Fjord, renowned Nordic-German builder of robustly avant-garde pleasure boats, has used the Southampton Boat Show as the showcase of choice for the debut of its new outboard-powered 36 ‘xpress’ - and for those of us who go boating in the Med, that was exciting news.
After all, when the 40 Open, the original pioneer of the new Fjord approach, was launched at the Dusseldorf Boat Show in 2008, it immediately won the title of ‘European Powerboat of the Year’. Its brazen, angular modernity and wide-open deck spaces were extremely affecting - and a decade on, despite being the entry-level platform in the four-hull line, the latest 36 continues to voice that same DNA in pleasingly unpasteurised form.
Watch our First Look Video of the boat below.
Like the established 36, the huge 12-foot beam of the Xpress model generates a strikingly broad and open inboard space. That is used to create a reverse C-shaped seating area in the tapering bow, ahead of a broad central helm console, with a spacious single-level cockpit deck and wide-open walkways all round. It also features the same below decks arrangement, with a double cabin, a heads with shower and a sparsely luxurious fit-out.
However, as the name suggests, the outboard compatibility of the new boat also brings with it a fresh level of performance. Powered either by twin Mercury Verado 300hp or 350hp outboard engines, the manufacturers claim a top end in excess of 45 knots, exceeding the figures of the existing models by four of five knots. It also brings with it a lower purchase price and a greater ability to access shallow water regions; plus a fuel tank more than a quarter larger than those on the sterndrive models to help preserve the platform’s range, despite the inevitable reduction in running economy.
In the aft part of the cockpit, the use of outboard motors also brings some extra versatility. The new 36 Xpress features the option of an alfresco galley built into the backs of the helm seats beneath the shelter of the T-top, allied to a further option for a six-man dining station in place of the standard forward-facing bench. When supplied with the electric lift-and-lower table, that enables the entire dining space to be converted into a large sunbathing platform, without inhibiting any of those precious walkaround decks.
Prices for this most affordable Fjord 37-foot day boat yet are likely to go from around £160,000 plus engines. See Fjordboats for more.