To cover an exciting America’s Cup World Series in Plymouth, Yachting World’s Matthew Sheahan needed to be ready for anything...
Home and Dry
Bringing the Cowes Week action onto the pages of Yachting World often means getting our feet wet. Many of the features we cover rely on using a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) as a means of getting close to the story.
But where there’s a boat to launch, there’s a problem lurking. From steep, weed-strewn slipways to never-ending shallow gradients on soft surfaces that demand a long wade out into tidal waters, launching a RIB is rarely straightforward.
We have a great deal of experience of getting afloat in tricky conditions, and we found that the 12my Discovery 4 3.0 LR-TDV6 offers an easy way to meet the deadline.
When we came to hitch up the RIB, the Discovery 4’s reversing camera guided us neatly under the trailer hitch. Using one of several external cameras fitted, the Discovery 4’s dashboard screen guided us into position by identifying where the ball hitch was before zooming in on the detail.
On the open road the 12my Discovery 4’s new features stand out. The 8 speed auto transmission and driver select rotary shift ensure a smooth drive, while the Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) system automatically detects the presence of a trailer and monitors its behaviour using sensors. In the event of any swaying or oscillation, the system applies selective braking to the appropriate wheels to help correct any potential problem.
The Discovery 4 comes into its own in launching and recovering, with two new features for the Terrain ResponseTM system, among the attributes that have won this car 20 UK and international awards in the last year.
As the car is descending the slope, Gradient Acceleration Control slows it to a limit determined by the throttle position, an advantage when launching on a long, steep, slippery slope.
For recovery, Hill Start Assist retains the initial driver- generated brake pressure long enough for your foot to move from brake pedal to throttle without the car rolling backwards. The brake is released after a sufficient time has elapsed or when the SD V6 engine is supplying enough torque to move the car up the hill, a great feature for avoiding a roll back into the water.
And for those long, flat retrieves, the Discovery 4’s maximum wading depth of 700mm makes easy work of the shallowest of slopes. So on this occasion, we were able to keep our feet dry.