Twist and Shout

We look around Twisted Marine’s facility in Salcombe and discover why they are worthy of a feature in Driving Sounds Magazine.

Twist and Shout!


Powerboats are fast and exhilarating. How do you increase the fun? You put a twist on them. We look around Twisted Marine’s facility in Salcombe and discover why they are worthy of a feature in Driving Sounds Magazine.


Two decades ago, Charles Fawcett founded Twisted Automotive. He saw an opportunity to take a popular product and make it better and appeal to a niche group of customers who wanted to purchase an iconic Land Rover Defender but wanted it to reflect their own needs. These needs included a better, quieter ride, better performance and unprecedented comfort. The Defender is now out of production in its original form, with Twisted Automotive having purchased the last 200 or so vehicles off the line. Some of these are still being upgraded, but alongside these, Twisted Automotive has turned its considerable talents to the Suzuki Jimny.


Alongside Twisted’s automotive work, Charles has witnessed an explosion in demand for sea-going craft, particularly powerboats and RIBs. As a keen sailor and fan of watersports, Charles set about assembling a team of highly skilled specialists to refine, update and improve a small selection of boats, and so Twisted Marine was born.


Heading up Twisted Marine is Jake Cronk. A highly qualified engineer, Jake comes from an automotive environment and was previously employed designing and developing drivetrain technology for Mercedes F1 and Formula E racing cars. He professes a passion for anything fast! Speaking with Jake, we got an insight into his intense passion for performance and his eye for detail. Naturally a very busy man, Jake handed us over to Matthew Makepeace from his specialist sales team.


Matthew joined Twisted Marine 18 months ago. He has a lengthy background in marine, having owned his own company repairing, renovating and selling boats on the southwest coast. He also attended flight school. He explained that Twisted Marine is still relatively new but has bold ambitions. The Salcombe operation is likely to be rolled. A facility in Brighton is soon to be joined by other locations along the south-coast.


We wanted to see how Twisted uses Hertz equipment as part of their upgrade work. Matthew explained that 80% of their work on a boat is completely hidden away. The greatest wins possible for the boats they modify are in performance and handling.


Matthew led us to a large workshop which housed two boats that had been completely “twisted.” We could instantly see that the 20% of work that can be seen has been carried out to an equally high standard to the automotive work we have seen from them. The style of the two craft was very typical of the luxury finish Twisted is famous for.


We first viewed a T300S. This is based on a boat from Norwegian boat builder Axopar. Described as the ultimate towable adventure boat, it carries the Twisted Land Rover livery and highly tasteful aesthetic tweaks that are a definite statement of class. A 300hp Pro XS engine has been optimised to add extra excitement, and of course, a Hertz audio upgrade has been added.


This consists of a Hertz HCP 5MD 5-channel amplifier. This provides 220 watts per channel to two pairs of coaxial speakers. Things can get pretty noisy on a powerboat, so the high-quality, high-power amplifier is a must-have. Also necessary is the Hertz Marine HMS 10 B-C2, 10” subwoofer mounted in a bulkhead beside the helm. This 2ohm subwoofer makes the most of the subwoofer channel on the amplifier, resulting in 330 watts of deep, powerful bass. Sub-bass is non-directional, so the mounting position for this is not too critical.


The same cannot be said for full-range speakers; there are only so many suitable high-up positions in this boat. Fortunately, Hertz speakers have a superpower. They have an astonishing dispersion characteristic. This means the sound emanates from the cone at a much wider angle than most speakers. They are mounted down low, but this is no problem for seated passengers, and after throwing some tunes at the system, it seems it is not much of a disadvantage for those standing either. The soundstage was admirable, and the famous Hertz dynamism was evident. Of course, we were not on the water during this test, so we were somewhat spoiled. If you want to inject a party feel into your experience at sea, this system will definitely do it.


The second craft Matthew invited us to board was a sleek-looking RIB. Immediately, the presence of two Mercury Verado 300hp engines told us we were looking at a boat with a bit of get up and go. The highly-tuned engines and off-shore propellor system give this boat an exhilarating performance at speed and in rough seas. This heavily tweaked and modified British-built RIB boasts a top speed of 70 MPH+. It looks fast, even when sitting on a trailer in a workshop! The Deep Vee hull adds to the slightly sinister appearance. The boat is 9.7M in length. It looked huge sitting where it was.


Once again, the styling was subtle but top-notch, with Twisted highlights and character everywhere we looked. This boat contains three pairs of Hertz Marine Coaxial speakers and a subwoofer driven by yet another mighty multi-channel Hertz amplifier. Again, despite the compromised speaker positions, the system provided stereo image all over the boat and was capable of ear-splitting volume. Whether it does this at 70 MPH is a question for a warmer day!


What we saw on the day was completely mind-blowing. This is a very specialist area on which I am not particularly up to speed yet. However, everything about Twisted Marine screams quality. Even the showroom in the middle of Salcombe looks smart and impressive.


We are incredibly grateful to Jake and Matthew for inviting us and extending a warm welcome even during a busy working day. I know the guys at Hertz Marine are very proud of their involvement with the Twisted project, and we look forward to testing a system on the water sometime.

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