Boat Review: Ronin 50

This nearly seamless boat is starting to make waves in the States.

Popular in the Bahamas and Caribbean, the Ronin 50 is beginning to make waves in the U. S. Built in Puerto Rico by Cuban-born Carlos Sota and his team of in-house designers, the Ronin 50 represents a continuous improvement project that has been evolving since Sota first went to Taiwan 14 years ago searching for a shipyard with which to build his "ideal" boat.

After a successful stint with that ideal 38, Sota moved his operation to Puerto Rico and now concentrates on only two models, the 41 and 50 convertibles. Both boats are built by Sota's small "boutique" yard with a hands-on approach that gives Ronin the opportunity to ensure exacting quality control standards on each hull.

Ronin builds its 50-footer with a unique three-piece construction process. The deck is built out of a single solid mold that includes the cabin sides, gunwales, coaming, cockpit and cockpit floor. Aesthetically, this means no bolts or screws can be found around the cockpit floor nor cutouts and joints under the coaming. The deck is then through-bolted and glassed to the hull and flybridge, forging a solid vessel that can withstand even the toughest pounding. Since the three structural components become a unified piece, boaters should note quality details throughout the boat, such as a seamless flybridge instrument console and cooler, deck fish box and cabinets. Below the waterline, all Ronins are solid fiberglass. Topsides, deck and superstructures feature balsa coring.
Inside, the Ronin 50 features three staterooms and two heads with roomy shower stalls. The boat will sleep six, and luxurious appointments will make the stay comfortable for guests and crew. The builder offers a number of different woods for the salon cabinetry, including teak from Burma, mahogany and cedar from Honduras and maple from New England.

The air-conditioned engine room is accessed via the cockpit and offers stand-up headroom, workbench, tool locker, lube-oil tanks, 20 kw generator and full instrumentation.

In the cockpit, Ronin's standard-equipment list is impressive and includes a transom door, in-transom fish box, fresh- and saltwater washdowns, built-in fishing center and built-in freezer. The bridge houses Murray Brothers helm chairs, Hynautic engine controls and logically placed electronics housing. The Puerto Rican bent toward socializing shows itself in the built-in cooler, bench seating and fold-down table for guests.

The 50 is available with two engine packages: twin 735-hp DDC 8V92TAs or twin 820-hp MANs. With either engine package, the Ronin cruises in the 25- to 30-knot range and tops out between 35 to 39 knots.

For more information, contact:
Ronin Shipbuilding Co.
Ave. Stgo. de los Caballeros No. 3
Puerto de Ponce
Ponce, PR 00731
787-842-4114