Axopar 25 Cross Top boat test
Dom Wiseman: Axopar have been dominating the sports day boat category for a number of years now. They are always pushing the envelope in terms of design and execution while maintaining that DNA that Axopar have become well-known for. But does this new Axopar 25 cross top keep them at the pointy end of the field? Come with me and let's find out.
The new Axopar 25 cross top is an evolution of the previously launched Axopar 22. The 25 borrows some of the elements we first saw on the 22, such as optional seating arrangements in the cockpit and the same sporty hull design featuring scalloped sides and sports car angles.
While the 22 is a flat-out day boat, the bigger dimensions of the 25 take the platform into new territory, delivering a classy cuddy cabin with sporty handling, all the while importantly being fully trailerable and, therefore, incredibly versatile.
The beam on this boat is 2.23 meters and that puts it well within legal towing limits. Most states mandate a maximum of two and a half meters on the trailer, and that means this boat will comfortably fit inside that without the need for oversized signs or an extra large car. In fact, you could tow this boat very easily with any dual-cab ute on the market.
Now that beam measurement may sound slim, but as you can see, there is plenty of room here. With careful design, the Axopar team have created more space than you'll ever want or need for any family and friends.
Like most European day boats, this boat is equipped with several zones for you to relax with family and friends and really enjoy that Australian weather. At the bow, we've got a sun lounge perfect for two people and an ample walkway push to port. In fact, that walkway creates more space for the cabin below and we'll talk about that a little bit later.
I do like the attractive bar work up here that's available standard in black, and it looks like it complements the curve of the gunnel beautifully. This is the perfect spot to sit back, use the back rest, or even lay down and pop your head on it and really enjoy a little bit of sunshine.
The port-side passageway also gives you excellent access from the front to the rear of the boat down to the cockpit, and that's another entertaining zone you're going to spend a lot of time in. This is the ideal place to sit down and socialize.
Standard, there is a bench seat that runs across the transom here with a third option being the multi-storage compartment, and that sits in the center of the floor space. Now that has a removable backrest, which means you can sit north-south or even east-west. That gives it a multitude of options when you've got a few people on board and you're running to and from different places or you're just sitting down and relaxing. Pop the backrest out entirely and you can use that space for a sun lounge down the back as well. It's a great arrangement, my personal favorite, and I think it really uses this space brilliantly.
What Axopar really do well is to make sure that every inch of their boat is entirely usable, and to that end, they've created a little walkway that runs across the transom here, which means that I can get to either swim platform depending on which area I want to jump into the water from. It's simple, but it's super effective and it means that I'm not straddling or trying to jump over the outboard while I'm trying to go from side to side.
This boat is all about socializing, entertaining and adventure, and you're going to have a lot of people on board from time to time, and when you're stationary, they're going to want to move from side to side.
It's good to know that this boat is incredibly stable. In fact, I was very surprised at how little it tipped from side to side when I got on board. The reason for that is that the hull runs all the way to the stern of the craft. You're not stepping onto a platform that overhangs, it's actually built into the hull, and for that reason, you're stepping onto buoyancy immediately as you get on board.
The usability shines through throughout every aspect of this particular boat. Now, this is the standard seating arrangement for the helm, but if you do want a sink and a fridge, they are located beneath these two seats, both of which fold forward to give you access to a sink and a fridge.
The cabin is pushed to the starboard side, giving you plenty of width down below. The finish here is clean, but it's executed with the precision that you would expect from a market-leading European day boat brand in Australia. It feels spacious despite being tucked down beneath the sun lounge on the bow.
There's also a drop-in phone charger here for phone-addicted users, and that's a nice touch. You don't see that on similar boats in this category. You also have a toilet down here, giving you the versatility you need for a full weekend out on the water.
The helm position is pushed a little left of center on this boat and that is to allow for a walkway down into the cabin. It is still an excellent driving position, gives me good visibility all the way to the nose of the boat, all the way behind us, and out either side. I'm protected overhead by a T-top. There is some bar work that I need to look past, but it's not intrusive and never in my way.
Directly ahead of me, I am protected by a large acrylic windscreen and that offers excellent protection from wind and spray, should you get any on board. I doubt you will, this boat handles like a dream.
Push down the throttle and this boat leaps onto the plane. It rides on that twin-step hull that Axopar have become famous for, and you can immediately get that sports car feel, the thrill of the ride that you've come to expect from all of their boats.
Powering the boat is a Mercury 250 horsepower outboard engine. Standard is a 200, and that gives plenty of performance as well. But I must say with a 250 on the back, it does come onto the plane very easily and feels like a beautiful match for this hull.
Currently, I'm cruising at around that 24, 25 knots and I'm using 30 liters per hour, and that's pretty fuel-effective in terms of going from place to place.
The 250 horsepower outboard provides excellent power all across the [inaudible 00:06:53]. You can really feel the boat lurch forwards as you apply a little bit more throttle every step of the way. If you wind it all the way out, you can really feel that acceleration.
It's like a sports car, this boat. In fact, all of the Axopar boats feel like you are driving a sports car no matter what their length. Particularly on these shorter boats, the 22 even previously and the 25, the driving itself is a thrill. You're not going to want to step away from the wheel on board this particular boat.
We're flying across the water now, this is wide open throttle. I'm doing over 40 knots, but I feel really comfortable. In fact, the speed I'm doing doesn't really feel like I'm going that fast sitting here behind the wheel. The hull is so capable that it feels like I'm doing a lot less than 41 knots.
Throw this boat into a turn and it handles like it's on rails. It's got a very comfortable angle through the turn, but it really does hold on even as you apply a little bit more power mid-turn, and as I apply that power through the corner, the boat just holds on. There is nothing quite like an Axopar in terms of its handling.
There is no doubt that like all Axopar boats, the Axopar 25 cross top is a thrill to drive. But it's the clever combination of design and precise execution that brings this boat home for me. They've found a really difficult fine sweet spot, delivering a towable sporty day boat with the added bonus of being able to load up, pack up, and hit the road to explore distant waterways. This boat will have wide appeal, but it's a smart evolution of what we have come to expect from the Axopar brand.
I'm Dom Wiseman for Club Marine TV. I'll see you on the next episode.
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