An experienced shipyard join forces with the designer Christian Grande, to create a new range of boats whose look and seaworthiness aim to be peculiar. It’s Invictus Yachts, and we tested their first model 280GT.
The name of the Yard is quite hard to pronounce: Ascanetz. But it doesn’t matter, as it’s a long long time since they started building boats in southern Italy. First it was Key Largo range for Sessa Marine, then important components for SanLorenzo and Sacs. But in this case, under the spotlight there’s the marriage made in heaven between their great experience and the flai and competence of the designer Christian Grande, who doesn’t need any introduction.
So we focus on the Invictus range. The debut model is the 280GT, soon to be followed by three product lines between 26 and 40 feet. The GT range features a comfortable cabin and large open areas, while the one named TT stands for Tender To and is characterized by the walkaround layout. Finally, an FX line will have a traditional bow and outboard engines. Common to all, an original and fancy look and an advanced construction with infused resin for the larger models.
The deck of 280GT
As soon as I see the new 280GT on Lake Iseo, the first words that come to my mouth are “such a good looking boat!”. Ok, it’s definitely not enough: I will look for some more. The reversed bow is a concession to actual trends, although here it matches with a traditional hull. So the solution offers more space to the fore and inside. Even the length at waterline is increased, for better longitudinal stability. I appreciate the enclosed solarium, well protected by the bow sheer and an elegant and safe handrail that continues towards the aft. The access to the foredeck is granted by two passageways large enough (28 cm or 11 inches) while the huge sun bed (240 by 220 cm, or 94 by 87 in) is completed with a headrest. The cushions abow hide the anchor locker and the ones abaft conceal the retractable bimini that can cover (almost) the entire cockpit.
The dashboard hosts analog gauges for the engines and leaves enough space for the GPS screen. The wheel is elegant and the seat comfortable, but the co-pilot can’t have a footrest as the seat face the companion door. The two seats are also a design piece, and they can tilt to reveal a galley cabinet underneath. There’s space for a sink, grill and refrigerator. Looking at the windshield: once again design meets practicality, as the shape protects very well and the frame works as a handrail for the sportier navigation.
Finally, the aft L couch: the back can be folded down to expand the sun bathing area, but raising the seat you gain access to the engine bay. Here the space is well organized around the Volvo Penta gas V8, with enough space for the extra features.
To complete the offer, a well sized swim platform will be practical whenever at anchor.
Belowdecks there’s more surprises, as the large windows let plenty of light in. The room could be enough for four berths, but this isn’t the destination of the Invictus 280GT. The layout offers a low cabinet with a fridge to port (it could be easy be completed as a full galley), and a V-shaped dinette to fore that becomes a large double berth (210 by 170 cm, or 83 by 67 in). The headroom is 162 cm (5 ft 4 in). To starboard a door gives access to a spacious head (95 by 115 cm or 37 by 45 in). The level of trim and finishing is excellent all around, matching the great exterior aspect.
The test of Invictus 280G
It’s finally time to leave the dock and put the Invictus 280GT on test. The engine instruments say 1.1 working hours on the unit: couldn’t be much more of a debut for the boat. Maybe for this reason, the technical chief from the Yard explains how the V8 should be raised some centimeters to optimize efficiency. It’s pretty normal on such a new boat and especially a brand new design.
Still, the 280GT moves very well and shows a perfect match with the Volvo Penta engine. A good progression takes to planing in some more than five seconds and to 30 knots in another 10. A top speed of “just” 36 knots, or 37 trimming the stern, reminds us that this boat has been conceived to offer comfortable and pleasant day cruising in total safety, not pure performance.
Without the specific software I can’t reckon the fuel consumption, but the smoothness of the hull through the water promises good mileage both at cruising speed (26 knots at 3600 rpm) and at plane minimum pace (15 knots at 3000 rpm). The lake is flat so I realize the soft impact of the keel only when I cross my wake again and again. Turns are easy and safe, even the tighter ones: the design of the hull grants a good stability both longitudinally and transversally.
So, it looks good, it feels good, it performs good: the picture is completed.
Length overall8,90 mt (29 ft 2 in)
Beam2,84 (9 ft 4 in)
Fuel tank450 lt (118 US gal)
Fresh water tank70 lt (18.5 US gal)
1000 rpm 4,5 knots 5.2 mph 68 db
1500 rpm 6,2 knots 7.1 mph 66 db
2000 rpm 7,7 knots 8.9 mph 68 db
2500 rpm 10,2 knot 11.7 mph 79 db
3000 rpm 15,0 knot 17.3 mph 79 db
3500 rpm 21,0 knot 24.2 mph 80 db
4000 rpm 26,7 knots 30.7 mph 81 db
4500 rpm 31,1 knots 35.8 mph 89 db
5000 rpm 34,8 knots 40.0 mph 88 db
5250 rpm 36,7 knots 42.2 mph 89 db
Calm lake, temperature 22° C (72° F), fuel 220 lt (58 US gal), fresh water 40 lt (10 US gal), passengers 6, clean hull
With Volvo Penta V8 320 HP€ 90.000 + VAT and transportation