Ez-mount Battery Switches
As easy as 1, 2, 3, these revolutionary battery switches allow you to wire from the front. Never has installation been so easy and cabling so accessible. With their shared interconnection height, Ez-mount battery switches “cluster” directly with the Pro I
In other words, even someone like me can drive perfectly in trim. The 10m hull has a fine-entry with a 20-degree deadrise. To maintain its lateral trim, the boat runs Lenco trim tabs with LED indicators. “We can put in an automatic trim system but we tend to find a good helmsman is quicker,” says Bakker. “With just small touches you can bring the tab down a quarter; it will level out the boat.”
Peter Carlson, owner of Family Boats, bought the Mosgiel, South Island-based Southern Boats with his business partner Noel Davies last year. It employs 10 people and builds around 40 boats per year. The XP996 is the biggest production model at 10m but Southern will build custom boats up to 11-12m.
The hull of the Southern XP996 is 6mm, 5083 marine grade
aluminium, with 4mm aluminium topsides and cabin sides. The wheelhouse roof and helmstation are resin-infused fibreglass.
The silver grey that adorns many Southern boats is popular but not mandatory; you can have any colour you like, including an interior décor to match. This, the only XP996 so far, has a grey and black interior. Southern has kept Frontrunner to a minimum, instead making good use of vinyl in the ceiling panels and macrosuede on some wall linings and the squabs.
The spacious, enclosed hardtop provided sheltered on a winter’s day. The foc’s’cle has a vee berth with an in-fill and a pilot berth that sets up easily to port. The table is to port with seating either side; this drops down to form a berth.
especially with the weight of the Volvo Penta, 400-litre fuel tank and a 120-litre tank for fresh water low down in her belly. There is room for another 100 litres of fuel. This weight contributes to the vessel’s stability underway and at rest. “It’s a very capable boat for rough water,” Bakker says. The engine box for the Volvo Penta extends into the cockpit and provides seating and a perch for a chilly bin. Alternatively, the engine box can be lowered to take a game chair.
The inboard engine installation allows for generous platform space on the transom for game fishing; two divers can board at one time using the ladders either side. A series of engine bearers – what Southern calls a matrix underfloor structure – creates a stiff, structural platform for the Volvo Penta; even when sitting on the engine box, vibration from the engine is barely discernible.
“It’s really stiff so you don’t get that strumming that occurs on some alloy boats,” Bakker says.
Southern Boats installed the Volvo Penta 330 in this spec boat so it could go straight into charter, but the boat could take up to 400hp if desired.
Or, with a different transom incorporated at build stage, it could be powered by twin Yamaha 200 or 250hp outboards.
The diesel option is a higher capital cost but is more efficient – it will cruise at 20 knots burning only 20 litres an hour: one litre of diesel per nautical mile, giving her a range of 400 miles at 20 knots on the standard tank. Another 120-litre fuel tank can be added.
Twin, petrol-powered Yamaha outboards would burn about 35 litres an hour combined, at the same speed, and have a slightly higher top end speed. Twin outboards with counter-rotating props would be easier to handle in close-quarters, Bakker says, as the Southern XP996 with sterndrive is not the easiest boat to reverse, but a bow thruster could be fitted.
Cost-wise, the outboard option base price starts at $265,000. The diesel option tested here was $339,000 including gst, fully spec’d with electronics.
LONG RANGE ADVENTURES
With her long range, rough water ability, the Southern XP996 delivers the features of a launch, but could sit on a Jetdock pontoon, in a dry stack or on a launching trailer at a hardstand.
On her Southern triple-axle trailer, she represents a 4.5-tonne tow and, with her 2.9m beam, she is a restricted tow.
The Southern XP996 was at the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show and will be at next month’s Auckland On Water Boat Show at Family Boats.
The new Southern XP996 is one of the best-looking aluminium boats on the water and was a dream to drive. It’s built for strength in rugged conditions. Teamed with Volvo Penta’s electronic steering and trimming technology, it’s a dream to drive. B