Bowrider, i.e. motorboats with seats in the open front area, are well suited as the first own motorboat for beginners. Three of the best new production boats in the finals of the Best of Boats Award 2018 are bowriders this year. For the largest motorboat award in Europe, 17 jury members – all experienced test pilots, including two women – undertook more than 550 boat tests in 15 countries in twelve months. Their credo, especially in the beginner category, is to always look at the boat from the point of view of its future users. This makes the European boat price unusual. The award ceremony will take place at the end of November at the Boot & Fun boat show in Berlin.

The fourth boat in the group among the compact beginner boats is a RIB, i.e. an open inflatable boat with a rigid hull made of the boat-building plastic GFK. All of the 4.95 m to 6.51 m long beginner boats in the 2018 range are motorised with outboard engines. The strong Finnish presence among the nominees is conspicuous. The AMT 190 R, the Falcon BR 7 from the new boat series of the same name and the Silver Fox in the Avant and BR variants are the active Scandinavians in small motorboats. From France comes the Universal-RIB Zodiac Open 5.5, which float tested as a Swiss pocket knife in boat form.

AMT 190 R: runs well and is spacious

The AMT 190 R is a well styled and spacious centre console boat, suitable for day trips as well as fishing. The boat is fun to drive: The new sporty hull is soft, stable and safe. Drivers and passengers are well protected at all times. The AMT 190 R offers plenty of space and storage space. In addition there is the great quality of the finish in all details.

The shipyard of the former racing driver Mikael Winqvist invests a lot of time in the hull design. Here, different deck layouts are not placed on the same hull in order to conjure up different model novelties. By the way, the development effort is kept low. At AMT every hull is tailored to the deck layout – whether bowrider, day cruiser or centre console.

Shipyard boss Mikael Winquist announces at the Finnboat event in an interview with float that in future all new models will also be built from marine aluminium. This way the customer can always choose, says Winquist. Depending on the application, either aluminium (fishing) or glass fibre (cruising) is the right choice.

Falcon BR 7: second largest in the new quartet

The Falcon BR 7 is two types of boat: Made from an aluminium hull, it has an inner shell made of GFK. The BR 7 is the second largest boat of the new model series of the Bella shipyard. The bowrider is open at the front and is suitable for fishing as well as water skiing. Although slim, the boat offers plenty of space for passengers and equipment.

With the new aluminium model series Bella Falcon, the Finnish boatbuilders celebrated a surprising premiere in terms of material in the 50-year history of the shipyard. In September last year, the new models were presented to the trade for the first time in Espoo. The first two of the four models, Falcon BR 6 and the nominated Falcon BR 7, are strongly reminiscent of the GRP variants 600 BR and 700 BR, which incidentally won the Best of Boats Award in 2016. A boat that runs with only 250 HP at the stern 45 knots.

The Falcon BR 7 with the 175 hp Mercury V6 is the best overall package in the quartet of birds of prey from the point of view of the float editors. The combination of boat and engine system convinces in all disciplines: The pulling power, background noise, weight and fuel consumption are clearly noticeably different from the predecessor model and from what competitors have to offer. The 7 Series Falcon – in the configuration we drove in the island world of southwest Finland – achieves a maximum of more than 45 knots.

The Falcon BR 7 is very easy to drive and comfortable to handle. The robust construction offers very good comfort even in challenging conditions on the water, i.e. when the waves are rough and there is a lot of wind. Exemplary handling at low noise levels is free of charge.

Silver Fox Avant and BR: fast twins

The beautiful beginner boat is called Silver, but is not silver-coloured – despite the shipyard’s long history as an expert in aluminium boats. The Silver Avant is a sporty side console boat for coastal waters such as the Finnish islands. Above all, the compact boat is suitable for lakes. In both cases it will appeal not only to beginners but also to sport fishermen.

The interior is much more spacious than the previous model, although the exterior dimensions have remained almost the same. As a bowrider variant – with a double console and the BR in its name – the Silver Fox is an elegant and safe all-rounder.

We got to know the new silver Fuchs BR at the boot Düsseldorf 2018, we will see the avant-version for the first time later in Helsinki: Here, too, the newly designed aluminium hull has a GRP inner shell suitable for sports boats. The wide side console offers drivers and passengers good protection, while the relatively large foredeck is on the left.

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