Yachts International - - Sternlines -

I’d long wanted to get my hands on the Ax­opar 37 Sports Cabin for a sea trial. Hav­ing seen its de­but at the Düs­sel­dorf boat show last year, I fi­nally got the chance at the Cannes Yacht­ing Fes­ti­val in Septem­ber. I was not dis­ap­pointed.

With the 37, the Fin­nish builder has blended an ag­gres­sive look with an invit­ing cabin while stay­ing true to the com­pany’s phi­los­o­phy of ef­fi­ciency and per­for­mance. By us­ing stepped hulls and twin out­boards, the 37 pro­vides re­spectable speed at a rea­son­able price. The cock­pit seems Florida-ready with plenty of space for en­ter­tain­ing—es­pe­cially if you opt for the wet bar, fridge, grill and sink.

For­ward of the helm, the main cabin has a queen berth, a head, a pri­vacy cur­tain, a com­pact gal­ley and a small bench seat where you can es­cape your guests with­out hav­ing to lie in the bed. The cabin does not of­fer standup head­room, rather, some­thing I’d call com­fort­able crouch height.

The sa­lon on the main deck makes the most of the space with an L-shape sofa and din­ing ta­ble. There’s an op­tion to have an aft cabin, which I would cer­tainly choose.

The wind was wispy as golden morn­ing light gleamed off what should have been the calm wa­ter of the bay off Cannes. It turned out, we weren’t the only ones itch­ing for a sea trial. Dozens of mo­to­ry­achts criss­crossed the wa­ter with prospec­tive buy­ers aboard, churn­ing the wa­ter into a con­fused mess. The con­di­tions were per­fect for test­ing what Ax­poar claims is a high-per­for­mance craft.

“Now this is more like it,” I said to Ax­opar founder Jan-Erik Vi­itala as we slipped our lines and made our way to open wa­ter. As I ad­mired all the glim­mery mo­to­ry­achts around us, it struck me how many peo­ple were ad­mir­ing the 37 in re­turn. Her gray hull, black hard­top and low-pro­file de­sign eas­ily catch the eye.

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