Invictus 280 CX, a question of detail

The Invictus 280 CX is boat less than nine metres long, but with an attention to detail and to design more typical of  a much larger vessel. Powered by an inboard-outboard Volvo Penta, it does over 40 knots. And it has many useful features on deck 

by Luca Sordelli

It is a simple formula, but one that works. They are small, but big. When the Invictus boats were created, they filled a niche in the market that was not covered, and they are still the bosses of that segment.

INVICTUS 280 CXWe are talking about boats of limited dimensions, with lengths ranging from 6 to 11 metres, but whose looks, materials and finish are the object of great care. All in all, small but beautiful and, above all, with an integrated design project which is at the centre of everything: every detail is part of a vision which gives coherence to the life of the boat from the first sketch on a sheet of paper to when it takes to the sea.

Production is a function of the initial vision, and not vice-versa. It was Christian Grande, a designer with an entrepreneurial side, who came up with it all, together with the Aschenez yard, a firm with a long tradition of making fibreglass boats.

The Invictus 280 CX fits into that tradition perfectly, and is the flagship of the range with the “X”, which is at the centre of the Invictus product range, and which is made up of four “sub-ranges”.

The FX has a more sporty feeling and has an outboard engine; the SX is an open design with EFB; the CX has stern drives but also have space below decks. Then there is the latest arrival, the HX, which is the “full optional”, starting with a big central steel rollbar. The models named with a T“” (the 370, 320 and 280) are at the top of the Invictus range.

INVICTUS 280 CXWhat did we like about the Invictus 280 CX? First off, we liked the fact that the space below decks is sufficient for a real cabin with a bathroom, even though, seen from outside that doesn’t seem possible. Then there is the fact that it is true to the line.

This 8.7-metre boat, like all those made by Invictus boats, boasts important details designed both for comfort and also to enhance the boat’s beauty and the impression that it is special: as an example we should mention the sewn leather inserts in the chairs, sun lounger and the steering wheel, and the customised steel.

The choice of colours and materials also play an important part; they are very “tactile”, as always in Christian Grande’s work. It also very functional: the canopy for the sun area in the bows is practical and stows away unseen; the design for the seat amidships is brilliant, as in an instant it can change from a steering position into a sofa looking aft towards the cockpit.

The onboard traffic flow has also been very well researched, with the console offset, thus widening the port gangway – which leads straight to the large stern area.

So everything is in order with the boat at rest. But what about its dynamic qualities? The boat we tried was powered by a 350 hp Volvo Penta petrol V8 engine – the 260 hp MerCruiser Diesel TDI is available as an alternative – which didn’t carry all the instrumentation, so we couldn’t work out how much fuel was being used. The 280 CX moves well in the water; it is agile.

INVICTUS 280 CXThe steering position is good: it is comfortable and nicely protected from the wind and spray, which is a vital feature for  a boat which we took up to 40 knots without too many problems, and which only takes 4.3 seconds to start planing.

The hull is relatively soft, so it lets you get away with a few minor steering errors. As mentioned earlier, we weren’t able to assess fuel consumption levels, but the Volvo Penta technical brochure says that with the throttle opened right up you reach 111 litres an hour, which means 2.7 litres per nautical mile.

With the MerCruiser Diesel engine that figure (from data supplied by the yard) falls to 50 litres an hour, but even the top speed falls to 35 knots, so the per mile figure falls to 1.42. So does that mean that diesel comes out on top? If we take into account the fact that its list price is around 9,000 euros higher, that’s not a given. It would depend on how much you use the boat a year on average.

via Donnici, 28 – Borgia (CZ)
T. +39 0961 020388
[email protected]

Christian Grande

HULL LOA 8.7m • Maximum beam 2.7m • Draft 1.06m Light mass displacement 2,850 kg • Fuel tank volumes 530 l • Water tank volume 54 l

MAIN PROPULSION 1 Volvo Penta V8 350 • Outlet mechanical power 261 kW – 350 hp • Number of cylinders 8 • Bore & Stroke 96mm x 92mm • Total swept volume 5.3 l • Compression ratio 1.66:1 • Maximal rotational speed 5800/min • Weight 452 kg


PRICE 81,550 € powered with Volvo 350 hp • 88,700 € powered with Mercruiser 3.0 260 hp

(Invictus 280 CX, a question of detail – – March 2018)