FULL SPEED AHEAD!
Fast, furious and fiery with looks to kill and an attitude to match. Magson Marine’s new Avanté 180 X-Series (Wake Edition) left a lasting impression during a recent sea trial at Harbour Island.
Although the notorious Cape weather can be somewhat unpredictable, I arrived to superlative testing conditions at Harbour Island, near Gordon’s Bay on review day with mild temperatures, open skies and just a hint of swell, and light surface chop rolling in — thanks to a steady southeaster.
Ernie Magson from Strand-based Magson Marine was already waiting and rearing to go. Standing on the slipway, my eyes were immediately drawn to the beautiful, racy-blue Avanté 180 X-Series sitting pretty on the submerged trailer.
Built by Raven Marine (based in Benoni, Johannesburg), the craft boasts some strong, sporty lines that are perfectly complemented by the two-tone colour finish. Her solid shape and high gunnels provide a heightened sense of security, and her sleek-looking wake tower (with integrated bemini) gives it a classy feel.
Measuring at 19.5-ft (5.95 m), she might not be the biggest boat around, but her capabilities are endless. A deceptively large interior is more than capable of entertaining a family of six comfortably on a day’s skiing or wakeboard excursion.
The Avanté offers the boat enthusiast something different from the other locally manufactured bowriders out there. While some folk may prefer a more conventional deck layout, the Avanté features a ski-locker behind the port-side sunlounger that forms part of the L-shaped rear seating — rather than a rectangular storage hatch along the centre of the deck.
The ski-locker on the Avanté is large enough to house larger gear like watertoys and wakeboard/skiing apparel. The underseat dry storage on the portside is specifically designed for lifejacket storage. However, this space can just as easily be utilised into a self-draining cooler box.
The Avanté X-Series’ helm chair is positioned further back in order to allow the skipper to stand up for improved viewing. The moulded dual cubby storage behind the helm and passenger dash areas is not only useful, but also super stylish. With digital Yamaha gauges, cable-steering (hydraulic steering is optional) and a side-mount control box, the helm features simplistic, yet practical instrumentation.
A spacious bow area and port-side sun lounger means more space for passengers to stretch out and bask in the warmth of the summer rays. The blue bemini provides sufficient protection and the vinyl cushioned seats are soft and comfy.
Ultimately though, with its 150-litre built-in fuel tank, the enormous ski locker, wake tower, A-frame ski bar, two boarding platforms at the stern, fold-up, stainless steel boarding ladder, and grab railing aft, the Avanté 180 X-Series is a fully-rigged watersport delight.
Performance and handling
As I watched the boat being slid into the water, it really began to sink in that I was in for a fast, fun-filled afternoon. This fact especially hit home when I noticed that the Avanté X-Series came armed with a 100 HP Yamaha EFI 4-Stroke motor.
With the utmost restraint Ernie eased her out of the harbour and onto the playground. Once there, Ernie didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger. Like a slingshot, the electronically fuel-injected Yamaha had the four cylinders cutting up the 100 horses. Pretty soon we were at full gallop – the digital Yamaha gauges and 17-pitch aluminium propeller having only a split-second to get with the plot.
In the past, Magson rigged the Avanté with as much as a 225 HP motor, but after a blazing session on the choppy sea waters, it became clear than a 100 horses are more than adequate for this 19-footer. Ernie recommends a maximum rig of 225 HP, but no less than 100 horsepower.
After spending some time dashing around and doing some impressive high-speed cornering, we came to a stop to do a few basic tests, which yielded the following results: The craft planed in 3.5 seconds and reached an incredible top speed of 65 km/h at 6 100 rpm against a rising tide and wind. We also established a decent cruising speed of 42 km/h at 4 500 rpm.
Considered as the “Wakeboard Edition”, one has to wonder about its watersport capabilities. Specialised wakeboard boats can be an expensive affair, but the Avanté 180 X-Series is the affordable alternative. She might not have all the bells and whistles like Perfect Pass or a 2 000 lb ballast tank, but she’s capable of towing skiers and wakeboarders with absolute ease, and she churns out a massive wake, thanks to the craft’s medium V hull.
Like any boat, the Avanté X-Series comes with a comprehensive list of optional extras. Hydraulic steering can be installed should you find the cable steering to be a little heavy, and other add-ons such as a ski-mirror, wakeboard racks, deck washdown, GPS/Fishfinder, CD/MP3 player (with speakers), VHF radio, navigation lights, boat and motor cover and docking lights are all available upon request.
She’s a multi-sport performance boat with people-friendly functionality and a price tag that won’t put a serious dent in your bank balance. For the sea-going person or the Clifton cruiser, the Avanté X-Series eases through choppy seas and is exceptionally dry. Whether you’re a serious wakeboarder, or just a family man looking to enjoy your boat with all your watertoys, the Avanté X-Series will blow you away!
I thoroughly appreciated my outing in this little speedster and hats off to Magson Marine for going the extra mile with the Avanté X-Series, which retails in the region of R200 000, depending on optional extras and customisation. For more information, contact the Magson Marine Sales Team on (021) 854 7500 or email@example.com. Alternatively, visit www.magsonmarine.com
LOA 5.9 m (19.5-ft)
Beam 2.35 m
Draft 300 mm
Engine 100 HP Yamaha EFI 4-Stroke
Fuel tank 150-litre
Max persons 6
Top Speed 65 km/h @ 6 100 rpm
Price In the region of R200 000
(depending on extras and customization)
“The Avanté 180 X-Series is a fully-rigged watersport delight”.