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

Boating NZ - - Boat Review -

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.


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

The lay­out of the ful­ly­lined wheel­house and for­ward cabin takes ad­van­tage of the XP996’S 2.9m beam. There’s a 12V fridge, com­fort­able ac­com­mo­da­tion for overnight­ing and plenty of stor­age un­der the seats and bunks and in un­der­floor lock­ers.

Rather than be­ing in­tru­sive, the en­gine box has been turned into a prac­ti­cal work sta­tion with seat­ing, a cooler and a de­mount­able bait sta­tion. The Tekdek used on the cock­pit sole and coam­ings looks good, is warm to touch and easy on the feet.

The tidy in­stal­la­tion of the Volvo Penta D6330 com­mon-rail, all-elec­tronic tur­bod­iesel and its as­so­ci­ated en­gi­neer­ing.

The head and shower fa­cil­i­ties are to port in the for’ard cock­pit; the hand­basin over the gas locker is handy to star­board.

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