The Axopar 22 is the new baby of the range and has quite the task on its hands to live up to the high standards set by its larger siblings. Is it the runt of the litter or the pick of the bunch?
When the Axopar 22 was launched at a virtual event towards the end of last year there was a particular line that stood out.
The team admitted that of the four models launched to date the Axopar 22 was the most challenging to design. It was, they explained, less taxing to spring the Axopar 37 off the back of the Axopar 28 where they had more space to play with and a higher price point to build to.
The difficulty with the entry-level Axopar 22 was costs had to be kept under strict control but they were trying to fit high levels of functionality into a very small blueprint.
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Not only that, Axopar has a reputation to uphold that was set by the award-winning larger models so customers expect a certain level of quality, attention to detail, performance and competence at sea.
The final piece of this challenging jigsaw was production, which will have to be high volume and rigorously precise to ensure the numbers make sense on a brand new boat that costs under €50,000 including a 150hp outboard engine and taxes.
It’s a complicated build, too, as it uses a three-part split mould to create a body that is compact enough to be transported inside a side-loading lorry to make delivery as manageable as possible.
With that in mind, it’s a pleasant surprise seeing the boat in the flesh that none of these factors appear to compromise the way it looks. In fact, for my money, it has the most attractive profile of any Axopar with bow sections that spread neatly to deflect spray away from the boat and a muscular taper towards the stern with gill-like slashes carved out of its haunches.
This is not moulding done on a shoestring – look at the deep slash that streams forward from the stern, met halfway by a pronounced spray rail that fades into the topside above the twin steps of the hull, which peep out from the waterline.
This is a fantastic looking boat even in the restrained white gel coat of our modestly equipped test boat.
Read our full test drive review of the Axopar 22 in the August issue of MBY, out July 1.