- …the space, convertibility, family-friendly layout and level of performance are of a standard that will appeal to many middle-of-the-road boating families.
- It looks good, goes well and can accommodate six without overcrowding …
- I didn’t find any failings in the handling department; in fact, I was pleasantly surprised at the ride comfort.
- I was impressed at how you could throw her about at will and the hull just gripped.
- The whole boat feels secure, thanks to the deep internal freeboard and guard rails.
Quicksilver Activ 755 Open
A new take on the walkaround has surfaced in the form of the Activ 755. Simon Everett lifts the lid on this new boat from the Quicksilver range.
The summer is here and thoughts turn to long days afloat with a delicious picnic, drinks on ice, swimsuits and tans. What better than spending a day afloat combining all the elements and exploring new stretches of coastline too. These are the types of activities the Activ 755 Open is aimed at – it is par for the course in warmer climes, but there is no reason why we can’t enjoy similar life benefits here. The 755 Open is designed to provide a platform that supports this lifestyle, and does it in some style.
The new 755 offers great versatility for the dayboater, with some accommodation down below that stretches the use to weekending. It isn’t a fully furnished cruising boat with shower and heads compartment, but there is a proper flushing sea toilet that slides under the cockpit out of the way as a great space-saving move. The berths can be augmented with an infill system too, making a full-width double. Lighting in the cabin is provided mainly by natural light through the sliding door and a small cat’s eye port on the forward bulkhead. There are also a couple of spotlights in the deckhead. It is all pretty normal in that department.
Once you get out on deck, however, you find that this is where the emphasis has been placed. This is definitely an open-air boat with clever seating arrangements and a table at each end punctuated by the command centre amidships. The forward cockpit is pretty conventional in that it consists of a deep, secure well surrounded by a guard rail and seating on each side of the vee enabling four people to sit at the table. With the jump seat adjoined using the infill system, the forward cockpit becomes a well-protected sunbathing deck. The normal stowage arrangements are in place under the seats and stereo speakers are set into the sides to keep the sounds audible throughout the boat.
Mirroring the forward set-up, the after cockpit is also furnished with a table. There is nothing unusual about that in itself, but the seating arrangement is quite novel. One of the challenges designers have to overcome in limited space is trying to cater for various situations. The Activ designers have managed to combine ease of access with full seating in two formats. The aft seat back swings inboard to provide through access for boarding, but once swung back into place the seat is fully across the transom. To add to this freedom of movement, seats housed in the gunwale fold down to create a U-shaped seating area, so you can configure the seating plan to suit your requirements in seconds. The side benches of the U-shaped seating fold up flush below the gunwale, clearing the decks and making the passage for access through the transom gates to the generous swim platforms either side of the outboard. There is even an additional bridge plate available to create an unbroken walkway around the outboard – this is standard issue on the Smart edition, which we had on test.
The entire deck layout emphasises the fun and social aspects of family boating, with practicalities in both directions taking precedence. Add to that the sporting qualities from the driving seat and you have a very attractive all-round boat capable of extending a day of pleasure into a full weekend afloat. The fuel capacity is sufficient to keep you motoring without refuelling too. The 200hp Verado returned that magic 1 mile per litre at 3500rpm, which is a comfortable 20-knot cruising speed. Fourteen hours in the tank is a lot of boating, and there is a good margin of error in there for normal cruising operations.
The whole boat feels secure, thanks to the deep internal freeboard and guard rails. The seating around the boat is more than adequate and the helm seating is a leaning post type against and atop the galley housing – or you can have pedestal bucket seats without the galley unit. I like the solidity of the leaning post, but perching atop, while it gives an unfettered view ahead, is really only possible in calm conditions. At the sort of speed the 755 can achieve, even with the 200hp (and she can absorb the 300hp version for even greater performance) the perch position is not sufficiently secure for safety. Standing certainly is, and it is just as well because the hull works very well indeed.
Hydraulic steering makes the wheel really light and you can literally steer with one finger, although that wouldn’t be advisable just in case. But it does illustrate just how light on the helm she is. By that I don’t mean she is flighty – far from it – the hydraulic pressure simply takes all the heavy work out of spinning the wheel. The hull feels very well planted and is sedate on the water. The chines and strakes are larger than average, which saps a little performance due to the greater wetted area, but gives back in the form of reliable control and secure handling. I was impressed at how you could throw her about at will and the hull just gripped. Turns were clean and the stern followed the bow, rather than slipping sideways, and there was never a hint of skipping or losing the waterflow. I put this down to the fact that the hull isn’t trying to push any boundaries and is staying well within the performance limitations of heel angle, supported by those wide chines.
We did find more agitated water than the pictures were taken in, which was from a suitable fixed vantage point rather than a second boat. The higher freeboard forward, which is exaggerated by the graphics, gives tremendous sea capability, lifting cleanly over waves and maintaining a head-high stance, even in a following sea, which is what you need with an open cockpit forward. I didn’t find any failings in the handling department; in fact, I was pleasantly surprised at the ride comfort. Of course, no design is totally foolproof, but under any conceivable ‘normal use’ I couldn’t find any particular vices in the boat.
What I was less enamoured with, though, was the vulnerability of the ‘fly-by-wire’ throttle position. From the helm it is nicely placed, but the flaw lies in its proximity to the walkway, and having no fixed neutral position it is all too easy to knock the motor into gear by brushing past. Please don’t ask me how I found out – the answer is embarrassing enough as it is! Sufficient to highlight the danger, shall we say. Thankfully, there was plenty of water ahead of us and remedial action was taken in time, due to making mooring preparations well ahead of getting in the tight spot off Lymington Marina at the top of the river. I would like to see a slow-running default or a throttle position fix of some sort put in place.
Overall, the space, convertibility, family-friendly layout and level of performance are of a standard that will appeal to many middle-of-the-road boating families. It looks good, goes well and can accommodate six without overcrowding thanks to its double-ended nature. On top of that, it comes in at a sensible price point – even with the 300hp it is still under £60,000 with all the bells and whistles and before any haggling takes place. Well done, Quicksilver.
RPM Speed (knots) Fuel consumption (L/hr)
- 550 2.0 0.9
- 1000 5.6 2.3
- 2000 8.1 5.7
- 3000 12.6 13.6
- 3500 20.4 18.5
- 4000 25.8 22.3
- 5000 34.0 37.5
- 6000 41.1 59.4
- 6200 42.3 72.1
Hull length: 6.95m
Beam overall: 2.55m
Dry weight: 1389kg
Fuel tank: 280 litres
CE cat: C
- Handles well, goes well and is economical at cruising speed
- Convertibility of seating
- Throttle vulnerability
- Cabin is something and nothing
As tested with Verado 200 and optional extras: £50,789 (inc. VAT)
With Verado 300 and similar additional extras: £57,519 (inc. VAT)
RIBs Marine, Little Avon Marina, Stony Lane, Christchurch BH23 1HW
Telephone: 01202 477327