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Distinguishing a brand in recreational boating involves more than just price considerations. Craftsmanship, safety, and performance are all critical factors. And given the relatively small (though growing) size of the recreational boating market, manufacturers compete fiercely along these dimensions to create the best handling, safest, and most finely crafted boats to market.

Picking the best of the best is hard, especially, when like Boating Mag, you’re considering over 100 boats. But Boating Mag found that the Axopar 28 Cabin clearly outperformed its peers, and accordingly, they named it the Boat of the Year in 2020.

The Axopar 28’s specs and features

What makes the Axopar 28 extraordinary? One thing that impressed Boating Mag is the comfort it affords its passengers. The 28 Cabin, which seats five, features a cabin in which two can sleep easily. It also serves as a sun deck, with a sliding canvas roof that provides ventilation and natural light to brighten your time on the water.

There’s a walkaround side and aft-deck that provides space for fishing or other activities. You can purchase a model that can include a rear-facing bench and storage box. Or you can purchase one configured with a wet-bar and drinking serving area on the aft-deck. If you plan on being out late often trade the bench or wet bar for a model with an aft cabin.

Axopar made sure the 28 Cabin was as easy to handle as a sports car, and it performs like one as well. It has a twin-step hull with a deep-vee configuration that provides boaters with very responsive cornering and correctional stability.

A glass helm information display with driving-assist features, as well as entertainment features, also comes standard. And like a sports car, it comes available in a premium trim line, as well as with options that improve the performance of the base model.

The Brabus line trim package includes interior cabin stylings and exterior touches that sharpen the look and feel of the Axopar 28 Cabin. Buyers will be treated to a suede-covered wheel, rub rails, and matching painted color schemes. You can also purchase packages that upgrade everything from the rigging to the toilet.

Designed for optimal comfort and performance


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The 28 Cabin also benefits from a versatile interior and innovative exterior design. With the aft cabin option, the interior allows up to four to sleep, two in the aft cabin itself and two in the pilothouse. An L-shaped sofa in the bow adds more space to socialize with friends and family. And roof racks can be added to stow gear safely without taking up valuable cabin space.

But for the boating enthusiast, it’s the exterior design features that will really impress. Despite the family-friendly accommodations, the 28 Cabin is designed for offshore performance.

The 28 Cabin’s low center of gravity and freeboard make it one of the most efficient boats on the market. And a sharp plumb bow allows the Axopar to cut through waves and choppy waters easily.

It’s lightweight, which also helps the 28 Cabin achieve an efficiency few in its class can match. Indeed, its low weight allows it to get away with a relatively small fuel tank and yet turn in superior performance. And in waves and calm waters, the 28 Cabin moved lithely and gracefully, even at full throttle. Boating Mag was able to push the 28 Cabin to 54.3 mph.

An enjoyable boating experience

Axopar was able to provide boating enthusiasts with the best of both worlds in the 28 Cabin. For those wanting to charge across the waves, an innovative design, coupled with a powerful engine system, is perfect for navigating following or quartering waters.

For more casual boating enthusiasts who prefer socializing or water activities like fishing or diving, the 28 Cabin provides comfortable accommodations and configuration options perfect for any desired use. On this new model, there are even larger swim platforms for divers, as well as an optional ladder, making boarding from the water easier than ever before.

It’s not hard to see why the Axopar 28 Cabin won Boat of the Year in 2020. This versatile vehicle is perfect for any excursion. And starting at around $49,000, its well worth the price.