The Brabus Shadow 900 Sun Top starts life as an Axopar 37 twin-stepped hull and deck. Then Brabus Marine takes over, adding upgraded materials and equipment. Think of her as a Maybach or AMG on the water.
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||3.4 seconds|
|0 to 30||8.3 seconds|
|Load||3 persons; 74 gal. fuel; 50 lbs. gear|
|Climate||82 deg.; 67 humid.; winds: 5-10; seas: 1' swells|
2 x 450-hp Merc Racing
Report by Eric Colby
The mission of any boat from Brabus Marine is to take luxury and performance to the highest level. Brabus uses words like “extravagant” and “hedonistic” to describe the Shadow 900 Sun Top and they are appropriate. She features carbon-fiber highlights throughout with Fine Leather in the cabin that’s impeccably detailed. An owner can choose among Platinum Grey, White Grey, Glacier Blue or camouflage hull and deck colors and pair them with Brabus Red, Cappuccino, Sunrise or Sapphire cockpit upholstery. She’s powered by twin Mercury Racing 450R outboards and comes with a glass dash. Or, Brabus has a limited-edition model called the Shadow 900 Black-Ops ‘1 of 37’ launched exclusively in the Gunmetal Grey paint scheme with Brabus red exterior seating. There will be a maximum of 37 units available for this model.
Brabus Marine Shadow 900 Sun Top Features
- Twin Mercury Racing 450R outboards
- Outstanding handling in myriad conditions
- Large sunroof in hardtop
- Joystick piloting
- Remote for bow thruster and windlass
- Gullwing doors in the foredeck
Brabus Marine Shadow 900 Sun Top Features Inspection
The Cabin. The cabin gets the lion’s share of special treatment, primarily in materials and the optional Infotainment Unit with a 42” (106.68 cm) 4K TV with Apple TV connectivity. The queen berth forward is 74” x 46” (187.96 cm x 116.84 cm) and there’s a wraparound lounge aft to starboard. The whole area is finished in black and gray Brabus Fine Leather with hand-stitched red accents. The cabin feels like something found on a private jet. For practicality, there’s a vessel sink aft near the entry from the cockpit and there’s a porcelain electric flush toilet beneath a flip-up cushion. Forward, the gull-wing doors open up over the berth to offer entry options. Average headroom in the cabin is 5’ (1.52 m).
The Bow. The gullwing doors open to side decks that are 14” (35.56 cm) wide and have 27” (68.58 cm) tall bulwarks capped by 5” (12.7 cm) powder-coated black rails. The cleats throughout the boat are also powder-coated black and engraved with the Brabus logo. At amidships, there are steps cut into the bulwarks with a nonskid pad on the caprail. As we saw throughout the boat, Brabus installs soft rubber decking underfoot and it’s an 8” (20.32 cm) step up to the bow area.
Just ahead of the gullwing doors is a doublewide sunlounge finished in the Brabus Red upholstery used throughout the boat. It has an angled backrest that creates a chaise-style lounging position. The hinged bottom lifts up on a stainless-steel strut.
A walkway forward of this lounge separates it from a smaller aft-facing cushion that snaps in place on the bow. Because this area is raised, the bowrails come up higher to provide more security to a crewmember securing bowlines or securing the anchor. The entire deck forward of this lounge is hinged and it opens to starboard to access the Maxwell electric windlass, all-chain rode, controls and freshwater washdown. There’s also a SmartPlug shorepower outlet.
The Cockpit Working our way aft, the boat’s hardtop covers the helm and forward half of the cockpit. It is 6’ (1.83 m) off the deck and has an electrically powered sunroof in the center, hence the Sun Top designation. To improve bridge clearance, the antenna mast folds down. At the stern, there are three folding seats that can be positioned for forward or aft facing. Outboard on each side are gunwale lockers with line hangers to starboard and a manual bilge pump and freshwater shower to port.
Ahead, our test boat had the optional bar that has a hatch that opens on a stainless-steel strut with a sink to port, a drop-in refrigerator in the center and a grill to starboard. Each has an individual removable cover with storage in the base. There are two grabrails on the trailing edge.
On the front side of the bar are four forward-facing bucket seats and a table that is hinged in the center. Continuing the Axopar theme of versatility, the three helm seats spin around to create a booth-style dining area around the aforementioned table. To further expand the boat’s versatility, curtains can be zipped in place to enclose the cockpit.
The Helm. The helm gets the Brabus treatment with two 12” (30.48 cm) Simrad multifunction displays behind a single glass pane. Our test boat had the optional navigation upgrade with two more 9” (22.86 cm) Simrad displays embedded behind glass in the cabin-entry hatch. Accessory switches are in a row below the larger MFDs. The custom Brabus steering wheel has trim, thruster and windlass buttons on the left side and those for the stereo on the right. The right side has the Mercury digital throttles and the Joystick Piloting System to starboard. Below is a custom Brabus angled footrest. To provide a place for the passenger in the port helm seat to rest his/her feet but still leave clear access to the cabin, an extension rod slides out of the footrest when it’s needed. There are storage pockets on the console base. It should be noted that it’s a step down to the helm deck from the sides.
Brabus Marine Shadow 900 Sun Top Performance
The Specifications The Shadow 900 ST measures 38’5” (11.73 m) long overall with an 11’ (3.35 m) beam and a draft of 33” (83.82 m). Empty weight is listed at 9,480 lbs. (4,300.06 kg) and with three people, 74 gallons of fuel, test equipment and no freshwater, we had an estimated test weight of 11,933 lbs. (5,412.72 kg).
The Numbers. Another part of the Brabus upgrade is twin 450-hp Mercury Racing 450R supercharged V-8 outboards. Cranking them up to 5900 rpm, we hit a top speed of 63.7 mph. We recorded best cruise of 38.3 mph at 4000 rpm, where she burned 27.8 gph, which resulted in 1.4 mpg and a range of 238 statute miles with 10 percent of the boat’s 192-gallon (726.8-liter) fuel capacity in reserve. The Shadow 900 ST maintained plane at 15.5 mph. In acceleration tests, she planed in 3.4 seconds and ran through 20 mph in 5.2 seconds and through 30 in 8.3 seconds.
Handling. Test day served up mild conditions so we couldn’t see if the Brabus Shadow 900 ST had the same stellar rough-water ride that we’ve found in other Axopar models. Based on crossing our photo boat’s wakes and cruising effortlessly over some mellow swells, we have no doubt our test boat would dominate in 4’ seas. She planed quickly with minimal bow rise so the view from the helm was also good. In turns, the Shadow 900 ST banked at a comfortable angle and held her course as if she was on the proverbial rail. She’s just a fun, exciting boat to drive.
Brabus Marine Shadow 900 Sun Top retail price with twin Mercury Racing 450R outboards $532,487.
After spending a few hours on the Shadow 900 Sun Top, our director of testing, Capt. Steve, was as impressed with the handling as he was with the custom touches that come with a Brabus edition. He put it best, saying, “Taking a great boat like an Axopar and matching it with Brabus Marine not only makes it a home run, it hits it out of the park.”