BOAT TEST: XFI AURORA V


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The XFi Aurora V is an affordable and versatile crossover boat that offers something for everyone

BOAT TEST: XFI AURORA V
XFI AURORA V

Although XFi Boats has only been building boats for six years, you'd never know it. The company has sold literally hundreds of craft and it's no wonder, as the fit and finish on these boats is right up with the best in the country.

Many other boatbuilders have been going for a lot longer than six years and their boats are not at the standard of the XFi boats.

I have seen the XFi boats around the boat shows and indeed on the water, but this was my first opportunity to get up close and personal with one, and I've got to say that I was impressed.

The first thing I noticed when the company's owner Dean Evans pulled the cover off the gleaming black and red beast was the interior trim.

It was obvious that a lot of attention has gone into getting the insides just right, and I wasn't shocked to hear that Dean had previously been trained as a motor trimmer.

Dean said that the XFi Aurora V was the product of two years of research and development and wasn't just the evolution of one of the company's other boats made over.

"We've been building our dedicated skiboats for years now," said Dean. "But we saw that we were missing some customers who wanted a more family-oriented boat.

"This boat has higher freeboard than our other boats and with the bowrider style you can take the kids for a family day-out cruising, or use it as a skiboat, or wakeboard boat," he said.

In fact, on the day of our photo shoot, a couple of wakeboarders were doing a test drive with a view to buying one of these gleaming machines. I had a chat to them and they told me that they were looking around for a boat and just happened across the XFi by chance.

The boys had brought their wakeboarding gear, so they jumped straight into it to see how it behaved as a wakeboard boat. Clearly they liked the Aurora V, because when I left they were hard at it tearing up the water at the National Aquatic Centre, Melbourne.

 

 

BUILT TO LAST

The Aurora V is a full fibreglass-composite construction and Dean is proud of the fact that there is no wood in the boat. "There's no timber in the construction of the hull and deck at all," he said.

"The engine bearers are through-bolted with stainless steel bolts, not screws into timber like some of the other boats. That way, the mounts never move and the engine stays properly aligned. It should last you a lifetime," Dean added.

In fact, XFi offer a structural lifetime warranty for the original owner of the boat as well as a five-year warranty on the interior. Add to that the three-year warranty from MerCruiser on the engine, and you're pretty well covered.

The whole boat looks as though it's built to last and the build quality is above average. The upholstery is particularly good and even though the demo model we used had been around the country to shows and doing demonstrations, it looked as good as new.

The driver's seat is a very comfortable perch that's adjustable and swivels. From here you get a good view of the Faria instrumentation, which is very nicely done and comprehensive. The Autotechnia steering wheel is adjustable and the hand throttle is well placed. Dean said that you can opt for a foot throttle as well and switch between the two depending on whether you're cruising, or flat-out skiing.

Up front you also have the stereo system that feeds six speakers - four in the cockpit and two up front in the bow.

There's seating all around the cockpit and handy storage compartments all over the boat. An underfloor Esky will keep the food and drinks cold and you can opt for the optional table, which fits neatly in the centre of the boat utilising the hole for the skipole.

Access to the bowrider section is through the split screen and interestingly, you climb over the dash rather than through it to pass between the forward section and the cockpit. This allows the observer's lounge to be bigger coming across the centreline of the boat to almost meet the helm seat.

Up front you have very comfortable seating for two with forward-facing seats and plush padding all around

 



OPTIONAL GRUNT

Our test boat was powered by the standard MerCruiser 5.7lt carburetored V8 putting out 315hp through a V-drive to an Acme four-blade tournament prop. However, Dean informed me that owners can order any of the Tow Sports range of MerCruisers right up to the 6.2lt 340hp Black Scorpion. The engine sits aft in an insulated engine bay topped by a sun lounge and flanked by two deep storage lockers.

The standard boat we had delivered plenty of grunt when it was needed and the boat will happily do 40mph (34.7kts) with a top speed of 48mph(41.7kts). It had no trouble towing the boys on their wakeboards and they said the wake of the boat was great for boarding. The Aurora V will generally burn around 15lt/h under normal use, so with the 100lt-underfloor tank, you'll be able to play all day and more.

On the water, the Aurora V looks good and performs just as well. It gets out of the hole fast and will pull skiers out effortlessly. The underwater lines are the same as the company's Genesis boats, which are their top-of-the-range skiboats. This means that on song, it will leave a flat wake for skiers. However, being a rear-mount boat it still ramps up well and leaves a good wake for boarders.

Being a rear-mount it also gives a good ride when the going gets a bit rough.

 



VALUE EQUATION

According to Dean Evans the XFi Aurora V was deliberately built with value in mind. "We saw a niche in the market for a value-for-money crossover boat," he said. "Our target price was $49,990 for the whole package and that's what we're offering. The boat with the 315hp MerCruiser, a tandem Easytow trailer, safeties and rego for both the boat and trailer."

Of course, the Aurora V can be spec-ed up to customer's requirements and there is an extensive list of optional extras. Our test boat had a very tasty Wicked Wake tower with speakers and racks, a full boat cover, upgraded mags, central table, extra stereo remote and a few other goodies to bring the all-up price to around $54,700, but for that you've pretty much got a burger with the works.

Overall, I think that XFi should be understandably proud of the Aurora V. It's a boat that you could have a lot of fun with, whether it's skiing, wakeboarding, or just toddling around the rivers and bays with the family. It ticks a lot of boxes.

The boats certainly seem strong and durable and the company is backing its products with decent warranties. The value is certainly there and if you take care of them, they should last a very long time.

I reckon if you're in the market for a boat for all-round family fun, then the Aurora V is certainly worth a look.

 



WHAT WE LIKED

Interior trim

No wood construction

Value for money

 



NOT SO MUCH

Carbied donk





HOW MUCH?

Price as tested: $54,700

Options fitted: Wicked Wake
tower, bimini, full boat cover, upgraded trailer wheels and tyres, second stereo remote, and central table

Priced from: $49,990

 



GENERAL

Material: Composite fibreglass

Length: 6.1m

Beam: 2.2m

 



CAPACITIES

Rec. min. HP: 315

Rec. max. HP: 340

Fuel: 100lt

People: Eight

 



ENGINE

Make/model: MerCruiser Tow Sports 5.7 V8 Carb

Rated HP: 315

Displacement: 5.7lt

Weight: 379kg

Prop: Acme four-blade Tournament

 



SUPPLIED BY

XFi Boats,

2/6 Holloway Drive,

Bayswater, Vic, 3153

Phone: (03) 9762 7747

Fax: (03) 9762 8993

Website: www.xfiboats.com.au

 

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat # 254

Find XFi Aurora boats for sale.

 


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