Recently refurbished throughout
At its conception the XR24 was way ahead of its time, employing close tolerance manufacturing methods and fibreglass decks which are now commonplace within the industry, but which were then highly innovative. Pure racing boats were fitted with balsa-cored decks and were built much lighter; proving very fast in competition. The boats earned an enviable reputation for high speed in the offshore racing arena.
This particular model has been recently restored to a high standard, everything has been considered. The 225hp mercury engine has online 120 hours on the engine.
In 1992, an XR24 conquered all comers in the Round Scotland RIB race. The XRs were produced as 18ft, 20ft and 24ft models.
Some history of the Osprey XR range
1991 saw Osprey commission a naval architect to design a sport boat range of RIBs. The moulds were built in Penryn, Cornwall, by Damien Bloor and Peter Kidd at Vector Marine. Launched at the Feb 1992 Scottish Boat and Caravan Show in Glasgow they instantly attracted attention for their large GRP nose cones and their targeting of the sports boat market rather than divers.
Osprey named the boats XR18 and XR20. The XR 24 would follow within the month. Designed around a Delta Conic hull shape, (the name of which didn't impress Delta Inflatables down the road in Manchester) they included a completely moulded deck manufactured in a similar way to that of a yacht. The deck was re-inforced with either end grain balsa or marine ply depending on the boat’s intended purpose.
An instant hit with RIB Racing Teams the XR 24 could be powered by anything from twin 60s to a single 200 hp outboard and offered stunning rough water handling at speed.
Some of the XR24s (designed for a half tonne payload) also found favour in Gibraltar for smuggling activities across the straights. The early XRI8 and 20s had a flooding hull similar to the Avon 5.4m Searider RIBs, and whilst this provided good stability at rest with the tubes well into the water, the time to get the boat onto the plane and moving at speed was too long. Shortly after production the hulls were modified, the gentle curve of the Delta Conic shape at the keel replaced with a large flat planing wedge which ran for most of the length of the hulls. This made the ride slightly harder but produced very fast boats.
Sport Boat Magazine tested an XR20 in the early nineties, and, whilst they liked the modern styling and sports boat approach to a market dominated by orange dive boats, they thought the test boat with 100 hp under powered and suggested the hull could easily take 150 hp, which was considered to be a very powerful engine at the time.
For the 1992 Round Scotland RIB Race, Osprey lent several RIBs to prospective buyers to compete in. The XR 20 performed well with 100 hp (the class B limit) and topped out at 44 mph. However the determined efforts of a privately entered Osprey Eagle with an identical Suzuki V4 100 hp outboard would show that the earlier hull and ruthless driving could still prevail, and they went on to win the class. In class A, another privately owned Osprey Sparrowhawk was entered and also won, the power limit on the class having been upped to a heady 60 hp in order to increase the range of single engine options available to teams. They also allowed twin 40s in class A, which produced some closely matched boats in the Isle of Man and Solent races. Osprey now developed side by side lightweight race consoles and bucket seats; a big departure from the traditional jockey seat, but a great aid in helping to keep crews in the boat at higher speeds
Whilst the XR 18 and 20s where produced by Osprey in Standish the XR24s were built under contract by Vector Marine in Penryn. Vector also produced a small number of their own RIBs based on the XR 24 hull with both hard GRP and tube bows. However the quality of the Vector built boats could be variable including their own company race boat! The XR 18 and 20 had built in 90 and 135 litre fuel tanks respectively, under a very complicated console moulding and early XRs were fitted with a GRP A Frames designed by Delta Inflatables in Manchester. However, the GRP A Frame cracked under hard use and was subsequently changed for either Stainless Steel or Aluminium.
A number of jet XR20s were built in 96 - 98, the hull shape with a large flat planing wedge running most of the length of the hull proving very suitable for this sort of installation.
As of January 2007 the XR18 mould was owned by Andy Carr in Bognor Regis, who has plans to put the boat back on the market. The location of the XR20 mould is unknown: possibly lost and the XR 24 mould is owned by Reiver Boats in Stanley. The XR moulds were sold off by Osprey at auction in 1998.
Greystones Harbour Marina