Home BOAT TESTS

BOAT TESTS

Buster Phantom Cabin

The Phantom Cabin is an extraordinarily well-sorted driver’s boat, with very reassuring positivity in its responses to input at the helm. Buster’s flagship platform is a very lucid expression of Nordic priorities. The spec sheet for the Phantom Cabin makes for impressive reading … Alex Smith tests the biggest boat yet to emerge from Buster’s […]

P1 RIB

Launched for the new P1 International RIB Championship due to start in 2017, this boat has got to be the most capable and cost-effective adrenaline rush money can buy. At £45,000, it is a boat that brings powerboat racing to the average boater, while still offering a trailer-mounted family RIB for the weekend. The qualifying […]

Salpa 23XL

Albeit with a sprinkling of contemporary Italian style, the Salpa 23XL is in a similar vein to the Sealine S23, or Sea Ray 240 Sundancer. It is a concept that has worked well for many years ‒ a balance of accommodating a junior family/couple in a sub-25ft boat while providing enough punch to have some […]

Quicksilver Activ 675 

Simon Everett steps aboard a new model now taking its place within the ever-popular Quicksilver line-up of dayboats, cuddy craft and coastal fishing vessels. We find out what makes this prospective little winner tick and how she performs on test through the chalky waters of Poole Bay. They say there is nothing new under the […]

Used Boat: Ring 880

The 880 Sports RIB, first launched in 2010, is a purist driver’s boat, and is typically Ring, insomuch as it lacks some of the bells and whistles that adorn most pleasure boats today. The heritage of the 880’s triple-stepped hull (two full size and one half step forward) is well proven, as Mike Ring built […]

Falcon BR7

Bella boats have come up with some fine leisure platforms over the years. They’ve been responsible for the Aquador, Bella and Flipper lines, all of which have been radically (and very successfully) redesigned in recent years, and now they have added to that with an entirely new brand known as Falcon. This new four-strong fleet […]

Stingher 900GT Hard Top

It would not be incorrect to say that RIBs have changed considerably over the last decade. That does not mean that conventional jockey-seated rigid inflatables have lost their following, just that the big inflatable has widened its appeal. Call it the Italian dimension. The Italians were a close second behind the Brits during the RIB […]

Robalo R302 & R272

There is no denying that the sports fisher centre console market is on the rise. Over the last few years, this segment of the market has doubled, especially in America, with most American manufacturers offering a centre console, utility-style craft in their line-up. This has seen a big rise in larger outboard sales and development, […]

Fairline Targa 43 Open

Reinventing the wheel is a sure way to get yourself noticed, but it does pose risks – one being the forfeiting of practicality in the pursuit of attention-grabbing novelty, the other being stylistic alienation, i.e. designing a product that doesn’t have the family look that repeat customers are often buying into. Fortunately, Fairline have avoided […]

Capelli 600 Top Line

Capelli have been established in the world of RIBs since 1974, and have become well known in the Mediterranean for their middleweight family boats and luxury tenders. UK-based Ideal Boat are importing the range, fitting them out with decking and electronics, and then having them rigged with Yamaha engines. The Top Line 600, by the […]

X Shore eElectric 8000 Preview

Making its debut at the Palma Boat Show last year, the Swedish-built X Shore eElectric 8000 is as distinctive as it is silent. Unusually, it is powered by dual inboard electric motors, enhancing its minimalistic uncluttered design. Each engine, a Torqeedo Deep Blue 80i 1800, delivers 80hp – enough, it is claimed, for speeds of […]

Cranchi E26 Classic Preview

Cranchi’s take on the retro concept, though typically Italian, has a slightly different twist to its contemporaries. As its designer, Christian Grande, puts it, this boat combines both traditional and contemporary themes. He has reinterpreted the traditional concept by introducing some distinguishing and markedly modern traits, such as a vertical stem, long side windows and […]

Agapi 800 Preview

If you read last year’s Southampton Boat Show issue, you may recall the review on the unusual yet impressive Agapi 950. Hot on the heels of the 950, Agapi have just launched the 800, which is destined for our shores in early 2019 and looks just as serious as its bigger sibling. It is also […]

Paragon 31

Greg Copp savours the virtues of this particular Scandinavian Paragon … Making its debut at a time when the economy was spinning into free fall, this comparatively expensive boat could have slipped into Scandinavian obscurity. There are quite a few boatbuilders from that neck of the woods whose home demand means we never see them […]

The Sign of the Zodiac

Simon Everett reports from France on the rising from the ashes of the most iconic of inflatable boat brands. Zodiac are back in the game! The world’s largest inflatable boat manufacturer at the time, ‘Zodiac’ became the word for an inflatable boat of whatever design, just like ‘Hoover’ is still used to describe a carpet […]

Targa 27.2

Targa 27.2 Alex Smith investigates the latest incarnation of Targa’s fabled 27-footer. There’s a thoroughly justified element of smugness involved in the ownership of a Targa. Designed and built in Finland, they have never been about extravagant displays of wealth or potency. Instead, the established formula is all about effectiveness at sea, ease of use, […]