Reporting from the 2023 Boot Düsseldorf Boat Show, MBY's Alex Smith takes us on a full tour of the XO DFNDR 8, which was making its global debut...
We were excited to get a closer look at the new XO DFNDR 8, the latest addition to the XO Boats range, at Boot Düsseldorf. The boat is similar to its predecessor, the XO DFNDR 9, but it’s more compact and boasts a different deck layout with a full-beam pilothouse instead of the walkaround design found on the DFNDR 9.
The twin 200hp outboard engine rig on the show boat can be upgraded to twin 225s, for a top speed of 50 knots, a single 450R or a single 400hp V10 outboard. It was designed to be easy to manoeuvre and, being an XO, you just know it’s going to be a great sea boat.
The cockpit bench is positioned a good way aft, but the backrest can be folded forward, allowing the engines to be trimmed right out and the props to be lifted up and out of the water. There is good storage beneath the seat, with quick access.
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The side decks are not wide but are perfectly grippy, thanks to the soft-touch rubberised decking. There are no dedicated grab handles on the rooftop, but there are plenty of easy mouldings to grab onto as you make your way along to the foredeck.
Speaking of the foredeck, its an impressive space and can easily accommodate six people, with backrests around the periphery of the cushioned area. The space beneath the deck is raised, with a big hatch for further storage.
Other features of note include the good-sized anchor locker, netting spaces for gear, cup holders, and an outlet for the black water tank with its own moulded recess to keep any mess out of harm’s way.
Overall, the XO DFNDR 8 is a smaller, more manoeuvrable boat than its predecessor, the DFNDR 9. However, it maintains many of the DFNDR 9’s features and offers its users the same high levels of performance and functionality.
Enjoy the tour…
XO DFNDR 8 specifications
LOA: 26ft 3in (8.03m)
Beam: 8ft 3in (2.53m)
Engines: Twin 200hp Mercury outboard
Top speed: 50 knots