The Piranha fleet has been so fluid in recent years that at times, it has been quite difficult to keep on top of exactly what’s going on. First seen in the UK in 2009, the company quickly established a reputation for simple, affordable, fair-weather leisure boats built to a budget in China. They were supplied in the UK alongside membership to the splendidly inclusive Piranha Club. This involved discounts at the Piranha Bar and Restaurant, as well as affordable servicing and even a range of annual cruising events. It was a very forward-thinking initiative from Sales Director, Nick Edgington, because it fully appreciated the importance of putting an infrastructure in place to help a novice owner enjoy his new boat properly.

Piranha P6

The uprated engine rating on the Piranha P6 will soon enable the use of an F115.



Since then, however, Piranha has begun to move up the scale, building larger boats to offer existing customers an upgrade path - and that has increasingly involved the shifting of its production from the Chinese factory to the altogether more capable Techno Marine Factory in Poland. Famous for its military work, the new factory has now built several large offshore RIBs of a tough, traditional ilk for Piranha but here in the form of the new Piranha P6, we see the smallest Piranha leisure boat yet produced by these Polish commercial specialists.

Watch our video, Piranha 6.0 RIB Video: First Look

Better quality and better spec


While similarities in the style and layout make it easy to draw comparisons between this new Piranha P6 and the old 5.8, the differences are now too profound to allow such a parallel to be left unchallenged. Yes, the new RIB comes from the same mould as the old boat but the fact that it has been put together in Poland has brought about some fundamental upgrades in build. If we start with the obvious things, the collar is a very good case in point. Built from Pennel & Flipo Orca Hyaplon with reinforced seams and heavy-duty double strakes, it now comes with a very reassuring five-year warranty. If we delve behind the scenes, the construction of the things you can’t see also appears to have been ramped up. The deck is now built with a foam core to increase strength while reducing weight and the hull uses bi-directional woving and flow coating throughout.

Piranha P6 helm station

The Piranha P6 layout remains quite traditional.



The standard spec is also subtly improved, with an integrated 150-litre fuel tank, plenty of flexiteek and stainless steel trim and a reworked set of cushions that allows every one of the seat lids, including that on the aft bench, to be opened fully without unfastening a load of poppers. There is even an arch-mounted solar panel charging system as standard - and while this particular feature looks like it was ‘borrowed’ from MRL’s RIB fleet, it’s certainly no bad thing to draw inspiration from ideas of genuine merit like this.

Piranha P6

There are plenty of interior upgrades.



As regards the price, a boat show offer of £26,995 for the standard package (with either a Yamaha F80 or Evinrude 90) looks more than fair. After all, last year’s radically improved 5.8 model was £25,495 with a Suzuki DF70, so the fact that you are only expected to pay £1,500 more for the substantially upgraded Polish-built boat with a more powerful Yamaha F80 engine is nothing short of remarkable. If you factor in membership of the Piranha Club, reassuring warranties and basic powerboat training as part of the deal, it is plain that the P6 is a very strong leisure package indeed.

In fairness, however, this particular boat still looks more like it was built for a glossy show stand than for the rough and tumble of use at sea. For instance, the storage spaces could do with proper liners so you can store your items without them clattering about and knocking into vital switches or cabling. You could also do with a full-width footbrace at the console instead of the slightly short stainless bar, which ends before your right foot has a chance to enjoy it. And beneath the Piranha P6's  helm seat, a smarter solution could be found to the routing of the fuel pipe as it makes its way from the filler to the stainless steel under-deck tank. Nonetheless, even in this rather rudimentary state, the ‘show rig’ Piranha does more than enough to suggest that we should expect very good things from the new P6.

 

Piranha P6 solar panel

The solar panel may have been 'poached' from another boat but it is an idea with plenty of merit.


Power issues


At the time of the show, the Piranha P6 had a rather mean maximum engine rating of just 90hp, which pegs it back to around 35 knots. However, in 2014, Piranha is likely to increase this rating to 115hp and that would be a very worthwhile development. After all, at nearly six metres in length with a quality build, you would expect this boat to cope with the extra power quite comfortably. Not only would it free up some additional pace but it would also add some useful extra grunt for watersports or for carrying a heavy load. There also happen to be some great engines out there in this power bracket, not least in the form of Yamaha’s F115. At just 186kg, it is impressively lightweight, refined and potent and would add plenty of vim to the equation for an additional investment of less than £5,000.

 

Piranha P6 summary


Chances are Piranha will eventually shift the production of its entire range to eastern Europe. When that happens, the company may well be in the happy position of combining accessible prices with commercial build quality and an after sales service that incorporates not just on-site servicing but also a ready-made social calendar and an extensive range of upsizing options. For now, however, I am pleased to see that the Piranha P6 is doing exactly what is required. With improved build, higher quality materials and the promise of an increased power rating, it is a cast iron certainty that it will be by far the best incarnation of this hull yet to emerge from Piranha RIBs.

 

Prianha P6

Though lacking the finish of a production model, this 'show boat' suggests the P6 will be a very effective package.


Piranha P6 specifications


LOA: 5.8m
Internal length: 4.02m
Beam: 2.45m
Inside beam: 1.45m
Weight: 752kg
Tube diameter 0.52m
Air chambers five
Maximum load: 1,587kg
Fuel capacity: 150-litre stainless steel
People capacity: eight
Maximum power: 115 hp (pending)
Engine: Yamaha F80
Price (with F80): £26,995

Written by: Alex Smith
Alex Smith is a journalist, copywriter and magazine editor with a long history in boating and a happy addiction to the water. He’s worked on boats, lived on boats, bought boats, sold boats and – when he’s not actually on board a boat – he can generally be found in his Folkestone office, tapping away at the computer and gazing out to sea.
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