The new Bella 700 Raid is an ingenious take on the family pilot house, so we thought it was worth a closer look.

The position of the pilot house to port and a long way forward generates a big starboard walkway and also a very large cockpit, with is well used with folding bench seats and also with storage lockers in the corners for your lines and fenders.

What's really impressive is the elevated moulding around the outboard, which help deflect noise and fumes and also create a work surface in an area that would otherwise be dead space


That stubby bow might be small but it's far from redundant, it;s easily accessed via that starboard walkway with the roof-rack as a grab-rail. There's a good Scandinavian style step-through bow, there are cut-outs in the cushion for your beers and there's also a shortened port rail so you can make your way back down that narrower port side.

In the pilothouse itself you get four forward-facing seats, with galley equipment beneath the aft seats and a bed that extends out from under the foredeck to two metres in length.

What's really surprising given the pedestrian looks of this thing, is the performance. With a 200 horse power outboard you can expect 40 knots and a two-second plane, which means it's not just a family workhorse, it's an entertaining driver's boat in its own right.


Written by: Alex Smith
Alex Smith is a journalist, copywriter and magazine editor with a long history in boating and a happy addiction to the water. He’s worked on boats, lived on boats, bought boats, sold boats and – when he’s not actually on board a boat – he can generally be found in his Folkestone office, tapping away at the computer and gazing out to sea.