Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
If you missed seeing the Axopar at either the Toronto or Vancouver boat shows this year, you missed one of the most unique boats ever to be shown in Canada. Axopar of Helsinki, Finland is only six years old and yet has a dealer network throughout Europe, Asia, and North America, including two Canadian dealers – one in the east and one in the west.
Axopar offers nine models in three hull sizes of which the mid-sized 28 is offered in three versions - T-top, Open, and the Cabin model. Think of the 28 Cabin as an outboard-powered centre console but with a fully enclosed helm area (referred to as a pilothouse) and with standard, if somewhat cozy sleeping accommodations for two. It also has additional sleeping space available in an optional mid-cabin for an additional two persons.
The Axopar 28 Cabin looks from any angle like no other centre console design you have ever seen. First of all, the “centre console” pilothouse is fully glass enclosed, while the wraparound one-piece windshield has a reverse rake to reduce reflections and to better drain away any spray. A sliding door on each side of the cabin provides easy access to the side deck walkarounds.
In profile it perhaps appears boxy with its almost parallel close to vertical plumb bow and stern, but in reality it has a sharp entry and with its deep-vee twenty-two degree deadrise hull, nine foot eight inch beam, plus a two-step aerated hull bottom, all tests have praised its rough water handling, manoeuvrability, acceleration and speed. Standard base power is a single 200 hp Mercury FourStroke with available single and twin power up to a pair of Mercury 200 hp FourStroke outboards. The latter choice is of course the North American preference.
A swim platform extension on each side of the motor(s) provides full-width level access to the cockpit as there is no transom as such. A retracting telescoping boarding ladder sits within the port side platform. A pair of asymmetrical, removable, and interchangeable high safety grab rails can be inserted appropriately where a transom would normally be. These rails are optionally available as a pair of folding jump seats.
On the aft side of the cabin you can upgrade to an aft-facing bench seat with storage, a wet bar module with sink and refrigerator, or a large sunpad above the optional aft cabin. L-shaped seating is provided in the open bow area. The front of the pilothouse opens to access a huge storage compartment. This may be fitted with a manual or electric toilet.
In addition to being fully enclosed and offering full weather protection, the pilothouse is full of not only the aforementioned unique features rarely found on comparable North American designs, but the hardtop of the pilothouse features a standard almost full size manually sliding canvas sunroof. This sunroof may be optionally electrically operated.
The rounded overhangs of the hardtop provide further weather protection while the forward overhang aids in reducing reflections on the windshield and provides protected storage for the standard windshield wipers with washers when parked.
The twin helm chairs are equipped with forward flip-up bolsters and flip-up outer armrests. Both slide fore and aft and swivel full circle to face the rear cabin which contains a full-width three person bench seat for at-rest conversation. An optional table fits in between, and an optional refrigerator and sink with cold water faucet package is available to occupy the storage areas beneath the two helm chairs.
When the helm chairs are rotated ninety degrees with the seat bottoms facing each other, the seat bottoms now become the foot portion of a cozy two person sleeping berth by utilizing the rear cabin bench seatback cushions as fillers between the rear cabin bench seat and the helm seats.
A custom leather-wrapped polished stainless steel steering wheel faces a practical dash with Nextel surface. There is lots of space to accommodate a full range of accessories as well as up to twin twelve-inch navigation screens. A walnut footrest is standard.
Additional notable options include a lighting package, the Brabus Line colour upgrade package and/or Trim Package, the Esthec platinum exterior flooring upgrade, antifouling paint, bow thruster, anchor windlass, spotlight, shore power, trim tabs with unique joystick control, hardtop Targa with side rails or roof rails and/or rodholders, cockpit cooler or refrigerator, cockpit shower, electric grill, foredeck sunshade, underwater lights, waterski tow bar, cabin heater, cabin window covers, a full selection of Garmin electronics, and a Fusion stereo.
|Dry weight:||4,277 (Boat Only) lbs||1,940 (Boat Only) kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||74 US gals||280 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Mercury Outboard|
|Engine HP:||Max 400|