New Boat: Saxdor 320 GTO

Saxdor’s Finnish beauty. A boat that’s fast, functional, fun and safe.

In case you have been living under a rock, Finland is making its name known on the international powerboat scene. The easternmost Scandinavian country has offered a strong inflow of fast, seaworthy boats that many boaters (and especially first-time owners) see as a value play thanks in large part to the dampened labor costs at the Eastern European yards where these boats are primarily built. Into that fray comes Saxdor and its flagship, the Saxdor 320, which was on display at the 2022 Cannes Yachting Festival, about 1,300 miles from the builder’s newly expanded, 10,000-square-foot factory in Elk, Poland.

“We want the most modern design and construction possible, and good performance is very important to us too,” said Daniel Nyman, a member of the company’s board of directors, as he stood in the 320’s cockpit. “And of course, we want the most bang for your buck of any builder. We have our hands full of course, for such a young company, but I think we are handling it quite well.”

It should be noted, the brains (and dough) behind the brand are not exactly babes in the woods. Sakaria Mattila founded Saxdor and derived the name in part from two other Finnish boat brands he was instrumental in building—Axopar and Aquador. He also founded the other major Finnish player in that space, XO.

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The 320 benefits from Mattila’s deep experience level in a way that is patently evident when you step aboard. A big part of that experience is high-speed performance, and the twin 350-hp Mercury Verados bolted to the boat’s transom help fill the bill there. Saxdor says the boat has a top end of 56 knots.

Fold-out terraces in the cockpit help make a relatively small boat feel much bigger when at anchor and reassuringly solid underfoot, with very little flex and no creaks or groans. There’s a dining settee for six with seats upholstered in a rugged, synthetic fabric and which are removable to create extra space. A sink and a three-burner cooktop in the after portion of the boat’s console is a stand-in for a galley, while cupholders throughout the space are a nod to Saxdor’s eye towards a thirsty American market. A six-speaker Fusion sound system helps further complement the festivities and an optional ski bar rounds out the 320’s bona fides as a full-blast sandbar boat—locked and loaded for a good time.

Saxdor hand lays its hulls with vinylester resin for extra strength. A twin stepped design on the hull bottom is said to offer a soft reentry off the tops of wave crests while also providing a vice-like grip on the water’s surface during turns. At the helm, a small wheel was accompanied by twin 12-inch Simrad screens, standard trim tab controls, and the requisite sightlines you’d expect to find in a small, open boat like this.

Saxdor 320 GTO

Moving forward there are multiple handrails—a welcome trait common to many Scandinavian designs, where the emphasis is nearly always on function over form. A flat, grippy, and exceedingly workable foredeck should make docking and line-handling duties an easy chore, while an all but cavernous, 3-foot-deep anchor locker beneath the sole houses the hook.

What you get with the Saxdor 320 is a boat that’s fast and functional, fun but also safe. She bears a lot of features in her smallish footprint and will work well as a tender or dayboat. And one final trend the builder has hopped on is an important one: Like seemingly everyone else these days, Saxdor has partnered with MarineMax, so sales and service for the brand should be both widespread and top notch. If the number of comparable European builds plying American waterways is any indicator, expect to see loads of Saxdors in the very near future.

Saxdor 320 GTO Specifications:

LOA: 33’8″
Beam: 10’2″
Draft: 3’1″
Displ.: 5,830 lb.
Fuel: 118 gal.
Water: 30 gal.
Cruise Speed: 45 knots
Top Speed: 56 knots
Power: 2/350-hp Mercury Verados

This article originally appeared in the January 2023 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.