The Saxdor 200 Pro Sport can be described as a personal watercraft that combines a jet ski’s convenience and ease of use with the safety and comfort of a compact boat. However, there’s a lot more to this boat that makes it exceptional.
This style of European boat is the sort you either like or don’t. They are far from a traditional runabout, and that’s what makes the Saxdor 200 so interesting. Over the four days that I had the boat, I was amazed at the favorable comments I got, from fueling at the gas station to stopping for lunch on the way to our test venue, Lake Rotoiti (North Island) in New Zealand. Parked up at the VR Resort on the shores of the lake or at the hot pools, the boat attracted a lot of attention. I found myself acting as a quasi-salesman. Spectators kept asking questions like: How much? Where is it built? Can I fish from it? Why the strange bow? I managed to answer most of the questions and even convinced our very skeptical videographer after a day’s shooting that this was actually a great boat. He admitted to liking it.
Released in 2020 by Sakari Mattila (the original designer and founder of Axopar, Paragon, Aquador and XO), the Saxdor 200 delivers as a fun dayboat, family cruiser, and fishing platform in a very stylish and eye-catching package. Designed in Finland and built in Poland, the 200 has a unique style that makes people take a second look. It follows a similar layout trend to any center console but does it differently and with a touch of panache.
The Saxdor 200 is available in two models, the Sport and the Pro Sport (we tested the latter). While the 200 Sport is only available with either a Mercury 100- or 115-hp ProXS engine, the 200 Pro Sport comes with three options: a Mercury 150 ProXS, 175 V6 ProXS or 175 V6 DTS. The Pro Sport also has trim tabs and a sporty steering wheel.
There are multiple seating, roof styles, hull, and upholstery colors. You can choose one of four roof styles—Open boat, Targa arch, Foldable soft-top or Hardtop—or have an open boat. The 200 has four vibrant color options with matching upholstery.
While our boat had a traditional four-seat arrangement with two forward bucket seats with bolsters and a rear bench seat, there is an optional triple jockey seat. The jockey console, which is quite popular in small RIBS, gives you excellent stability and security when blasting along in rougher water, as well as more deck space, but it’s less family-friendly than the four-seater.
I liked the hinged backrest on the rear sofa seat, which means you can face aft when towing water toys. A rear ski arch comes complete with a ski hook.Talking of skiing, we towed a local skier behind the boat. He was very impressed with the moderate wake, as was the driver, who said the boat was rigid, stable and didn’t deviate from its track even when the skier was at the peak of hard, aggressive turns.
The 200 rides on a twin-stepped hull with a slender beam and a deep deadrise angle of 22.5 degrees. The distinctive wave-piercing axe bow is characterized by a vertical stem and a relatively long and narrow entry. The forefoot is deep and the freeboard relatively high, with little flare, so that the bow profile resembles an axe.
In the calm freshwater of Lake Rotoiti, the boat was quick to plane at 2300 rpm at 9 knots, and the further I pushed the throttle, the better it felt. The hull delivers an exceptional ride that’s flat in the turns and responsive, and it sticks to the water like it’s on rails. She’s very nimble and very agile. Later, when I got the chance to run the boat on a choppy Auckland harbor, I was equally impressed. Top speed with a Mercury 100-hp is 34 knots. Bolt on the 175 Pro XS, and you will see 45 knots on the speedo at 5800 rpm. The fly-by-wire throttle provides superb control both at high speeds and when maneuvering the boat around the marina.
The Saxdor 200 weighs around 2,200 pounds on the water with a full fuel load and returns a reasonably impressive fuel economy. Hammer down, it runs to 15.8 gph, but bring that back to a cruise around 4500 rpm, and you will see 34.3 knots for 9.8 gph and a range of 92 nm. The boat is also easy to tow, launch and recover using a mid-sized car or SUV such my Isuzu D-Max X Terrain, which hardly knew it was there.
The entire raised foredeck is one large lid, which, when lifted, reveals not only a massive storage area but also an accommodation space. With a clip-on camper-style tent and the foredeck cushions, it can be transformed into an occasional berth for overnighting. With the lid down, the large deck section in front of the console makes a spacious sunbed and is also configured with a sunshade. It’s a perfect casting deck as well. You also have the option of a clear deck hatch to let more light into your tent.
I found it interesting that the boat is set up as a “left-hand” drive, which is unusual. The helm is wide enough to handle a pair of Simrad GO9 XSE MFDs, with Mercury Vessel View, a Fusion entertainment system, and necessary switches and controls. The windscreen is height adjustable and, even when at its lowest position, still does a great job of keeping the wind off your face. Not so sure the locking screws that hold it in place would last too long in rough seas, but that could be easily altered.
The boat has been decked out in U-Dek flooring, which provides a very classy finish. While the self-draining deck is open around either side of the engine, if you want more safety for the children or to stop your shoes and gear from exiting overboard, you can also install hard or soft, net style transom gates.
Storage is plentiful, from under the seats and the foredeck lid to a pair of self-draining side bins in the aft coamings and a storage bag below the steering wheel. There is an optional watertight storage box in the console with a wireless charger and USB port.
The Saxdor 200 is fun to drive and more practical than any jet ski. It is the perfect next step for PWC owners and boaters looking for a funkier ride. Whether it’s for fishing, watersports, enjoying the water with friends and family or heading to the beach, there is a version for everyone.
Saxdor 200 Pro Sport Test Report
Saxdor 200 Pro Sport Specifications:
Power: 1/Mercury 175 Pro XS
Fuel: 29 gallons
Price (as tested): $72,500