If the Fjord 36 xpress looks familiar, it’s because it’s a variant of the Fjord 36 Open. So it shares the same Wally Tender-esque origami-sharp minimalist profile (no coincidence, both were designed by Patrick Banfield) and the same dedication to decadent outdoor living.

So what’s changed? A stroll around the aft end soon reveals the key difference. The twin Volvo Penta D4 sterndrive diesel engines of the 36 Open have been banished in favour of a pair of Mercury Verado 350hp supercharged outboard engines.

This completely transforms the nature of the boat, not least because there’s no longer a need to accommodate the motors inside the hull.

The result is phenomenal living space along the full length of the boat. Where the 36 Open had a sunpad over the engines back aft, the 36 xpress gives you a choice.

So you can have that sunpad, or you could choose to leave this area open for watersports. But my favourite option is the cleverly configured dinette of our test boat.

Two bench seats face each other, split by a folding wooden table. But the backrests of the rearmost bench swivel forward allowing rearward seating for fishing or just propping your feet up on a Verado cowling and watching the world go by.

Meanwhile, the forward row does the opposite, converting from rearward seating around the table
to a second row of forward seating directly behind the helm.

Or simply drop the table, lower the backrests completely and reinstate the huge sunpad of the 36 Open, in which case the forward dinette, accessed by an easy stroll past the helm station, offers a further social area.

Read the report in the November 2017 issue of MBY.