Every now and then a new boat comes along that really stands out from the crowd. The Axopar 28 T Top is one of those boats. Designed in Finland it is mainly used in Europe as a tender to large super yachts, yet here it will make a perfect day boat and has the versatility to be a genuine multi-purpose vessel, with a toilet and accommodation should you need it.
While it may look unique, with a design that is closer to a sleek yacht than a power boat, it is also very functional with an exceptional amount of space onboard. The design team has obviously put a lot of thought into both the design and layout of this boat.
On the water, the freeboard looks low compared to many of its competitors but the hull is a beauty and easily slices through chop courtesy of its 22 degree deadrise. The Axopar 28 T Top really is a pleasure to drive and with a decent sized outboard on the back is also an impressive performer. The Axopar 28 T Top is striking with its flexi-teak deck throughout and bright orange upholstery. While these are the first things you’ll notice, there’s plenty more crammed into this neat 28-footer.
At the bow there is a large locker with plenty of room for ropes and an anchor winch should you choose to fit one. Directly behind the locker is a luxurious entertaining area, with the aforementioned bright orange seat covers. The seating runs across the bow and down the left hand side creating quite a spacious area for four people. The adjustable table can be lowered to create a sun lounge with the addition of some more cushions. The right side has no seating but you can stand and the gunwale is a perfect height to lean against making it a pretty comfortable spot.
Either side of the centre console is a walkway that provides easy access from the front to the stern of the boat. At the front of the console, hidden behind a lockable door, is a well-appointed toilet finished in walnut timbers and stainless steel highlights. There is even a fresh-water sink and mirror to freshen up. The steering wheel is all class, as is the stylishly minimal dash design. To the left is storage while ahead of the driving position you have a large flat space for a sounder/GPS unit and to the left, a slot designed to accommodate an ipad which can run Navionics as we did on the test day. Also within reach are the controls for the bow thruster and trim tabs. The Smartcraft gauge is also positioned here with the throttle easily accessible on the other side of the wheel.
Behind the front two seats is a long, bench seat with arm rests at either end. The upholstery, like all the upholstery on the boat is plush, durable and extremely comfortable. Underneath these seats is storage and a fridge to keep the cold ones, well, cold. It will fit a good number of drinks and food for a day out. Behind this seat is where it gets really interesting. At the rear sits an elevated sun lounge that is spacious enough for two and hides a nifty two person cabin accessed by lifting the rear seat. There are two small windows either side and should you have too many refreshments, you can climb in and sleep it off.
At the stern of the boat, either side of the engine well, is a teak-covered swim platform that allows access to the water. There are also mooring lines and fender storage on either side of the boat. These help keep lines and the boat tidy when underway.
The hull is powered by a 250hp Honda engine built on a six cylinder platform that delivers impressive acceleration and performance. With a newly designed super charger and vents that direct cold air into the engine more efficiently, it is quiet, effortless and more efficient.
The trim controls are precise and while at 28 feet, this boat comes with both engine trim and trim tabs, it was easy to get the engine to sit at the right amount of trim and have the boat riding over swell without being to nose down or nose up.
Engine controls are situated to the left of the steering wheel and in this situation, they have opted for the Mercury Vessel View platform. This keeps the dash space clean and uncluttered while still allowing all necessary reading to be located on one display. It’s easy to navigate and understand, even for novice skippers.
The sleek knife-like hull slices through the water with purpose and rides smoothly over lumps and bumps with no banging and surprisingly very little spray over the front when running both into and with the waves. The steps in the hull help break up water making the hull more efficient by reducing drag. The helm position is also exceedingly comfortable and secure and is one of the main reasons this boat is such a pleasure to drive. All round the performance is exceptional whether running into a swell and wind or cruising around a more sedate waterway. At rest the stability this hull provides is surprising, despite the steep deadrise.
The Axopar 28 T Top is a fantastic package that offers a lot for the Australian market. The purposeful design, crafty additions and clever use of space deliver a sports boat package that is immensely usable. Too often, boats lean too much to one side of this equation, but Axopar has balanced great looks with functionality better than most. The open style of the boat creates a usable area which you can also feel completely safe in. There’s enough sun protection, courtesy of the inbuilt bimini, and plenty of areas to soak up its rays keeping you happy all day long. The space and performance make this boat perfect for cruising, overnight stays and even fishing.
Premium Package, Silvertex Graphite, Toalet, Cruise Control, Lighting Kit (LED Backlight, Comfort Lighting in Cockpit), Audio Upgrade 1, 2 Speaker Bow, 2 Stereo Speakers and Two Channel Amplifier, Fusion Entertainment System with 2 Speakers, Bow propeller Side-Power SE40, 45 l water tank with drinking water, Spotlight, 230V mains plug with 20Ah charger, Stern shower, Stern canopy cushions, Sun protection, stationary, Cockpit table, Wood, Refrigerator, Dometic CM 35l, Trim flaps with joystick, Underwater light, Garmin VHF 110i.