By Kyle Barnes

by Holly Dukeson

Designed for fun - no two ways about it!

James Bond meets Batman with a dash of Humvee and a good dollop of European luxe. A bold statement of a vessel, which drives like a chase scene from a Bond movie and is an all-round weapon of a boat, which commands full concentration at a top speed of 46 knots. 

The name Axopar is derived from the founder’s existing portfolio of successful Scandinavian boats, with Aquador, XO Boats and Paragon Yachts already recognised as well-known, leading brands. The Axopar is another popular brand from their stable, we had a chance to get out on the water on the AXOPAR 45, a vessel designed for fun, there are no two ways about it. Axopar’s founding partner and Creative & Innovation director Jan-Erik Viitala, like many successful Nordic entrepreneurs, has a steely determination, a strong work ethic and an iron will to succeed. Along with being a true adventurer, think map and sign free snowmobile ‘free-rider’, Jan-Erik’s goal is to provide an adventurous ride while avoiding over-engineered and unnecessary solutions and complexity. A boat for everyone. And he’s done it.


The bow above the water is bluff, slimming down to a fine point of entry as it takes another 45-degree angle aft towards the waterline. The multiple chines start above the waterline when at rest and a hard chine that punctuates the bottom of the freeboard seems to run back all the way to the Portofino stern. This makes for a bullish looking bow that means business. The builders were so intent on keeping this aesthetic they folded all the anchor gear including the sprit back into the anchor locker, where it flips into position ready to hold fast when required. 



This weapon of the waves asks you to lay all over it, get comfortable and rest with the sides on the stern pulling out to create seating for around 15 comfortably on the back. The helm station offers up three helm chairs and then there is all the luxe sun-decking up the front. She has the feeling of width at rest, an almost raft-style about the stern with the huge amount of soft seating to lounge on. With a beam a titch over four metres and larger when the wing chairs are out, she is wide, although at first glance doesn’t look it as she is aesthetically girdled by her long lines. 


Downstairs is cleverly accessed both traditionally through the door beside the helm and through port and starboard Gullwing door arrangements from the forward deck under the sunlounge setup. The accommodation below is spacious and extremely comfortable for an adventurer’s night or two away, with the convenience of a full-sized head. This vessel is all about the thrill and adventure topside, it possesses 3 x 300 horsepower engines that easily achieve 40 knots and is simply fun on a stick flat out at 46 knots. Which by the way will spit out just under 50knots if Mercury JPO Joystick is not selected providing a faster set of props, now that’s fast… And Rowan agrees owners are a diverse group of people. “Four have been sold to clients of all demographics and purposes. The one thing they all have in common is that they are all current Axopar owners who love the brand so much they want to upgrade to the latest and largest model. “But there is no real demographic, generally those buying 37s and larger are higher net wealth individuals looking for a sophisticated but rugged and luxurious day boat and are unlikely to be sleeping onboard – they just want a great day boat. They already have a beautiful house so sleeping on their boat would be more like camping, or perhaps glamping. They really just want to take out 12 friends or so, then take it home, put a hose over it and pop the covers back on. While most owners use the boat solely as a day boat, but there are many who do use it as a weekender and spend the night at their favourite anchorage. Being able to blast quickly and safely at 35-plus knots allows you to cover great distances while not breaking the bank on fuel.” 


With dual electrically operated canvas roofs with harbour covers above you, this makes for great ventilation while ensuring the sun is kept off, especially in the warmer climes of places like Queensland or even Sydney Harbour. If you’re in a cooler climate, a cabin or the clever cross-top, is probably the way to go. The boat I tested had Silvertex Petrol with Seine piping and the comfortable pilot and two co-pilot seats with flip-up bolsters are rock solid and look the part. But you can always upgrade to the Mediterranean upholstery for a more elegant and plush look. The helm has a clean layout with the control switch panel in glass with illuminated push switches. These switches are deliberate and have an almost “Humvee” feel, a utilitarian style set of buttons that reflect the outdoor adventurous nature of this beast. Sure, it has the glamourous Simrad 2 x12” glass bridge display carved into the dashboard, but it’s the cheeky James Bond-style buttons that give you a sense of its architect’s fanciful vision of the vessel. A kind of a Bond meets Batman with a dash of Humvee and a good dollop of European luxe thrown in. The Intelligent Steering Module (ISM) steering wheel in leather with integrated controls for audio, trim tabs and bow thruster, is a very handy unit with one place for everything you use for seakeeping – fore, aft and athwartships levelling and close quarters manoeuvring. 


