Had a great day out on this boat the other day, the owner was very kind to let me drive the whole time!
It is a little strange being so far forward, a feeling of being closer to the water because obviously the beam is much narrower where it is tapering up to the bow so the edge is closer. There is a lot more space on board than I expected, without the livewell you could easily have another row of seats, or a bench seat.
The engine is propped too coarsely at the moment, it is running a 19p Laser II but is only making 5200 trimmed REALLY far out. The throttle response is great though, quick acceleration and good trim characteristics. This can only improve with the correct prop. At 10knots the engine really sounds like it is bogging but when you get up to speed it is sweet as a nut. 50 knots was just about achieved with me and two fat blokes on board, so more must be possible with a better prop and less weight.
In the Bassin d'Arcachon where we were, there was a huge variety of conditions, inside, it was nearly flat calm but out in the sea it was lumpy so I had the chance to test out the rough weather characteristics of the boat. It really is nearly identical to ours, despite the metre difference. My only compaint is the steering wheel is much too low and made my upper arms ache really quickly, something I have never experienced before. The steering is very very heavy also, which I think is down to the wrong oil being used in it, I can't remember the spec but it was not proper ultraflex hydraulic oil. Some grade of ATF stuff.
The taller windscreen really wraps around and I stayed dry throughout, that's an advantage of being so far forward I suppose.
This boat was built on a serious budget and also in a tough time frame and it is very fortunate that it all worked out in the end. There are a few little bits and pieces which need to be given finishing touches over the winter but the target was for him to have a working boat to fish off over the summer and that is what he has got
I really don't think you could put together a boat of this quality, capability and performance for the same or less money wise. I have personally invested many, many tens of hours into this boat and anyone interested in putting together an Osprey is welcome to contact me about them and I can try to provide any help or advice.