Is this the best compact cruiser money can buy? Aquador 250 HT tour

Reporting from the Southampton Boat Show, Alex Smith takes us on a tour of the Aquador 250 HT, the price of which makes her a very compelling proposition...

Aquador has hit upon something pretty special with its “next-generation” line of HT cruisers. Following closely in the footsteps of the 300 HT, the Aquador 250 HT uses similarly elevated hull sides and side decks. And while that certainly does a great job in terms of maximising internal space, it also works well in terms of the style, dropping the relative elevation of the hardtop for a delightfully muscular and purposeful aesthetic.

At the aft end, there’s no room for the fold-down aft-facing bench that you get on the inboard-powered 300 model of course, but in spite of the Mercury 250hp outboard engine, what you do get back here are some really generous swim platforms, plus a dedicated fender basket built into the stern bench’s aft moulding.

Further forward the narrow side decks and fist-sized aft steps might look comically small but they actually feel pretty good as you make your way fore and aft to the bow’s lounging zone and their impact on the internal day spaces is also very positive.

Though not especially long, the cockpit space is deep, beamy and very well arranged for safe family use. An L-shaped dinette wraps around the port side, opposite an angled starboard wet bar with a clever lid that slides aft on a steel bar to maximise work space.

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The helm station with its trio of forward-facing skipper and co-pilot seats is equally sound in terms of its ergonomics and there are multiple skylights set into the hardtop for plenty of natural light.

In the event of a sudden downpour like the one that struck during the Southampton Boat Show it’s also good to know that a ready-rigged wraparound canvas enables you to close this whole space off single-handed in well under 60 seconds.

Down below, you get all the benefits you would expect of that chunky hull and those raised side decks. A really voluminous forward cabin comes with deep hull windows and handy full-height storage. There’s also a port heads and shower compartment, plus a compact fore-and-aft mid cabin on the starboard side that would be generous for one and cosy for two.

But of course, with its all-round curtains, hardtop blinds and wraparound aft canvases, you could easily augment these two lower cabins with a convertible cockpit bed. And at less than €190,000 including VAT for a distinctly high-spec ‘standard’ package, it looks like pretty good value for money too.

Aquador 250 HT specifications

LOA: 25ft 8in (7.83m)
BEAM: 8ft 8in (2.64m)
ENGINES: Mercury 250hp V8 outboard
TOP SPEED: 38 knots
PRICE: from €181,400 inc VAT


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