Attention of Terry
Excel SD290 Volante Review
Now assembled and inflated, my new Excel has just been put through it's paces with the Mercury 3.5hp Four stroke which I chose to power it with.
The V hull is very stable, and it's a 'dry' boat, thanks to the wide rubbing strakes and high transom, and better than my previous Avon 280 Rib in this respect, which is impressive! The most surprising thing is the 290 actually planes with the tiny Mercury, and achieves a surprising 14mph according to GPS, at which point the boat planes so well the engine is lifted partially out of the water, and I have to back off the throttle a little!
Full power hard turns are no problem, the boat leans gently into the turn, and displays no sign of porpoising, always remaining stable and happy. This is a very spacious little boat, and the two seats are a welcome addition, still leaving lots of spare space for Dogs or boat supplies. Two-up, it won't quite plane, although I suspect it may if the tilt angle is tweaked a little, but still chunters along very well up to around 6mph loaded, and 4mph with barely any throttle. I may also manage to pump it up to the full pressure once I have summoned up the strength.
Other nice features include the self draining floor, the self bailing system and plethora of fastenings to tie the boat to Davits etc, decent stirrup pump, painter, oars, everything was included! This is a great package by any standards. Overall, a very attractive, well made boat which appears to be excellent quality, and I'm very pleased with it so far.