Brabus 300 Shadow Boat test

Axopar's 25 get the Brabus touch, becoming a distinctive and exclusive Finnish flyer named the Shadow 300.

Dom Wiseman: If you want the absolute best, it's not going to be a product you find sitting on the shelf. The best by its nature is special, available only in limited numbers and certainly not available everywhere to everyone. In the marine world, BRABUS Marine epitomized that outlook, producing high quality boats built to an exacting standard. Does the new BRABUS 300 Shadow live up to the hype? Come with me. Let's find out.

Let's get one thing out of the way early and that is that this hull will certainly look familiar to some of you. It's the same hull that we tested recently, the Axopar 25 Cross Top. And that's because the BRABUS 300 Shadow is built on those underpinnings. And that's where I'm going to leave the comparisons because you can't get all of this in an Axopar at all. If you don't know BRABUS Marine, a little history lesson is in order. BRABUS take ordinary things and make them extraordinary, think cars, watches and now boats. And the BRABUS Marine partnership with Axopar has been spawned due to a personal relationship between the heads of these iconic companies.

What you are getting with the BRABUS is very special, engineered to be a little bit different, performance focused and luxury inspired. They certainly do stand out from the crowd. Overall, this boat is 8 meters long and 2.23 meters wide. And for a boat of this length being trailerable and well within the Australian legal limits, that is quite something indeed. But beyond that, this boat is unique in its offering and what's more important than that? Well, these boats are only available in very limited numbers.

The standout feature onboard this boat is definitely this outboard engine here, a Mercury race-bred 300 horsepower outboard. It's a naturally aspirated V8 power plant with a 4.6 liter displacement. And despite the BRABUS insignia that you can see on the cowling, they don't actually tune the engine at all. They don't really need to because in natural or standard, guys, this engine can propel this boat to over 50 knots, top end speed.

Not only is this hull extremely comfortable across the water, but adding to that feeling of speed and purpose is the sound of that 300 Mercury Racing engine. It really does have a lovely note and that note is carried throughout the boat. In an era where you've got engines being made quieter, it's nice to hear that V8 on the back of the boat and really revel in the sound that it makes while you're driving. Everything about this boat is thoroughly enjoyable. The throttle is smooth, the hull cuts through the water with ease and it feels extremely sure-footed.

The driving position gives me plenty of visibility, seated or standing and in front of me I've got all the readouts that I need to have to be able to keep in control of this boat. But what's most surprising about driving the BRABUS 300 Shadow is really the speed across the water. It's extremely fun, it's extremely agile and it's thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. Once you put that throttle down, the fun accelerates tenfold. This boat is wicked to drive, it really is a driver's boat, supremely fun and also very comfortable all the time. Throw it into a turn, it really does hold on, it beds in at a beautiful angle and it really does create an exhilarating feeling.

I am going flat out in this boat and we're already doing 45 knots and that's pretty fast for a boat of this size. But you can see how comfortable it is to drive, it really does dance across the water, but always feel in connection with it and super sure of where it's going. Slight adjustments of the steering wheel and it goes exactly where you need it to go. It is an exhilarating ride, that's for sure. We've been running this boat offshore today and that's where it's reached its true level of performance. It really is a boat that's designed to handle the rough stuff, it really slices through chop with ease. It's got a very sharp entry and the hull is designed in a way that makes it purely entertaining when you're out there, even in the toughest conditions.

The dashboard you see here is unique to the BRABUS 300 Shadow. You've got twin displays, large displays, and very prominently placed on the dashboard giving you excellent view. Obviously, the engine diagnostics and details are also run through those screens. Below that, you've got a carbon inlay and a switch panel located either side of the steering wheel and it's a very nice switch panel with a firm touch for each button giving you an LED light that tells you what's on and what's not.

You've also got an amazing stereo system because you simply cannot have a boat like this and not pump the tunes all day long. But the hero for me of this whole arrangement is the multifunction steering wheel. On the right-hand side and uniquely for a boat, you've got the in-built controls for the stereo system and on the left-hand side, you've got trim, tilt and bow thruster. All in one simple to use unit, not reaching for switches and buttons while you're driving, it's all there at your fingertips just like in a car. In fact, I think this is something that should be on many more boats than you do see it on these days.

Throughout the boat, you get this BRABUS inspired upholstery. It uses a unique geometric pattern to really stand out and that bright red too. What an iconic look. It does grow on you over time and certainly it gives this boat a very unique character. The black rail work really does work well with the grey hull onboard this boat. And behind me, the ski pole, that's standard, as is the deck wash. The idea for BRABUS is to not leave owners wanting more, every option has already been ticked and there are no more costs to incur. The standard seating arrangement that you get on the BRABUS 300 Shadow is what you see here today, and that is the multifunction storage compartment.

You can sit east-west or north-south. You can also use it as a sun lounge. But importantly, all of your water sports equipment and other gear is stowed neatly underneath these seat cushions. Keeping them out of the way and making sure that this space is clutter-free for you to enjoy your day on the water. Onboard this boat, you are surely going to want to entertain, you simply cannot buy a boat like this and not want to show it off. Now in terms of onboard space, you've got this half cockpit area, plenty of room, geared more around water sports activities or lying in the sun and really enjoying yourself. At the bow, you've got a sun lounge. Again, in bright red upholstering and that's located on the starboard side, perfect for two people. In terms of conveniences, located beneath the two helm seats, you've got a sink on one side and a fridge on the other. So your drinks are always at hand, the seats simply fold up to give you access and that gives you a nice little prep, cleaning and also storage area for your cold beverages.

Overhead, to protect you from the Australian sun, you've got a large T-top. It extends all the way out to the gunnels and that's a fantastic thing, offering excellent sun coverage. It also extends well back into the halved cockpit. So even if you're sitting down here and the sun's blazing, you can actually hide from it and not get too burnt. This is of course, primarily a sports day boat, but you do have a nifty cabin located beneath the bow area. Bed large enough for two people, possibly three, and you've also got the convenience of having a toilet down here as well.

But what I like about it is that they've added that upholstery that you find throughout the boat, the diamond stitching and put it down below in this cabin. In fact, the roof's lined as well and you've also got beautiful leather upholstery along the sides. It really does bring this area into touch with the rest of the boat. I do like that there's a sink down here as well and also a phone charger, that's a nice touch and these reading lights, what a great idea. If you want to come down here and have a little getaway to yourself, you can do that, you can read a book or you could fall asleep and listen to the water lapping the hull.

I'll be honest, this is not going to be a boat for everyone. But if you look at a car, for example, a Ferrari, well, that's not for everyone either, but there are plenty of us who would love to have one of those in the garage. And just like that, this BRABUS 300 Shadow is that sort of boat for me, I would love to own one. BRABUS have cultivated a following of people who are really going to be looking for the pinnacle in performance, the best performing boat they can get in its class. The appeal not only lies in the boat's performance, but also its finish, which is exemplary across the board. But it's also the uniqueness and rareness of that combination that will have buyers queuing at the door. This boat really does live up to the hype. I'm Dom Wiseman for Club Marine TV. I'll see you on the next episode.

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