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Old 19 July 2004, 15:46   #1
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Country: UK - England
Town: Portsmouth
Boat name: Sting
Make: Tornado 6.8
Length: 6m +
Engine: Yam 200 HPDI
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XS-600 115 Optimax

All, my dive Club is considering the purchase of an XS-600 115 Optimax. I will test drive before we buy however, I value peoples first hand experiences.

Any opinions on the boat.
Any opinions on the engine.
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Old 19 July 2004, 20:25   #2
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Country: Ireland
Town: Carigaline/Baltimore
Boat name: XS-600
Make: XS-Ribs
Length: 6m +
Engine: Merc Optimax 150 XL
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Andy,

I've got an XS-600 as you may know already, So far I've yet to find a flaw with the boat. Its great in the chop and is just as good as any Tornado in the rough (I drove mine and a friends Tornado Voyager 585 last Saturday night, back to back) both handled very similarly although the XS-600 does plane higher in the water than the Tornado 585. I understand that this is because the XS-600's hull design is based on the same high lift 3-rail design as the larger Tornados (like yours) whereas the Voyager 585 uses an older 2-rail design.

It is a very spacious boat and is a very stable platform while stationary making it ideal for diving. Another thing I noticed is that even when fully loaded (7 on board and a full tank) the hull (and the engine!!) delivered surprising performance hitting 50mph with a little throttle lever travel still left and trimmed fully down.

Even though it is a value-for-money boat the overall fit out and quality of the rig is unreal and will be just as good as the finish on your Tornado. No self tappers, everything is bolted and sikaflexed. All bolt threads are covered with stainless dome covers. Hull feels solid and bruised my knuckles when I knocked on it. All metalwork, upholstery, electrics and attention to detail are of the highest quality and unbelieveable on a boat of this price.

A few other things you might like to hear, even though the boat looks very similar to a Tornado the single console is actually quite a bit bigger than the Tornado version, as are the lengths of the jockeys.

Obviously all of the above is my own opinion, and is biased as I've got one. So please take a test drive first and confirm what I've said for yourself. If you can make it to Cork I'll take you out on mine!!
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Old 19 July 2004, 20:43   #3
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Country: Ireland
Town: Carigaline/Baltimore
Boat name: XS-600
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Length: 6m +
Engine: Merc Optimax 150 XL
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Oops forgot about the engine. Looked at the optimax 115, but opted for the 135 (which was later upgraded to a 150 by Laurence FOC as there was a delay with the 135) on the following grounds:

115 is a 1.5l 3 cylinder block and is highly tuned to achieve this. I'm sure there's nothing wrong with this its just a matter of personal preference.
I prefer to have a 2.5l V6 with plenty of torque. Having 150hp also enables me to cruise at 30kts at a lot lower down the rev range, saving fuel and not wringing the engine's neck.

Secondly the 135 Optimax was only an extra 900 (got a good price at the boat show!! ) which was well worth it with the stainless Laser2 prop and extra Smartcraft instrumentation supplied with V6s as standard.

I can't fault Optimaxs though, I still believe it was the best choice for me 30 hrs later. The 115 may suit a dive boat better as it would keep the rig nice and light, and still give plenty of speed. Any questions on either, PM me. Let me know what you think after you drive one!!
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Old 20 July 2004, 05:35   #4
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Country: UK - Wales
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Boat name: DynaMoHumm/ SRV/deja
Make: Avon8.4, 5.4 & 4.777
Length: 8m +
Engine: Cat3126 Yam 90 &70
MMSI: 42
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I am glad Swiginn wrote the above thread cos it saved me a lot of typing and thinking. In short I agree with him!

I have always believed that people who buy a new anything ( engine, computer, car) are part of the beta testing program and this has certainly been the case with Optimax's so i wouldn't go for a 115 yet. I love the 135's and 150's and the performance is stunning, but like all engines they do break down and when that happens it's a problem cos they are distributed by Barruss

get a decent 8 hp aux with the deal
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Old 20 July 2004, 06:13   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue Wave
but like all engines they do break down and when that happens it's a problem cos they are distributed by Barruss
I have always been a Yam boy and 100% satisfied, and so Barruss are new to me. Could you expand on this statement quoted above, obviously you may wish to send me a private message.


SWGINN & Rougue Wave, thanks for your comments, all very usefull stuff. Nothing I have heard puts me off the decision to buy this rig .. so far. The engine call is based on cost, we are very budget constrained and the choice was between the 90 and 115 ... obviously we are going for more HP.

I am also please to hear that the XS seems to be a lower price yet hi quality craft. The sport needs more of these to allow newcomers to get involved. I guess time will be the real judge .. and the verdict won't be made for a few more years. I think my Club's risk is some what mitigated on this one by the fact that Barnet are behind it. I doubt they would compromise their 20yr+ Tornado brand and reputation by chucking out crap!

Thanks again guys .. and if anybody else has opinions please shout up.
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Old 20 July 2004, 07:11   #6
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Country: UK - Wales
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Boat name: DynaMoHumm/ SRV/deja
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Nothing private about it. We manage a charter boat with a 225 opti which is nine months old Monster engine but the compressor broke. An oil pipe failed and the compressor seized. that was three weeks ago After a fortnight Barruss sent somebody out and then informed us it was broken ( we knew that) and told us the parts were in Belgium and we could have em in 10 days time.

this simply aint good enough but it's what's on offer

How much is a 115 opti by the way
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Old 20 July 2004, 07:30   #7
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RRP on an Opti 115 XL is 8099

We are getting a boat/engine package deal, so I have no idea what that takes the engine price down to .... I will not give details of the total package price on this forum, if others are keen on an XS they should talk directly to Barnet Marine. All I will say is that the package for the money is very hard to beat. I was looking at Humber and was going to have to buy all the bits and do a home fit to stay within budget. With this XS we are getting a lots high spec than the costed Humber and its coming built!! Ready to launch. I may be slightly biased by my own Tornado's performance over the past year and a half .... then again then XS reads a damn good deal.
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Old 20 July 2004, 12:33   #8
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Country: Ireland
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Boat name: XS-600
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Engine: Merc Optimax 150 XL
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Yep, we were quoted 8099(RRP) for the 115 as well and likewise I don't know how much the package price took off that but it was 8939(RRP) for the 135 before any reductions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy
All I will say is that the package for the money is very hard to beat
Couldn't agree more. After trying several manufacturers in the UK & Ireland (Humber, Ribcraft, Solent, Lencraft & Redbay) none could come close to the quote I was given from Barnet Marine.
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Old 21 July 2004, 03:42   #9
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Country: UK - Wales
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Boat name: DynaMoHumm/ SRV/deja
Make: Avon8.4, 5.4 & 4.777
Length: 8m +
Engine: Cat3126 Yam 90 &70
MMSI: 42
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 6,556
If you push hard you can pick an Opti 150 up for about 6.5 k

I must admit that the XS does seem a very well turned out boat
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