By Andy Adams
Highly innovative new cottage / adventure boat
The stepped hull rides high and dry and delivers solid performance with the Mercury 150.
Canadian Yachting magazine was excited to get our first opportunity to run the Saxdor 200 Sport – a very new and different sport activity boat from Europe. The lines are different, the hull and running surface are different and the design is clearly from an “out-of-the-box” thinker.
Saxdor was founded in 2019 by legendary Finnish designer, Sakari Mattila. Saxdor quickly became the fastest-growing premium boat brand in Europe. Mattila was also a founder of Axopar and two other brands. Distinctive features include the plumb bow (vertical instead of curved or sloped) which is a major design cue. The running surface is stepped and Saxdor designs for maximum beam at the transom a design feature also seen in the Axopar boats. We reviewed the Axopar 37 XC in Canadian Yachting in June 2020 when we met Jan-Erik Viitala, one of the two co-founders and majority shareholders of Axopar. Jan-Erik’s title is ‘Creative and Innovations Director’. He is Finnish, but his English is excellent and he described in detail their design approach to seakeeping and performance. Indeed, we were very impressed with that boat. At 37-feet, the Axopar was a Bluewater adventure boat and as impressive as it was, we wondered if the same design features would work in the 20-foot size of the Saxdor 200 Sport. We think it does.
We did not have a chopped-up Biscayne Bay to test the Saxdor in but there was a stiff breeze, small short chop and mainly, lots of wake action from the many families going in and out of Walkers Point Marina with their wake sports boats on a Sunday evening.
The bow is a distinctive shape and effectively gives a longer running surface to bridge waves than a raked back bow would.
We loved the sporty feel and style of the interior. It’s like a sports car. The windshield slides up and down if you want protection, or wind in the face – an unusual feature. We understand that a T-top will be optional. With that, you could add canvas to enclose the boat for wind and weather if that suited your uses.
The helm was nicely laid out and well-equipped including a Simrad multi-function display. So, you could have navigation charts, depth sounder and it can also handle switching including controlling the Fusion stereo system that by the way, sounded great.
The Saxdor 200 Sport planed off in about 5.5 seconds with two people aboard powered by the upgraded Mercury 150 engine on the Sport Pro edition. Top speed came to 48 mph at 5,350 RPM, while a good economical cruising speed seemed to be 29 mph at 3,500 RPM, and we were still on plane down to a relaxed and quiet 3,000 RPM doing 23 mph without using the trim tabs. That’s right – our test boat had trim tabs like a big boat!
This view gives a better sense of the layout with the centre console, windshield that can be raised or lowered and the seating arrangement.
In our use that day, tabs were not needed, but they could be useful to level out a load, counter side winds or help plane off a big load. Tabs could also help in wake sports applications, so it’s a great feature. Our Saxdon 200 Sport was equipped with a big towing rig over the engine and the design of the boat has an open transom.
While the test boat was not equipped with a boarding ladder, the cockpit floor is only inches out of the water at the transom with grab bars and places to easily hoist yourself out of the water. The whole interior has a soft flooring material called Verdeck. It’s similar to SeaDek EVA flooring that we see on many domestically-built boats. It’s soft on the feet, cool in the sun, offers good grip and it’s easy to clean too.
The helm is attractive and functional with the Mercury control box on the binnacle side, handsome wheel and the Simrad screen on the big dashboard. Note the soft pouch for storing cell phones, charts and other loose items.
The interior is another place where you see significant design innovation. There are various layouts available including a horse-back style similar to riding a personal watercraft, but our test boat had a very attractive and more conventional pair of bucket seats at the helm and companion positions with a clever bench seat aft of that. The curved backrest on the aft bench seat faces forward for running but can flip to seat people facing aft for water sports, swimming and diving. The seat bases both have significant storage space inside. There is a handsome soft pocket at the helm console that holds paper charts, cell phones and other items that you will want to keep near at hand.
One of the most amazing design features on this boat is the large sundeck space ahead of the console. This is padded for tanning comfort and would make a great spot to relax at an anchorage but there’s more to it.
The bow has two mooring cleats, a soft step pad and the bow light is a pop-up design. There are also pop-up side cleats for hanging fenders.
This entire section hinges up and there is an available waterproof enclosure that turns into a camping tent. This is a truly unexpected feature. An outdoorsy couple could take the Saxdor exploring and camping through places like the Thousand Islands, Rideau Canal or Georgian Bay, and by adding a portable toilet and some camping supplies for cooking, you could easily spend a weekend exploring on the Saxdor.
This same enclosure would be perfect as a change room for people who want to go diving or do towed water sports.
Our test boat had the optional Mercury 150 and it was quite fast but a 115 will be offered that should still deliver strong performance at a lower cost and with better fuel economy.
Overall, we think the Saxdor 200 Sport is attractive, sporty and fun to run. It has a truly innovative design. This is a boat that can really open some new doors to summer fun.
ENGINE: Mercury 150, 150 horsepower inline 4-cylinder 8-valve single overhead cam 3.0 litre engine.
The view from the transom looking forward shows the open transom, big side storage lockers, the seats that have more storage in the bases and the tow bar. Also note the gunwale sides have small glass inserts – another unusual feature.
Length OA: 19’6” / 5.94 m
Beam: 7’6” / 2.29 m
Weight: approx.. 2,200 lbs / 1,000 kg
Fuel capacity: 26 gals / 100 L
Boat and price supplied by: BCI Marine, please visit BCIMarine.com