A friend of a friend was exhibiting at the recent Ocean Village boat show and I had the opportunity to help take the boat back to it's mooring on the Hamble.
The boat in question is this the Axopar 28 and what a great boat it is. It manages to combine the speed and excitement of a RIB with a level of comfort and protection that makes an extended season in the UK really viable.
I can remember a few exciting RIB rides, hands frozen, teeth chattering, hardly able to keep the rain out of my eyes to see where I was going. What a contrast to be able to navigate from this warm, dry, comfortable wheelhouse with fantastic modern instruments.
Later the Hythe shoreline slips past as we head down Southampton water on what would otherwise be a chilly and dull day.
Opened up to 25 knots, the 300HP engine was purring effortlessly, the ride was very comfortable even when bouncing over the wash from the Ref Funnel ferry.
Just after we arrived at Hamble Point the heavens opened, if it wasn't a pristine show boat we would have just made a cup of tea and watched the squall go past, as it was we investigated all the gadgets, including the forwards and sideways depth, the radar and especially the underwater lights. Must have on my next boat!!
And at the business end lots of usable deck space for working, fishing, lounging, take your pick.
At 28 feet it's equivalent to a big RIB and in my opinion much more nimble than a similar length cruiser. There's a comfortable double berth and separate head, perfect for a two person weekender, which would probably stretch to two parents plus one child.....