Boating NZ : FREE TO READ February 2014
➤ loa 8.6m ➤ beam 2.8m ➤ draft approx 0.5m ➤ weight 2750kg (dry) ➤ construction aluminium ➤ engine Yamaha four-stroke V8 350hp ➤ propeller 19-in SST ➤ deadrise 20° at transom ➤ fuel 450 litres ➤ water 90 litres ➤ cruising speed 30 knots ➤ max speed 41 knots ➤ price as tested $239,000 ➤ Manufactured by Southern Boats, www.southernboats.co .nz ➤ supplied by owner and Family Boats, www.familyboats.co .nz email firstname.lastname@example.org .nz phone 09 274 0511 Southern XP856 maintained provided sea conditions are reasonable. They were pleasant for our review. On the four-hour delivery voyage from Auckland across the Hauraki Gulf, through Colville Channel, past the Mercury Islands to Pauanui, the V8’s fuel consumption averaged 25 litres per hour. A V6 300hp would be adequate, according to Carlson, or you could fit a pair of V6 200hp outboards, taking things out to the XP856’s maximum power rating. Diesel sterndrives are also an option. The XP859 is strongly built. The hull features 6mm bottom plates, seam welded on both sides, with a 6mm keel strip providing extra protection along the keel line. The boat’s sides are 4mm aluminium with the decks and superstructure a mixture of 3mm and 4mm sheet metal. Longitudinal beams, cross members and stringers support the hull and decks and the sealed decks are pressure-tested in the factory, which offers a six-year hull structural warranty. The comfortable ride comes from the boat’s variable deadrise hull that tapers back to 20 degrees at the transom. Its handling is equally pleasant: in sharp turns the amount of heel is nicely controlled, and for a big boat it feels nimble and responsive to the helm. Trim tabs were fitted but not used in the conditions and there was little need to adjust engine trim attitude most of the time. All in all the XP856 feels safe, fast and capable. Helming the boat was a pleasure. Visibility is excellent thanks to narrow window mullions and the newly designed pedestal seats provide comfort and support for the driver and passenger. A single wiper keeps the screen clear of spray on the driver’s side. The moulded fibreglass dash console can take a flush-mounted 12-inch display – this boat had a Lowrance HDS10, but there was room left over – along with the usual electronic engine gauges, anchor and trim tab controls, switches, VHF radio, Fusion stereo head unit and the latest iPod dock without looking overcrowded. It’s a big, tall boat and I couldn’t reach the footrest seated at the helm, but it’s positioned to suit the owner’s driving position, not mine. Sliding side windows were appreciated on a sunny day – it was quite hot inside the hardtop despite its open back. Fibreglass seat bases provide lots of stowage. They’re a new design using fresh moulds. With two pedestals and two aft-facing seats there’s fixed seating for four, but a pair of padded and upholstered insulated ice boxes provide additional seating if required. We left one of the bins on the dock. CONCLUSION The fast and capable Southern Alloy Boats XP856 is strongly built and well finished. It’s a good example of the current breed of large aluminium craft, most of them trailerable, now filling the niche once occupied in New Zealand by small motor launches. That said, boats of this size and quality command launch-like prices, and while this XP856 is not set up for launch-style stay-away boating, Southern’s option list is vast and includes enclosed heads/showers, galley and bi-fold wheelhouse doors. Configured as a large day boat, the Southern XP586 still has a lot of appeal. The ability to berth it clear of the water on the Jet Dock offers all the convenience of a marina berth without the expense of antifouling and marina fees. From its Pauanui base, the boat’s owners are within an hour or two of virtually anywhere in the western Bay of Plenty, and with a boat of this size, they can also explore further afield if they wish. 24 Boating New Zealand February 2014 Tested_Southern XP_Feb14.indd 24 20/01/2014 2:37:26 p.m.
FREE TO READ March 2014