- Being an aluminium boat, it is relatively light at 4.6 tonnes with twin 350hp Verados.
- One of the most sensible features of the boat is its shock-absorbing seats, which look like motor cycle forks …
The intrepid Greg Copp dons his Explorer hat as he looks to discover what lies beneath the surface of the latest creation from XO …
This tough 33ft stealth-like boat, wrapped in dark grey, made its first showing at the Düsseldorf Boat Show. XO are known for their tough, no-nonsense style of aluminium boats, but the Explorer aims to take this concept one step further. It is built on a military-grade aluminium hull, with a sharp transom deadrise of 23 degrees – ideal for exploring the often testing conditions of the Baltic archipelagos.
As is becoming the trend with some builders in the middleweight market, XO have opted for big outboards, in this case Mercury Verados (300hp or 350hp), over a diesel sterndrive. Before you roll your eyes over the cost of fuelling 700hp of supercharged petrol power, consider the implications. The purchase cost is lower, servicing is cheaper, you have twin-engine security and you get lots of deck/cabin space to put to good use. Unlike some similar-sized cabin boats that try to stir the mix with one outboard, XO rightly opt for a healthy power-to-weight ratio. There is nothing more reassuring than clocking up sea miles with plenty of power in reserve, especially if you are enjoying the far reaches of some deserted coastline.
Being an aluminium boat, it is relatively light at 4.6 tonnes with twin 350hp Verados. Its twin 365L tanks could give it a 230-mile range with a 20% reserve, providing you can keep the speed down to 30 knots. One of the most sensible features of the boat is its shock-absorbing seats, which look like motor cycle forks – simple but no doubt effective. It also has an incredible standard equipment list – so extensive that the only extras you can splash out on are air conditioning at £10,000, 4G digital radar at £2,760 and surprisingly a VHF radio at £1,728. Given the ethos of this company, and the fact that they supply two 12″ EVO3 Simrad chartplotters, Webasto heating, Zipwake automatic trim tabs and a 4kVA genset as standard, I am surprised they charge for a radio … Maybe it’s a printing error.
Internally the Explorer boasts a twin-berth cabin and an electric heads with holding tank, as well as a shower – all below. Like Botnia Targa they do a good job of slipping this in without it being externally evident. The real living space is up top, where the wheelhouse, with its expanse of windows and twin sunroofs, not only enhances the feeling of space but also gives the helmsman unfettered 360-degree visibility. The galley sitting on the starboard side has a sink, refrigerator and induction stove, fed by a 120L freshwater system and a 30L hot-water system. To keep the helmsman and navigator focused on the job during long passages, there is even a second fridge an arm’s stretch away at the console.
This boat costs £295,000 with twin 350hp Verados, but the extensive list of standard features, right down to free antifouling, means this is really not far off what you will pay for the boat. UK agents Wessex Marine should have one for testing soon, so watch this space.
Height above waterline: 3.22m
Displacement (dry): 4600kg
Fuel capacity: 2 x 365L
Top speed: 40+ knots
Max. load: 10 persons (Cat C)