Walking the docks at the Annapolis Powerboat Show last fall there were oodles of boats, a few standouts that caught the eye, and one that stopped people in their tracks. If you were at the show, there’s a good chance you already know we’re talking about the Fjord 41 XL, because it probably made you pause and look, too. In fact, when it was initially introduced in Europe, this model made so many people freeze at first glance that it won the European Powerboat of the Year award in 2021. A bona fide showstopper? Youbetcha.

fjord 41 xl
The Fjord 41 XL is a bona fide showstopper. Photos courtesy of Fjord Yachts

The 41 XL on display at the show had an electric-blue gelcoat that seemed almost neon in nature, grabbing the eye and holding it tight. Then, you noticed the extended swim platform. To call it massive is an understatement. Naturally, your eyes next swept forward to the aft cockpit. And this is where the boat’s real character comes through. The cockpit extends forward for at least half the boat’s length before reaching the al fresco galley and has well over 20 feet of seating space split between two settees around a pair of dinette tables. A second available arrangement features two facing settees with a table in-between and a supersized sunpad behind them. With this much space you won’t be deciding which friends to invite aboard; you’ll be inviting all of them.

The hard top, which Fjord says is the largest in its class, extends back to partially cover the seating and completely shade the open galley area as well as the helm station, forward of which it meets a curvaceous one-piece windshield. The windshield makes a rather surprising visual juxtaposition as it seems to naturally blend right in, despite the fact that the rest of the boat is quite angular. The bow is plumb, hullside windows are punctuated with sharp linear edges, and viewed from above the boat had a wedge-like shape. Still, somehow the combination works.

Another thing that works: the twin 440-hp Volvo Penta D6 DPIs. Remember, this is a 42-foot, 11-ton boat. You wouldn’t guess its performance could be described as “sporty,” but that’s exactly what it is. Top speeds are well north of 40 mph, and cruising at over 30 is no problem. And since those DPI drives are Duoprops, handling is exceptionally tight.

fjord 41 xl
Forward there’s a master stateroom and amidships you can have a guest cabin with a double berth and settee.

Wait a sec—we jumped right over to performance, but our eyes haven’t made it to the bow just yet. There aren’t any huge surprises topsides, with a deep walkaround to a sunpad perched atop the cabin. What’s a bit more intriguing is what sits below that sunpad. Remember how the cockpit offered a couple of different arrangements? The galley and helm do as well, and more customization can be found belowdecks. Forward there’s a master stateroom and amidships you can have a guest cabin with a double berth and settee. Where it gets really interesting is between the two. The starboard side is dedicated to a head with a separate stall shower and across from it can be a “lobby” with a small settee and a refrigerator; storage cabinetry with a refrigerator and freezer; a vanity with extra storage, or an inside galley with a two-burner cook-top, sink, and refrigerator.

Not only is the level of variation available belowdecks surprising, so is the sheer amount of cabin space on a boat that places a very clear emphasis on maximizing its outdoors areas. In fact, if it weren’t for that second stateroom, one might be tempted to call the 41 XL a weekender as opposed to a cruiser. In truth it has a bit of both genres, plus a healthy dose of dayboat. But we’re not going to call it any of the above. Because there’s another name that fits the Fjord 41 XL even better: showstopper.

By Lenny Rudow

Fjord 41 XL Specifications:

LOA: 42’0”

Beam: 13’1”

Draft (min.): 3’10”

Displacement (approx.): 22,760 lbs.

Fuel Capacity: 238 gal.

Water Capacity: 88 gal.

Max HP: 880

Local Dealer: Yacht Sales International in Annapolis, MD – (410) 268-1086