An uber-tough all-weather rocketship, the XO 360 will transport you anywhere in any weather
Our XO 360 certainly dished up a few surprises out on the water, as well as some predictable behaviour.
In horrible test conditions that would see many a bigger boat scurrying home for protection (steep, closely spaced seas, compounded by a squally wind over tide) although it has no flare in the topsides to deflect the spray and the waves, nor any spray rails, the XO 360 proved to be one of the driest boats of its type that I’ve ever tested.
Fitted with the biggest engine option, the twin D6-370hp Volvo DPH sterndrives, our boat clocked 42 knots. With its all-weather protection and exceptional heavy weather ability, the XO 360 is a boat that begs to be driven hard and fast.
However, if you’re feeling frugal, dropping down to a 25 knot cruise will see your fuel go a wallet-friendly 70% further (1.97mpg vs 1.25mpg).
At this speed, the XO 360 is so relaxed it feels more like 15 knots. However, the driving experience was impaired by the XO 360’s dash and helm ergonomics, which were unrefined and uncomfortable. Changes are apparently in the pipeline, so watch this space.
Anybody considering this XO 360 instead of XO’s inspired but smaller XO 270 is likely to have an eye to the bigger boat’s extra sleeping accommodation and its larger saloon, rather than outright ability on the water, which is a close run thing.
Overnighters get the best part of the deal with a good cabin at the pointy end. Its very generous berth, good headroom, two opening deck hatches and an impressive en-suite heads will keep most owners happy.
Overnight guests get a space that is more big box than cabin, located under the dinette in the saloon, but again with a sizeable berth (pictured below).
Our test boat was the prototype, apparently subject to a whole raft of changes, but as it stands the saloon is flawed.
It’s full of furniture and mouldings with hard exposed edges and sharp corners; intrinsically unsafe on a small boat designed for high speed passage-making.
Also, the long bench seat sits too low for its intended use alongside the raised folding dinette table, but too high off the ground to be comfortable as a normal seat.
High points of the saloon are the extravagant 2-part sunroof and the starboard side-door which opens onto a walkaround sidedeck. They combine to make short-handed handling or even single-handed mooring a piece of cake.
The XO360 is a terrific, all weather, high speed rocketship. We’ll reassess the XO 360 after the numerous changes filter through, but as it stands the saloon and the helm on our prototype test boat were both flawed.
Doubtless many good things will remain though, such as the absurdly generous standard spec, fine owners en-suite cabin, starboard side-door, and walkaround sidedeck.