What we learned from our 72hr test drive

Is the XO DFNDR 9 the new major canine in the world of speedy weekenders? We choose a 300-mile cruise through the Finnish wilderness to come across out…

Finland’s boating society is uniquely deep rooted. With more than 1.2 million registered boats amongst a population of just 5.5 million, it has significantly and absent the maximum level of boat ownership for each capita in the environment – and when you get to know the place, it is straightforward to see why.

With much more than 180,000 islands, its entire shoreline is ring-fenced by elaborate maritime labyrinths that make a magnificent playground for boaters.

And even the mainland alone is a wild and fractured put, minimize by means of with waterways to this sort of an extent that it often feels as even though it is greater defined by the water than the land.

As you may well hope then, the Finnish find out about boats from a quite younger age and they use boats not just as an occasional escape but as a regime part of each day lifestyle. Jaakko Kantola, the XO designer, is a scenario in level.

He life on a compact island identified as Granholmen and commutes to get the job done in Helsinki by boat. In reality, getting picked me up from the airport, I now locate myself sitting down in his small open runabout, as we make the quick hop throughout to his residence.

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As a commuting software, it is unquestionably a great deal much more charming than a organization vehicle but the boat we have definitely occur to see is the new XO DFNDR 9.

And as we arrive at Jaakko’s own pontoon, there it is in all its splendour – perched alongside like a happy hybrid of a rough Nordic 4-time cruiser and a slick Mediterranean overall performance device.

Go through Alex’s complete review of XO DFNDR9 in the Oct 2022 problem of MBY, which is out now.

XO DFNDR 9 technical specs

LOA: 32ft 4in (8.80m)
Beam: 12ft 8in (2.60m)
Draft: 2ft 1in (.99m)
Displacement: 2,710kg
Fuel capacity: 450 litres
Drinking water potential: 110 litres
RCD class: B8 / C6
Designer: Jaakko Kantola
Starting off value: £185,000 (inc. VAT)