing options
The Rodman 890 Ventura is available for delivery within nine months of placing the order. It can be specified with a single 300hp V8 Mercury outboard at a cost about $315,000. As tested with twin 200hp engines, the Rodman 890 Ventura retails around $345,000. It is a lot of boat for this money, and it should serve its owners faithfully for years.
With a dry weight of 2,900kg without the engine/s, the Ventura is a borderline towable package with the proper equipment, but it would be perfect for a dry stack or marina berth.

Modern galleon
The Rodman 890 Ventura is sold with the promise of quality, prestige, innovative features and excellent seaworthiness. In Europe it is renowned as a multi-purpose sports fisher.
So, did this modern galleon live up to this promise? I’d say yes. The Rodman 890 Ventura is a balanced boat that should suit New Zealand-style boating very nicely – versatile with wide appeal across a variety of on-water pursuits.
The Rodman 890 Ventura is a class act. It will do anything you ask of it, take you anywhere you want to go, and carry all your gear.