XO sportsboats: Everything you need to know

The irrepressible coolness of an XO sports boat goes way beyond its styling. In terms of its sheer usability, the brand’s designs encompass a range of open, hardtop and cabin options that enable you to fine-tune each model precisely in line with the way you like to go boating.

In terms of the ownership experience, the fact that XO’s crossover approach combines slick fibreglass topsides with military-grade aluminium hulls helps remove a great deal of the stress and doubt from a day on the water.

Tough, lightweight, easy to maintain and simple to mend, XO’s famously robust aluminium deep-V hulls mean that, as polished and refined as they might look, XO boats are also brilliant for the rough stuff – for nosing onto rocky beaches, for rafting up at busy berths, or for the knockabout rigours of offshore passages and everyday family recreation.

The XO range

There are four 8.6m models and four 9.4m models in the current XO fleet, each organised into one of three distinct product lines.

At the upper end of the range, XO’s four-season EXPLR Series offers five versatile cabin-equipped pilothouse models in both 9m and 10m variants, with flexible overnighting facilities and a range of inboard and outboard options.

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Beneath that, the DSCVR Series is all about the bow-rider-style 9 model in either Open or T-Top variants.

Designed for the full range of day boating activities, it features an eight-person cockpit, an enclosed heads in the port console, a convertible bow space big enough for five, and a skipper’s impact mitigation seat as standard.

If you’re looking for a fast, multi-purpose offshore sportsboat for a four-season cocktail of open and closed boating adventure, the XO DFNDR 9 is impossible to ignore.

Our pick

The tough and innovative new DFNDR 9 is a seriously attractive boat. It uses XO’s soft-riding deep-V hull with 8mm reinforcements at the keel and a honeycomb internal structure for increased strength and reduced noise.

It also uses a pioneering ‘inside-outside’ pilothouse design that enables you to embrace the open boating experience or to tuck yourself away from the elements in a climate-controlled cocoon with outstanding all-round visibility. But while it’s clearly perfect for high-octane sport fishing, it also offers plenty of potential for decadent days at sea.

The comfortable two-berth cabin is accessible from both the bow deck and the helm console, the separate heads compartment adds extra day boating convenience and there’s also lots of space for convertible sunbeds fore and aft.

Secure in the rough, beautifully styled and easy to customise, the XO DFNDR 9 is one of the most complete sports boats out there.

XO DFNDR 9 specifications

LOA: 8.57m
Beam: 2.57m
Engines: Twin Mercury 225hp outboards
Top speed: 45 knots
Starting price: £200,000 (inc. VAT)

UK dealer: Ribeye Boats & Tenders
Tel: +44 (0)1803 832060
Web: www.xoboats.com

First published in the August 2022 MBY Sportsboat supplement, supported by XO Boats.