Built with European canal cruising in mind, the steel-hulled Aqaunaut Andante 438 OC (Open Cockpit) was one of the sturdiest boats on display at this year's Dusseldorf Boat Show, which is where Boats.com reviewer Alex Smith climbed aboard to record this First Look Video.

For a quick comparison between this model and the 438 AC (aft cabin) model, see our recently published feature: Five great European Cruisers.




The Aquanaut Andante Open Cockpit design has one immediate benefit: the elevated helming position that features a retractable hard top to ensure air draft is still within suitable limits for the continent's inland waterway bridges.

The interior helming position is sited in amongst the kitchen equipment that makes up the well appointed galley. This arrangement is not often seen, but has benefits with regards to keeping the helmsman involved with the social life of the boat, while capable of grabbing drinks and snacks from the fridge.

The compromise, of course, is evident in the accommodation. Like the AC version, the Open Cockpit model has three cabins, however, as the name suggests, the AC aft cabin is palatial, whereas the OC aft cabin is squeezed in cleverly and is more of a cosy cubby.

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.