Boating NZ : FREE TO READ February 2014
Words by John Eichelsheim Photos by Bryce Taylor Heaps of freeboard and a remarkable stability at rest make the boat well suited to offshore fishing “” BLACK panther Southern Boats' XP856 is a big, offshore-capable, aluminium powerboat that continues a tradition of soft-riding hulls but benefits from new tooling and design improvements. chine flats, making the hull entry a bit fuller, adding planing strakes and redesigning the fibreglass hardtops, which now come out of new moulds, to make them even lighter.” The XP856 benefits from these developments, among others. The strakes were subject to testing to get them just right, but on the new XP856 they work well, providing a little extra lift to the bows, but without noticeably hardening up the ride. A slightly fuller entry, compared to earlier Southern models, and changes to the reverse chines have resulted in a stable boat, no doubt aided by its considerable beam. Enclosed hardtops are an option with this model, but this boat is configured for day trips; it is without doors across the back, a sink, fridge or cooker, all of which are options. There is an electric toilet in the forward cabin under the squabs, with privacy provided by a moulded fibreglass, sliding cavity door in the cabin bulkhead, lockable for security. There is also a freshwater cockpit shower with an owner-specified, 90-litre freshwater tank under the floor. Although overnighting probably won’t feature in this boat’s programme, the macrosuede vee-berths in the well-lit, fully lined subscribe online at www.mags4gifts.co.nz/boating-nz 17 subscribe online at www.mags4gifts.co.nz/boating-nz 17 Tested_Southern XP_Feb14.indd 17 20/01/2014 2:32:19 p.m.
FREE TO READ March 2014