We get the long awaited Axopar 28 OC out on the water for its first UK sea trial
Walking up to the Axopar 28 OC there is one thing that strikes you before anything else. It’s not the fiendish rake of the wraparound windscreen, or the bright orange upholstery or even the open transom and stonking 250hp outboard clamped to the stern.
No, it’s the sheer beauty and purpose of the knife-like, twin-stepped, 22-degrees-at-the-deadrise, deep vee hull.
The upright bow oozes intent, peeling down to a hard knuckle of sprayrail, which deepens and widens as it surges aft.
It’s functional art and, thankfully, in the infamous staccato chop of the Solent, its capabilities were brought right to the fore.
It cut through the crests like a finely honed blade with the punchy, four-stoke Merc providing plenty of smooth power with an astonishing lack of noise.
Thirty knots in this nasty chop felt more than comfortable as we clipped across it, landing square and soft on the odd occasion the hull did leave the water.
Part of what makes the Axopar such a joy to drive is the excellent helm position. For what is an open boat it is exceptionally sheltered and the ergonomics are as sweet as they come, no matter if you’re seated or standing with the aid of the seat bolster.
The only thing I would do is add slightly larger windscreen wipers as the ones fitted struggled to sweep much of the screen.
The steering, despite taking four turns to go from lock to lock, is weighted perfectly and makes the Axopar a dream to guide from wave to wave.
It’s also conducive in making the boat a ridiculous amount of fun to chuck into high speed, stupid circles, all for the purpose of looking good on camera.
Throttle back, kill the ignition and begin to inspect the 28 as a boat, though, and not just a play thing and it reveals a scarcely believable collection of practical attributes.
There is a proper sea toilet tucked in the forward end of the main console, a U-shaped seating area with a table for picnics in the bow, full covers to totally enclose the helm for winter boating (though a wheelhouse version is available) and, most amazingly of all, a double cabin below that aft sunpad.
Okay, it’s pretty cosy and only really good for one, maybe two (preferably drunken) nights at a time, but at least it’s there.
And being accessible from both ends makes it feel that bit less claustrophobic. It also gives you a vast, dry storage area for your kit.
You can have outboard power between 150-300hp, the largest twin setup being a pair of 150hp. We managed just over 40 knots on trial with the single 250hp but couldn’t help feeling that the 28 posesses a 50-knot hull. But 45 knots will be more than enough for most, given that means you can cruise at 40 knots.
But above the performance, looks and even that awesome hull is the incredible value for money that the 28 OC demonstrates, the boat we tested coming in at £75,000 on the water with such goodies as a bowthruster and Garmin chartplotter.
Read the full review in the May 2015 issue of Motor Boat & Yachting.
Contact: Offshore Powerboats. Tel +44 (0)1590 677955 Web: www.axopar.fi
A boat that absolutely lives up to its ice-cool looks. Fast, fun, capable and practical, not to mention temptingly affordable.