on 16 Aug 2022
Scandinavian dayboats and marine toys are captivating boaters across Asia, thanks to innovative features and striking design. We explore two of the hottest brands of the summer, Saxdor and Radinn, to discover what the buzz is all about
Outdoor marine pursuits are surging in popularity across the Asia-Pacific, as two-plus years of Covid restrictions have pushed those who never previously considered recreational boating to get out on local waters.
A key demand noted by distributors in the region is for affordable options that don’t sacrifice fun or quality.
Scandinavia is a colder region where wetsuits are often worn when using marine toys, and where those choosing open boats are sure to wrap up warm. Despite this, the region produces an abundance of dayboats with at least one cabin, and toys designed for domestic markets that are proving popular of late in Asia.
Saxdor – a relatively new brand from Finland – was founded by Sakari Mattila, the designer and co-founder of Axopar Boats. Saxdor produces both dayboats with lower-deck cabins and “sportsboats” – which, as the name suggests, are about fun compact-powerboating at speed.
Scandinavia produces an abundance of dayboats and toys designed for domestic markets that are proving popular of late in Asia
“The Saxdor 200 has proved very popular,” says Adam Waters, general manager of Pacific Leisure Boat, Saxdor dealership for Greater China. “It is easy to use and very well priced – at not that much more than a Jet Ski – and can be used for wakeboarding.”
Speaking of Jet Skis, the optional seating arrangements can be configured in a single-seat-row style reminiscent of the Jet Ski but in a larger format – the hull is just over 5.9m long – or in three other patterns that can sit four to six onboard, including the skipper. One Mercury petrol outboard motor is fitted, from 90-horsepower up to a 200hp V6 for those craving more oomph.
The 150hp seemed to give great immediate acceleration response; Waters says this or the 115hp outboard provide the best user experiences for the Saxdor 200.
On a sunny spring day in Hong Kong, Asia-Pacific Boating went out to sea to trial both the 200 and the 320 models. Also with us, easily stowed, was a state-of-the-art electric jetboard, produced by Radinn of Sweden, which is currently rated as one of the world’s best in this marine-toy field. Pacific Leisure Boat is the Radinn dealership for Greater China, Taiwan and the Philippines.
The Saxdor 200 and the 10.3m 320 model share multiple options for seating layout and roof coverings. Both can be fully open; the 200 can come with a targa arch – useful for mounting audio speakers, as tie-up storage and as a well-positioned handrail. Buyers can request a soft or hardtop on the 200; a hardtop or enclosed cabin are options for the 320.
We headed out on a 200 Pro Sport with hardtop and stereo speakers mounted on its targa arches, and a 320GTO – the hardtop set-up with cockpit seats configured on either side of a dining table that can seat six people. One of the most genius elements on the 320 is the bulwark, which lowers to become a flat, sturdy extension wing on the main deck at the touch of a button on each side.
The more spacious and elegant 320 model can also produce the correct wake for towing wakeboarders. Good storage is hidden under seats in both models. And both have very comfortable helm stations; the 200 has a clear Simrad display screen, trim tab control, audio and light controls and phone charging points. There are grab-handles all around the twin helm seats and seating behind it.
The 320 has three seats at its helm that can each flip up to become backrests to allow standing, with dual Simrad display screens, joystick operation for docking and operating bow thrusters included on the control panel.
One of the most genius elements on the 320 is the bulwark, which lowers to become a flat, sturdy extension wing on the main deck at the touch of a button on each side
Directly behind the helm is a wet bar with a sink and hotplate counter, various fridge-freezer options, and storage cabinets.
Bows on both have sun pad seating and inset audio speakers within earshot – the 320 offers a comfortable lounging spot with a backrest for two to sit upright, with cup holders on each side, flanked by an extra set of inset speakers. The 320’s sun pads can open to bring ventilation into the lower-deck cabin, and behind this are two skylight windows that blend into the helm’s windscreen. The 320 bow has an anchor locker with enough space for fenders and handrails all around.
A V-shaped hull on both models cuts through waves or wake, making for a more comfortable ride when travelling at speed. The 320 line is powered by twin Mercury outboard engines, ranging from V6 225-hp to V8 300s – and can reach 40 knots without breaking a sweat, as our hull, installed with twin 225hp engines, proved. Whether hitting maximum speed or cruising, stability is evident with no uncomfortable bow lifting or scudding when planing, thanks to the hull designs.
The 320’s lower-deck double cabin comfortably sleeps two, with plenty of windows with coverings and a concertina panel-clad mini ensuite shower area, with sink and WC.
Board talk: Radinn jetboard
Reviewers have hailed Radinn’s series of three jetboards (the Freeride, X-Ride and Carve) as easy to use for the non-wakeboarder or surfer. A key difference from many of the electric boards on the market in recent years is that the jetboards in this series make full contact with the water – boards are not elevated on a foil. This means a lower centre of gravity and a more solid sense of balance.
As a result, beginners and children can have fun kneeling or sitting on these, and more than one adult can ride on a board if speed is kept low. The largest of the designs (Freeride) is also the slowest but can still reach up to 30 knots as riders become more proficient.
In many parts of the Asia-Pacific, the new-found appetite to be out having fun on the water may be well served by some of these options.