After many years, I do consider myself a good boatman but there is nothing like leaping over three-metre hollow backed swells at 40-plus knots on a huge tender to throw a little doubt on your abilities. My bravery or lack of it aside, this hull handled everything we could throw at it, dancing on top of the swells. But when my feet were floating due to the lack of gravity, I decided to pull the speed off which ultimately risked nose-diving into the next breaker. The load of water we could have taken onboard was reduced to a bit of sea spray showing off the vessel’s bow flare. Back into the calmer waters after the drone shoot was over and the cut through on this vessel really shines. Throwing the helm down at 46 knots on most vessels (if you can achieve that speed) creates an unsafe ‘dig in’ in many scenarios, but for what I imagine is the hard chines doing their job, it felt as if she had a cushion of air under her portside as I locked into a port turn with no issues. 



The Axopar 45 is designed with a low centre of gravity, the rag top and functional framework of the cockpit roof means you can carry a plethora of equipment with you. Although she only has a one-metre draft to the props, some say that’s not shallow enough and that’s when the fitness folks pop on a couple of canoes to get into the narrows. The other folks in search of some hidden adventure that can’t be found onboard and is well beyond my curiosity level, have been known to strap mountain bikes aloft. 


Inclusions are the hand laminated hull in GRP with Vinylester resin for the first coat for osmosis prevention, vacuum infused stringers, a 45” twin-stepped hull with sharp entry bow, bow thruster and integrated engine brackets for 3x Mercury V8 300hp outboard engines. Then there are the trim tabs and underwater lights on transom, Axopar 3D signature chrome logo and openable balcony doors on both sides of hull and the hand laminated self-draining walk around deck with anti-skid finishing and deck lights. All hardware, pulpits, side rails, high handled bathing ladder, telescopic bathing ladder, locks, hinges, filler caps, 8x cleats and cockpit grab rail come in 316 stainless steel and there are hooking points for safety harnesses and two large fender storages on the open aft deck and battery/electrical compartment underneath. There is a shower on aft deck, LED navigation lights in the bow and an anchor hatch with dual shore power inlets connected to battery charger. The sofa on the foredeck is in Silvertex Petrol with Seine piping upholstery and harbour cover. Finally, there are 3 x starting batteries, 1 x bow thruster battery and 4 x service batteries included. The complete boat comes in Axopar white gelcoat. 



The open aft deck comes as standard and you can then add on an aft deck bench the bench is standard but an option on the cabin version, a U-shaped sofa or even an aft cabin. Seats and upholstery can be upgraded from Silvertex Petrol with Seine piping to Sandstone, Baltic or Cobre. There seems to be a lot of optional extras and arrangements to be had with the deck including cooking facility and couch configurations due to the availability of space on the open deck – so bring your ideas along. Which is what the production team behind this brand does every day. Rowan said Axopar’s founding partner and Creative & Innovation director Jan-Erik Viitala was a self-confessed perfectionist and workaholic. “Jan-Erik is a very passionate man and dedicated to this brand and spends his time predominantly on the production floor finessing things. He also asks his production managers to come to work each week with a production upgrade, which could be something as simple as a new light or a new handle. There is an expectation on his team to always be progressive, always moving forward. They have never rested on their laurels – they are always looking for the next step.” 


This once again galvanises this craft’s place as an adventure boat to explore new places, sneak into untrampled coves, sunbake on myriad sun pads and seats. And offering plenty of scope for the adrenaline junkies who like me simply get their kicks just from the drive.


Length 13.9m / 45ft 7in

Beam 4.11m / 13ft 6in

Draft (excl. engines) 0.85m / 2ft 10in

Weight (approx. excl. engines) 7000kg

Fuel Capacity (min.) 1390 litres

Fresh Water 250 – 300 litres

Waste Water 120 litres

Battery, start 3 x 100 Ah

Battery, service 4 x 120 Ah

Max. speed (approx) +45 kn

Outboard Engines 3 x 300 hp

Passengers B:14 / C:16

Berths 2 persons (+2 w. optional aft cabin)


Idle Speed (1-3kts)
Fuel Consumption: 9 litres per hour
RPM: 600

Slow Cruise Speed (18kts)
Fuel Consumption: Around 109-118 litres per hour

Optimal Cruising Speed (28-30kts)
Fuel Consumption: 129 litres per hour
RPM: 4000

High Cruise Speed (35kts)
Fuel Consumption: 146 litres per hour
RPM: 4500

High Cruising Speed (46kts)
Fuel Consumption: 270 litres per hour
RPM: 5900

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