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Southern XP746

26 August 2014
Southern XP746

Southern’s most popular boat blends alloy and fibreglass elements to offer a craft that satisfies the fisherman and the family man. It was a clear calm Monday morning when we met up with Peter Carlson from Southern Boats to review his popular Southern XP746 model with latest upgrades.


Already the company’s best selling boat, Southern has recently improved a number of features of the craft from the hull to the hard top. From afar and closer up the boat certainly can claim “eye candy” status. Sleek lines and a fantastic finish give it that look of prestige. The two-pot paint job responsible for its appearance also resists chips and there is insulating plastic inserts between all fittings to prevent electrolysis.

Alloy and Glass Advantages

The alloy hull and fibreglass top combination is seldom seen in the aluminium boat world. The Southern XP746 has been designed to compete in both arenas, utilising the toughness and durability of alloy combined with the elegance and lighter weight of glass. The hard top weighs approximately 40kg compared to the 150 kg’s of an equivalent alloy top adding to the boat’s stability factor.

Observing the boat as it crossed our wake, I could see the turned out lip on the outside of the chines deflecting water away from the upper section of the hull. The fine entry point of the hull and redesigned, carefully tapering wide chines from bow to stern create stability and a dry ride.

Hard and dry, or soft and wet is a commonly perceived trade off of hull design in the marine industry. The Southern XP746 seems to contradict this dichotomy with a design that exhibits the best of both worlds, both soft and dry.

From the skipper’s seat I had an unobstructed view that extended back 200 degrees. The cabin’s sides thoroughly protect its occupants from wayward spray and clever little deflectors on the coamings perpendicular to the cabin help direct water away from the cockpit.

The forward seats are set fairly high, can be adjusted forward and back and provide more than one riding position. I could sit back and dangle my legs as we cruised along or move forward onto the edge of my seat and place my feet on the footrests when we were moving at speed. Either way I was comfortable, and the higher than usual view point was extremely practical for safety’s sake but would also suit anglers scanning the horizon for working birds.

Interior

Stopping and looking at the interior, I saw lots of features that both the hard-core fisherman and the family man would appreciate.

The cabin design leaves a large cockpit area for a group of anglers doing their thing whether it be with bait or lures and the padded coamings are just what the doctor ordered when a rampaging kingfish gives a lucky fisherman a good ‘railing’.

Double shelving along the coamings gives plenty of storage options for rods, reels and dive tanks. Looking again at the coamings it was obvious the extra height would help increase safety for curious children and advantage anglers trying to fight big fish in rolling swells.

In a number of respects, the serious fisherman is well catered for in the form of a live bait tank, 16-rod holders between the bait board, rocket launcher and coamings and an Icey-Tek chilly bin with seat squab. Family members will appreciate features such as a stainless basin for freshwater coupled with an 80 litre capacity tank but also includes an option for a hot water shower heated either by gas or via the Yamaha’s engine circulation system.

The fibreglass seat housings have been redesigned with access options from the forward or rear seats to cater for more equipment or single/twin fridges. The option of a stove compliments the standard issue electric toilet and for those who want to do over night trips the lockable cabin will sleep two adults without too much claustrophobia.

The fibreglass seat housings have been redesigned with access options from the forward or rear seats to cater for more equipment or single/twin fridges. The option of a stove compliments the standard issue electric toilet and for those who want to do over night trips the lockable cabin will sleep two adults without too much claustrophobia.

The first class finish on the boat is due to the high level of quality control accomplished from the boat’s major components manufactured under the same roof  (alloy, upholstery and fibreglass). The dedicated alloy road trailer is also manufactured by the company. The lightweight trailer contributes to the weigh in figure of two ton (apprx) for boat and trailer without fuel.

In conclusion, I was impressed. The attention to detail in design and execution is strong and Southern Boats have successfully created a craft that has the best of both worlds: alloy and fibreglass, fisherman and family, soft and dry.

Specifications

Southern XP746 Boat Test

  • LOA: 7.500m Beam: 2.500m
 Deadrise: 20 degree Vee
Hull Bottom Thickness: 5mm
 Hull Side Thickness: 4mm

  • Fuel Capacity: 250L

  • Recommended HP: 150 – 250HP
Max HP: 250HP

  • Tow Weight (Approx): 2100kg

  • Hull Warranty: 6 year Structural
  • Standard package price: $155,000 with 225hp Yamaha 4-stroke.

Liked

  • The attention to detail in design and execution
  • Alloy and fibreglass
  • ​ Fisherman and family friendly
  • Rides soft and keeps you dry

Not So Much

  • Nothing to complain about

For More Information

Peter Carlson
Phone: 0800 Southern
View more at www.southernboats.co.nz

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