by Dom Wiseman

One of the more unique boats revealed at the 2016 Melbourne Boat Show was the Whittley XS24, a sports cruiser in every sense of the term. To create the XS24 Whittley took a 24 foot (7.3m) cruiser platform, rearranged the cockpit slightly and added a wake tower. It’s perfect for anyone looking for the creature comforts of a cruiser with the fun factor a wakeboarding or watersports boat provides. Think the Murray River in Victoria, Port Stephens in NSW, Broadwater in QLD or Swan River in WA.
Whittley first tested the water with the XS24 at the same show last year, showing it as the S.U.R.F concept. It was one of the highlights of the show and created enough interest for Whittley to go ahead and launch a production model.
The cockpit of the Whittley XS24 features carpet throughout, including the cabin floor. On the display boat they used a beautiful plush, and durable, grey carpet. There is a comfortable lounge, finished in a striking colour-coded vinyl, across the transom that extends up the starboard side behind the helm seat. It would have been good to see a backrest behind the helm chair, like you see on many wakeboarding boats, so you can lean against it facing the rear of the boat when someone is boarding.
The helm chair is a curved style and sits on a pedestal with a footrest provided making the seated position very comfortable. While using the boat for watersports, owners may prefer to stand and there is a commanding view of the surrounding water that is imperative with a boat of this size and with people in the water. The dash features an adjustable sports steering wheel, two digital gauges and twin analogue gauges for the inboard Volvo engine connected to a sterndrive unit. Interestingly, the leg is tucked up under the rear platform that adds a degree of safety, which is testament to the thought process that has gone into developing this boat.
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Whittley SURFThe single passenger helm seat sits on a moulded box that is curved to create additional cockpit floor space. Two doors provide access to the storage while there is a foot well/standing area and sink, fridge and cook top with a drop down lid to create bench space, in front of the seat. The windscreen and side window allow plenty of light into this area, which is bigger enough to meals while out on the water and dinners for a couple of nights.
Inside, the cabin has seating with a fold away infill that creates a large double sleeping area. Again the upholstery is durable and comfortable and more than adequate to sleep on. The cabin of the Whittley XS24 can be shut off from the rest of the boat with a lockable sliding door. With optional camper covers there’s no need to rush back to the ramp. Over the top of all this is a forward swept tower complete with four speakers and twin board racks either side. The bimini has also been designed to compliment the tower with a forward swept design.
Underneath the Volvo Penta freshwater cooled V6-200 sterndrive should provide plenty of acceleration. You can spec up to the Volvo Penta V6-280 if the 200 is not enough. With one boat already sold, we see this as a great fit for families looking for more space and protection than the traditional wakeboarding style boat with a bowrider configuration.
Could this be the perfect all-rounder? We intend to find out when we do a full review of the Whittley XS24 in August.

Specifications
Length: 7.30m
Beam: 2.44m
Capacity: 7 people
Fuel: 205-litres

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