Jake Frith introduces a brand new marque in adventure powerboats, the Twisted T300S, and is curiously reminded of the ‘golden years’ of tobacco advertising...

Twisted Automotive started life as a company ‘re engineering’ Land Rover Defenders for clients with a penny or two to rub together and this continues to be a main focus.

Following the company’s purchase of a Salcombe-based marine engineering firm, it’s now diversified into modifying existing powerboats in a similar vein.

I could be uncharitable and say that Twisted Marine are in the business of accessorising and the ultimate Land Rover accessory is a rugged looking matching powerboat to tow behind it, but fortunately these boats look to be going a bit deeper than that.

Twisted claims to spend over 400 hours on bespoke assembly and fine tuning each boat although it’s too early to get the specifics on where those 400 hours go.

They have a staff from powerboat racing and Formula 1 backgrounds, so I’d hope we’re talking custom steel props, hydraulic jack plates and low level water pickups as much as we are talking Alcantara seat squabs and custom piped carpets.

Article continues below…

To justify the expense, the product will need to perform appreciably better than the unmodified original while also being a more luxurious place to be.

Twisted Marine started out in mid summer with a range of RIBs, based on the Cobra Nautique boats. That’s a good place to start such a venture because if you are going down the route of ‘badge engineering’, which partially this is, it’s advisable to start with a decent badge in the first place.

They are pulling similar strings again with the latest launch, set for Southampton Boat Show. This time Twisted have gone for Axopar hulls as the basis, and these high performing chisel-chinned stepped hulls have gained a solid following over the last decade.


Twisted has expanded into powerboats from modifying Land Rover Defenders, and its Twisted T300S is due to launch next week at the Southampton Boat Show

Part of the appeal however of the Axopars has always been pretty decent value for money, achieved in part by building the hulls in Poland.

Notwithstanding whether those 400 hours of Twisted input will translate into an otherworldly performing boat, it certainly looks the part, especially in the case of the Bahama Gold Twisted T300S (based on the Axopar 25) with black powder ‘adventure roofrack’ and suspension seats, towed behind a matching Landy.

As I expand upon below, this offering takes me back 22 years to the final hurrah of the Camel Trophy which can never be a bad thing as far as the Land Rover community are concerned.

The Twisted T300S will launch at the 2022 Southampton International Boat Show. A limited number of bespoke adventure vessels will be available from Twisted with sea trials available towards the end of September.

Each hull arrives directly from Axopar’s factory as a bare boat with each craft then being tailored and designed by Monty Swan and rigged in-house at Twisted Marine’s Salcombe facility.


Stephen Frith contemplates the next job on the farm from the relative sanctuary of his Camel Trophy RIB…

Remembering the Camel Trophy

It was for the final running of the famous Land Rover off-road driving event in the Fijian islands in 2000 that RIBs were introduced in a last desperate attempt to kickstart the, by then, struggling concept.

The tobacco industry sponsorship was becoming problematic, the Land Rovers had been superseded by Honda CRVs, so it wasn’t exactly an off-road driving experience any more, and Honda also supplied the RIBs’ 130hp outboard engines which teams complained were too small for the heavily loaded Ribtec 655 boats.

Many of the Camel branded yellow Ribtecs ended up back in Blighty after the 1,000 mile inter-island adventure and were sold to the four winds, although I happen to know where two of them are as my brother owns one of them and his next door neighbour has one too (along with a large collection of matching yellow waterskis and bafflingly heavy fibreglass surf kayaks).


…while Jake Frith explores the barn to unearth retro watersports gold

You still see these RIBs for sale occasionally, and re-engined with a little more power and with the (awesomely rugged looking but rather top heavy) roofrack stored away for safe keeping, they make for a solid seagoing deep-V-hulled RIB with a unique and interesting back story.

The Camel Trophy slogan ‘One life. Live it.’ is perhaps the most lasting legacy of the event and can still be seen proudly displayed in many a Land Rover Defender’s back window to this day.

Why not subscribe today?

For more articles like this, including DIY, money-saving advice, great boat projects, expert tips and ways to improve your boat’s performance, take out a magazine subscription to Britain’s best-selling boating magazine.

Subscribe, or make a gift for someone else, and you’ll always save at least 30% compared to newsstand prices.

See the latest PBO subscription deals on magazinesdirect.com