This year’s Southampton Boat Show is promising 24 UK debuts and eight world firsts from the world of sail and power. For our pick of the powerboats, read on. For sailing craft, see see 10 new yachts at Southampton 2016.

For wannabe admirals, the new pilot–style craft from Seaward Nelson will no doubt appeal, as will the Haines 26 and the Elling E6 - a tough, Category A, long-distance Dutch cruiser. Greenline is also on the list with its new Hybrid 36, as is Fjord with another outrageously self-indulgent party platform in the form of its new 40 Open. Sunseeker will be bringing its new Manhattan 52, the smallest flybridge cruiser to emerge from the yard in a very long time; and Princess will be following up on its Open model with a new V58 Deck Saloon, designed to bring extra flexibility to the mix, with an enclosed main deck, triple sliding doors and a retractable sunroof. There may also be a couple of fresh names, with BIC Aluminium and Alpha-Centauri, both due to put in an appearance, but (notwithstanding a cameo from Michelle Keegan, a very pretty girl who has apparently done a bit of acting), the top attractions this year are likely to include the following…


Powerboats at Southampton: With the Mercury 400R, the Cormate U23 will be good for 80 knots.

With the Mercury 400R, the Cormate U23 will be good for 80 knots.


(1) Cormate U23 R

Cormate’s cocktail of classic looks, quality build, gentlemanly fit-out and outrageous performance will be brought into radical focus with the appearance of its 23-foot Racing Edition. Though deliberately “simple and minimalistic”, the combination of low weight, a centrally ventilated mono-step and a 24.5-degree deadrise ought to mean running efficiency, ride softness and sporting dynamics way beyond most 23-footers. Though the boat is available with the Mercury 115 Pro XS for 40-knot performance and cruising efficiency as low as 0.55 l/nm, the show boat will be rigged with the top-end Verado 400R for a claimed speed of around 80 knots. For a compact leisure boat with two-berth accommodation, that’s something special.


Powerboats at Southampton: : Bavaria E40

The cutaway images show how different the Bavaria E40 is likely to be.

(2) Bavaria E40

What was ‘Project DA10’ will arrive in Southampton for its UK debut as the Bavaria E40 – a new semi-displacement motoryacht conceived as a “classic contemporary design” with the emphasis on space management and efficiency. Available in Sedan and Fly models and with either two or three cabins, the hub of the design is the spacious saloon, with its unusual central helm and its striking 360-degree views. The owner´s cabin is positioned in the bow, with a king-size bed, plenty of storage solutions and a private bathroom with shower. With Volvo Penta options from 75 to 300hp, alongside hybrid propulsion for the eco-brigade, the E40 looks well set to nail the key cruising criteria of safety, comfort and long-distance economy.



Powerboats at Southampton: : Boston Whaler 230 Outrage

Boston Whaler's 230 Outrage crams lots of quality into a compact footprint.


(3) Boston Whaler 230 Outrage

As the second smallest of the eight-strong Outrage line (see Boston Whaler 420 Outrage: the new top dog), the 230 combines serious fishing practicalities with useful family leisure boating ability. The central furniture, walkaround decks, two-man helm console with T-top and generous 416-litre fuel tank enable this heavyweight ten-man boat to provide multi-activity family entertainment, from long-distance cruising to fishing, diving and watersports. The bow looks particularly useful with peripheral seating securely hemmed in by stainless rails and equipped not just with a dining table but also the option of an overhead canvas for shade from the sun. The helm seat unit also looks cleverly conceived, with an integrated fold-down table and cupholders, plus a hinged backrest that can be lowered to generate an aft-facing bench and ample space for a large coolbox. At nearly £100,000 it certainly isn’t cheap, but Boston Whaler residuals always help make up for that.


Powerboats at Southampton: Fairline Targa 53.

The new Fairline Targa 53 Open  is all about communal main-deck entertainment.


(4) Fairline Targa 53 Open

Making its world debut in Southampton, the new Targa 53 Open express cruiser is designed to provide “uninterrupted entertaining space above decks and comfortable accommodation below”. The design maximises communal integration and natural light on the main deck, with a three-man sun bed over the tender garage, generous ‘U’ shaped cockpit seating with wet bar and spacious companion seating across from the helm. Down below, you can spec either the two or three-cabin configuration with galley and saloon and there are also three shaft driven engine options - two from Volvo and one from Caterpillar. With 30-knot performance and range in excess of 300 nautical miles, alongside the option of either fin or gyroscopic stabilisers, its cruising credentials look strong.


Powerboats at Southampton: Sargo 33

The Sargo 33 has a tough job on to outshine its smaller siblings.


(5) Sargo 33

Sargo’s new 33 uses the company’s classically soft-riding four-season hull as the basis for a platform that is designed to offer more than any other boat of its size and type. In addition to the traditional walkaround wheelhouse with broad, single-level side decks, open aft cockpit and secure step-through bow, you also get a pair of double cabins (one in the bow and one beneath the aft end of the wheelhouse), plus a separate heads as standard. Also included in the standard package are twin D6-370 engines, chartplotter, bow thruster and auto trim tabs, but the new boat’s chief problem is likely to be Sargo’s own 25, 28 and 31 – all of which also offer two cabins and a separate heads (see Sargo 28 Explorer video: first look). The choice will inevitably come down to whether the new 33 does enough to justify the extra expense and complication. Pay it a visit and make up your own mind.


Powerboats at Southampton: Finnmaster T7

The smaller Finnmaster T7 adds a little extra vigour to the dynamics of the much admired T8.


(6) Finnmaster T7

Like its big sister (the T8, launched to great acclaim last year), Fnnmaster’s T7 is one of the sexiest looking compact sports cruisers you could wish to see. In addition to the raked tinted windows, the crimson graphics and the simple purity of the lines, the docking lights (dramatically recessed LED strips on either side of the forepeak) are a stylistic delight. What the T7 needs to achieve though is not just the aesthetic loveliness of the T8 but a degree of sporting vigour the larger boat lacks. To that end, it uses a 250hp outboard for a 42-knot top end, alongside the ability to accommodate ten people and take you 130 nautical miles at around 24 knots on a single tank. Whether some might hanker after a 300hp engine to up the ante a little further is certainly a matter for debate, but either way, with its combination of useable accommodation, sporting ability and aesthetic impact, the T7 is a distinctly superior family cuddy.

(7) Williams Minijet

The Minijet is a smaller, more accessible and lighter weight tender designed to enable owners of even modest cruisers and sailing boats to get involved in the Williams experience. Weighing less than 200kg and offering very compact garage-friendly dimensions, the Minijet is powered by the BRP Rotax Ace 900 engine for the kind of shallow draft and manoeuvrability that has made Williams tenders so much easier to use than their outboard-powered counterparts. Despite its modest length of around nine feet, it will still hit speeds in excess of 30 knots and provide the elevated levels of finish that has previously won the company such prominence as a stalwart of the superyacht tender industry.

For more boats at Southampton 2016, see 10 new yachts at Southampton 2016.Save

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Written by: Alex Smith
Alex Smith is an ex-Naval officer, with extensive experience as a marine journalist, boat tester and magazine editor. Having raced as a Pilot in the National Thundercat Series and as a Navigator in the inaugural Red Sea RIB Rally, he has now settled in the West Country, where he lives and works as a specialist marine writer and photographer from his narrowboat in Bath.