Axopar 29 sea trial: Sun Top vs Cross Cabin – which is best?

The Axopar 29 isn’t just a slightly bigger version of the 28, it’s a complete reinvention of it. Hugo Andreae tests both the Sun Top and Cross Cabin to see which is the best option.

Attempting to replace an icon is always fraught with danger but the new Axopar 29 appears to have cleared that hurdle without batting an eyelid. All the traits that made the original 28 such a runaway success have been retained or improved upon, while the few weaknesses have been comprehensively addressed. 

It’s actually the same length as its predecessor and only 3cm wider but thanks to a slightly higher freeboard, a more heavily flared bow and careful honing of the cockpit coamings, it feels like a significantly larger boat.

That’s most apparent in the bow, where there’s now space for seating along both sides of the table as well as a forward-facing bench. Lift up the latter and you’ll discover a proper little cabin underneath it.

Article continues below…

Axopar 28 OC review

We get the long awaited Axopar 28 OC out on the water for its first UK sea trial


The question of which model to go for, the Sun Top or Cross Cabin, largely comes down to how you intend to use it. The Sun Top is a better party boat that’s easier to move around with space for up to eight people and a much more sociable layout in which everyone feels part of the action.

The Cross Cabin is obviously a better protected boat but you can only sit five people inside and even then the three in the back seats feel a bit hemmed in.

The Cross Cabin’s wheelhouse and doors are appreciably bigger on the 29

The wheelhouse also divides the boat into three distinct areas with those in the bow feeling cut off from those at the stern. The redesigned bow cockpit does at least provide a place where the whole crew can sit together outside (something the old boat lacked).

And what of the boat itself? Has it done enough to retain its sportsboat crown? The simple answer is yes but with one significant proviso. Clever as the multi-cabin is and even with the addition of the second more comfortable aft cabin, some people will still prefer the easier access and convenience of a conventional cuddy cabin design, especially if that comes with the added luxury of a separate heads compartment like the one in the Nimbus T8, Ryck 280 and Windy SR28CC.

Axopar 29 specifications

LOA: 29ft (8.95m)
Beam:  9ft 8in (2.98m)
Draft: 2ft 8in (0.80m)
Engines: 300-450hp
Fuel capacity: 105 gal (400 litres)

Enjoy the tour…


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