Boat Review: Sensation 23 Offshore CaBrito

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We went down to the Sensation Boats factory in Midvaal on a chilly winter’s morning to collect the 23 Offshore CaBrito and head down to the Vaal River. The first thing you notice is the sheer size of the boat standing on its trailer. Once hooked up behind the Toyota Fortuner tow vehicle, it was easy to forget about its size as it was very easy to tow.

Sensation Boats have done a superb job of using modern vacuum infusion boatbuilding methods to create a light, but strong craft that is easy to tow – yet has the strength to cope with the tough sea conditions found along the coastline of southern Africa.

Once we arrived at the Vaal River we were pleasantly surprised at how easy the 23 Offshore is to launch. Although we were using a slipway, we reckon that beach launches shouldn’t present any problems.

Layout

Space, both stowage and deck, are some of the first impressions when boarding the craft. It certainly has its fair share of both. While all centre console boats offer plenty of deck space, Sensation Boats have provided a layout that will cater for almost any eventuality. Starting in the bow there is an easily accessible anchor hatch just forward of the U-shaped bow seats which have stowage space cleverly positioned below them.

Moving aft, there is another comfortable seat just in front of the centre console above the fuel hatch. The console itself is well designed with plenty of space for gauges and sounders, as well as an area above the windscreen suitable for mounting the radio, plus a sound system head unit of your choice. The console area is protected by a solid, light-weight composite roof which is supported on a robust, aluminium frame.

On the test boat, outrigger supports were mounted on top of the T-top roof, together with the necessary radio antennas. There is another large hatch underneath the console offering added storage for the necessary items when out on a fishing trip or simply cruising with friends and family.

Back-to-back with the skipper’s seat is another bench seat above yet another storage hatch that offers additional packing
space particularly for important items such as cameras bags and other expensive items.

Access to the below-deck fish hatch is immediately aft of this seat and it is situated within easy reach when you’re out on the
water, and, hopefully when the fish are biting! The false transom does not extend the full width of the boat; it is lower on each side allowing for water to flow easily over the stern should the boat be swamped during a surf launch.

The raised centre section holds a live bait well with Luna tubes either side and the convenient battery hatch underneath.

There are plenty of rod and cup holders in convenient locations throughout the craft to offer all those in attendance a safe haven for their all-important beverages of choice.

While the standard layout is suitable for most applications, should you have specific requirements, Sensation Boats are able to customise a boat suited to your particular style of fishing or chartering. Just ask the competent staff at Sensation Boats and they’ll surely oblige by building you the boat of your dreams.

Motors

The test boat was fitted with two 115 Mercury 4-stroke motors which provided plenty of get up and go even at 1 500 m above sea level. Sensation Boats recommends a minimum of two 90 HP motors going up to a maximum of two 150 HP units to get optimal performance from the 23 Offshore.

Performance

While we did the test on the Vaal River and therefore did not have a swell to cut through, we did manage to create a very choppy area and were impressed with how the 23 Offshore dealt with the confused surface. Based on this we can
confidently say that she will handle most sea conditions with aplomb while keeping her occupants safe, comfortable and dry.

Acceleration, even with the steering at full lock, was impressive with no noticeable cavitation. Sharp turns in the surf should present no problem for the nimble and agile 23 Offshore CaBrito.

Conclusion

It is often the small things that leave a lasting impression on a boat. The Sensation 23 Offshore CaBrito was designed by Sensation Boats, along with Bok van Blerk who is a passionate and experienced fisherman.

In paying tribute to his hand in the creation, CaBrito means ‘Bok’ in Portuguese. It’s the finer touches and attention to detail that level this boat up to a new class and ensures that it punches way above its weight.

The 23 Offshore is manufactured to a very high standard with a variety of innovative and tried and tested methods to ensure supreme overall quality. Another feather in Sensation Boat’s cap is the numerous awards they have received for their superior boat building. When next you come across a Sensation Boat, ask the owners about their experience and the responses you’ll get will almost undoubtable be positive.

So, does the Sensation 23 Offshore live up to its claim of being “The best boat in the world because it’s a Sensation”? Certainly, if you are looking for a boat in this class you will be hard-pressed to find anything better – especially at the price! If you’re still in doubt, ask Sensation Boats to take you for a spin in their new 23 Offshore … you’ll be suitably swayed and pleasantly surprised.

Specifications:

  • Length: 7.15 m
  • Beam: 2.6 m
  • Weight: 1 600 kg w/engines
  • Passengers: 8 people
  • Rec. HP: 2 x 90 – 2 x 150
  • Buoyancy: 60% +
  • Priced from R650 000.

For more information visit the Sensation Boats website by clicking here.

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