Rand Leisure 28 sea trial review: V8 sportsboat is a breath of fresh air

There’s more to Danish company Rand than small electric Picnic boats, as Hugo Andreae discovers with a sea trial of the V8-powered Rand Leisure 28...

Scandinavia has a reputation for building some of the best small to medium sized boats in the world. Brands like Windy, Targa, Nimbus, Marex, Sargo, Grandezza and Nordstar all trade on their Scandinavian heritage as evidence of their functional design, robust seakeeping and high quality build.

By and large the reputation holds true thanks to the challenging sea conditions around Norway, Sweden and Finland where all these yards are based. But there’s another Scandinavian country, which for some reason rarely features in motor boat building circles – Denmark.

That’s something which Danish brothers Carl and Oscar Rand are determined to change. In 2014 they co-founded Rand Boats to manufacture a range of sustainable electric boats for city-based boat rental company GoBoat.

Their first model, the Picnic 18, was a runaway success with over 350 sold and while electric power remains at the core of its offerings, the range has now expanded to cover a much broader spread of craft and powertrains.

In fact by 2023 it hopes to be building at least 1,500 boats a year from a brand new production facility in Croatia and by 2030 it plans to have 26 models in the range, all of which will be powered by electric motors alone.

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It’s an ambitious goal for a relatively young company but Carl and Oscar are confident they have the products and the strategy to get there, so what is it that makes Rand Boats special and do you have to be a river-based eco-warrior to appreciate them?

To find out we arranged to test a Rand Leisure 28 in the choppy coastal waters of Poole Bay, Dorset, and rather than sea trialling one of the quiet but range-restricted electric versions, we opted for the full-fat 350hp 6.2-litre petrol V8 model.

Read Hugo’s full review of the Rand Leisure 28 in the May 2023 issue of MBY, out April 6.

Rand Leisure 28 specifications

LOA: 27ft 7in (8.4m)
Beam: 8ft 4in (2.55m)
Draft: 1ft 2in (0.35m)
Displacement: 2,016kg
Fuel capacity: 315 litres
Test engine: Single 350hp Mercruiser 6.2-litre V8 petrol
Top speed on test: 42.9 knots
Fuel consumption: 25.2lph @ 20 knots
Cruising range: 200nm @ 20 knots
RCD category: C for 12 people
Starting price: £178,800 (inc. VAT)


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