We scour the classifieds to find a bona fide speed machine that won't break the bank. Can you find your dream performance boat?

Sunseeker XS Sport – 2006 £199,500

Sunseeker XS Sport

Racing throttles and crystal clear analogue dials hint at a boat with a need for speed

Interior

The long flat deck of the standard XS 2000 features a sliding section that reveals two opposing bench seats and access to a small cuddy in the bow which sleeps two. However, to appeal to those that just wanted the ultimate high-performance dayboat, the XS Sport was created.

Other than a small heads compartment accessed via the front of the centre console (also fitted to the XS 2000), this completely open boat puts two settees aft of a massive sunpad that stretches to the bow.

Sunseeker XS Sport

The centre console houses a small heads

Exterior

Behind the windscreen, both models converge, offering two heavily padded race bolsters ahead of a curved bench seat for three. A large sunpad tops the engines aft.

Performance

Buzzi didn’t just design the boat, he was also responsible for the two race-spec Trimax surface drives that link to the engines via two-speed gearboxes.

Twin Yanmar 350hp diesels or MerCruiser 550hp petrols were initially offered. Later XS 2000 models got Yanmar 440hp diesels, and four XS Sports were fitted with these motors, this boat being one of them, for a top speed of over 65 knots.

Sunseeker XS Sport

A vast sunpad stretches to the bow

Seakeeping

The deep-vee twin-stepped hull and 2.3m beam achieve a very flat running angle, cleaving the sea so finely that a squared-off ‘spoonbill’ bow is needed to reduce the risk of burying the nose at very high speed in a following sea. It performs well and rides beautifully.

Data

Length 38ft 11in (11.8m)
Beam 12ft 7in (2.3m)
Draught 7ft 8in (1.1m)
Displacement 5.0 tonnes
Fuel capacity 103 gallons (470 litres)
Engines Twin Yanmar 6LY2AM STPC 440hp diesel engines

Donzi 22ZX – 1998 £23,995

Donzi 22ZX

The 45mph Donzi is a true bargain speed machine

Designer, boatbuilder and racer Don Aronow was the godfather of the American muscle boat scene in the 1960s, the man behind Formula Marine, Magnum Marine, Cigarette Racing Team and USA Racing Team, as well as Donzi (Don’s nickname), which won the world championship in 1964.

He sold the business in 1965 and it went on to build sleek high-performance craft. If you’ve seen the 2006 Miami Vice movie you’ll have seen Donzi in action, its Ice Blue 43ZR fitted with twin MerCruiser 600hp race engines.

But as well as fire and brimstone 43-footers, the range extended right down to mini muscle boats like this exquisite 22ZX – all the attitude, but at a fraction of the size and budget.

Interestingly, all the ‘badass’ boats have recently been removed from the range. Donzi now builds retro versions of the original 16, 18 and 22-footers.

Interior

Limbo below the dash and you’ll find enough space to lie down, but that’s it.

Donzi 22ZX

Just enough space to lie down in the cabin

Exterior

The cockpit is classic muscle boat, a pair of heavily bolstered chairs ahead of a bench seat, and sunpad stretching across the engine bay.

This one has been beautifully re-trimmed in 2015 with Silvertex white and grey and metallic red accents around the Livorsi instrument bezels and switchgear.

At the same time, the exterior was treated to a full respray by Desty Marine in metallic silver with stainless steel ‘DONZI’ lettering. It looks fantastic!

Donzi 22ZX

Two helm seats, a bench and a sunpad

Performance

The engine has been replaced too, albeit a little earlier than the hull and interior refit. A 2007 MerCruiser MPI 5.0-litre V8 sits  below the sunpad, spinning the stainless-steel prop up to a top speed of 45mph.

Donzi 22ZX

The Livorsi instrument bezels are accented in red

Seakeeping

It’s a small light boat, so don’t expect the dynamics to match a 43ZR. But it’s a proper deep-vee stepped hull so for its size, it’s pretty impressive.

Data

Length 22ft 2in (6.8m)
Beam 7ft 7in (2.4m)
Draught 2ft 8in (0.8m)
Displacement 1.7 tonnes
Fuel capacity 41 gallons (189 litres)
Engine MerCruiser  5.0MPI 260hp petrol

For Sale Moore Yachts. Web: www.mooreyachts.com

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Two more speedsters
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