There will be a host of boats in Excel this January, but what are the most eye-catching powerboats due to be on display? Here are 10 of the best 'must see' craft...
Technohull Sea DNA999
While the builder’s description of this craft as a ‘unique ten-metre RIB’ might initially seem like marketing flannel, the DNA999 from Technohull comes closer than most to justifying its exalted billing. With a twin-stepped hull from British design specialist, Adam Younger, this high-performance cabin RIB manages to confine its entire forward section beneath the natural height of the tubes, enabling the craft to sleep four people in comfort and yet still retain the form of an overtly sporting open RIB. Designed for extended offshore passage making, the 999 is well able to handle speeds in excess of 70 knots and is rated to operate with anything from a single 250hp outboard right up to a pair of 350hp units. See Technohull RIBs.
The new 630 Walkaround from Norwegian sports boat builder, Oceanmaster, is designed to be a performance craft with sufficient versatility to enable not just occasional overnighting, but also offshore fishing, watertsports and cruising. As you might expect, the two traditional Scandinavian leisure boat strengths (robust build and composed seakeeping) are right at the forefront of the 630’s CV. Without it, Norwegian manufacturers know that their domestic sales will suffer - and happily, these are exactly the strengths that will also enable this multi-purpose family sports boat to excel in the UK. Capable of taking an outboard of between 90 and 150hp and seating eight, you can take a closer look on Stand C224. See Finedesign for details.
AB Oceanus 28 VST
If you didn’t see the new flagship of the AB range making its debut appearance a couple of months back in Southampton, make sure you catch it this time round. Designed as a console tender, the 28 VST is the largest of the Oceanus line and is intended to bring together sufficient performance and comfort to appeal both to the commercial market and the committed leisure boater. Key features include four lifting points, an integrated aluminium fuel tank, a big internal bow space and acute hull angles to aid in the dissection of wave shapes. Billed as ‘one of the most spacious console tenders on the market’, you can see the new 28 VST on stand B228 or see If It Floats.
Chris-Craft Corsair 32 Heritage Edition
The 32-foot Heritage Edition of the Chris-Craft Corsair is a delectable modern take on the classic launch. In addition to the traditional (slightly Riva-esque) cleanliness of form and the impressive quality of workmanship, there are joyful little touches all over this boat. From the teak bi-fold cabin door, to the double Captain’s helm bench and the stainless steel accent rails, it’s a class act. You also get a V- berth with a separate heads compartment, plus a big seating area in the aft section of the cockpit, with a concealed teak table for use at the heart of the U-shaped bench arrangement. Even watersports fans will enjoy this boat for the big ski locker and the hot and cold transom shower. At £417,435, it’s an awful lot of money for a 32-footer, but you can see why. Visit Stand D222 for more.
Piranha will have four RIBs on display from its extensive leisure and commercial range, including the popular 5.8, the pretty little aluminium 3.1 and a 5m RIB rigged as a rescue craft. But the largest on display (and capable of operation in both leisure and commercial environments) is the new Polish-built 8m RIB. Heavily constructed and acutely angled for a soft ride in tough offshore conditions, it is not difficult to identify the commercial routes of this craft, but the family boater also gets some attractive features with a cosseting T-top console, a huge bow locker, useful tube-top grab rails, a neat little fold-down aft table and a deeply cushioned and reassuringly contoured three-man aft bench. See Stand B238 for more.
From the entry-level specialist and the perennial ally of the boater on a budget comes a new 19-foot cuddy crammed with clever touches. You get a relatively spacious cabin with foredeck skylights for decent natural light ingress and a sliding door to help make the most of the space on offer. Up top, the 642 comes with an extended swim platform and a cockpit made all the more versatile by the use of a leaning sunlounger, swivel backrests and a removable table. You even get that rarest of all things on a small inboard sports boat - easy engine access. Head for Stand E246 or see Aquatic Boat Centres to take a closer look at what Bayliner is doing these days. You might just be surprised…
Larson ‘All American 23’
Making its European debut in London is a special new Larson built to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary. The ‘All American 23’ is a rebirth of one of Larson’s most popular models, a simple family sports boat with an open bow that was produced from the 1960s right through to the 1990s. Equipped with a Mercruiser 350 MAG inboard engine and Bravo III outdrive, the colourways are distinctly classical, with a bluehull band against a white backdrop and internals adorned with traditional tan upholstery. But in a nod to modernity, the new 23 uses flexi-teek throughout and includes canvas covers, docking lights, bow and cockpit tables and a transom shower as optional extras. She will appear on Stand C270 with a price tag of £56,157 courtesy of Gibbs Boat Sales.
Clear Aries Cabin Deluxe
Another craft making its UK Debut at the London Boat Show will be the 21-foot Aries Cabin from Italian brand, Clear Powerboats. Designed by Naumaco in Milan and based on a race-winning hull design, this sports cruiser is designed to offer versatile accommodation plus a style and quality of finish evocative of the superyacht industry - so expect traditional, solid teak decks (none of that fake stuff here) and sumptuous upholstery throughout. In terms of features, you get a double berth in the bow, with a heads and a galley, plus a walkaround centre console with large forward sun pad, an optional dining table aft of the helm and additional seating. Check it out on Stand C224.
Scorpion Sport 81
In a world of unnecessary complication, it’s refreshing to see something so simple from the renowned Scorpion stable. New to this show, the Sport 81 is a classic 28-foot Scorpion hull with a single outboard, a pair of twin jockey seats and a three-man aft bench as standard. You can of course complicate matters with a set of rather lovely Ullman suspension seats and a range of engine options, but in essence, this remains a fast, distance-making open powerboat - and though you are likely to pay pretty good money even for one of Scorpion’s more modest craft, it’s no less desirable for that. Take a look on Stand F505.
Cranchi Endurance 30
Finally, we have the Cranchi Endurance 30 - a 32-foot, Mediterranean-style sports cruiser and one of the most recent additions to the Cranchi fleet. Making an appearance at the London Boat Show for the first time, its efficient use of space, Italian styling, quality materials and appealing ‘duck egg’ colourways will no doubt prove a hit - particularly given that, with a price tag of around 145,000 Euros, she looks a great deal more expensive than she actually is. Visit Stand B234 or see Abersoch Land and Sea for more. For news of the sailing boats at the show, see 10 New Sailing Yachts to Look out for at London. The London Boat Show is set to run from 12 to 20 January 2013. To find out more, visit London Boat Show.