Confidence. It was the word that came to mind as I slid the Hinckley Sport Boat 40C’s single-lever throttles forward. The Ray Hunt-designed, deep-V hull form, with 23-degree transom deadrise, diced the tempest-fueled chop off Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Whitewater was mashed to mush as my ride sped across the salt.
Her standard triple 400 hp Mercury Verado 400R outboards (twin 627 hp Seven Marine outboards are optional) hummed along as my test 40C hit stride around 25 knots. The increasing wind and gray skies didn’t diminish the wheel-time experience. The boat responded instantly to input as I pushed the wheel hard over and slalomed the 40C around the bay. Her inboard heel was moderate, with minimal bleed-off in engine rpm on turns. She picked up immediately on straightaways. I felt as happy as a dog with its head out the window. Her top-end was just under 47 knots. (Top speed with the optional motors is projected to be around 54 knots.)
Considering the center-console’s 450-gallon fuel capacity and a 10 percent reserve, the 40C has a 345-nautical-mile cruising range at 25 knots.
Her confidence-inspiring ride came from her handling, for sure, but also from her solid feel underfoot, created by an epoxy-infused structure. There is an inner layer of carbon fiber as well as an outer layer of Kevlar. All the material is laid up dry, including the vessel’s structural grid. The all-at-once infusion system creates a strong and relatively lightweight craft with no secondary bonds. (The 40C has a 19,000-pound displacement.) Hinckley guarantees its hulls for life for the original owner.
Hinckley’s Picnic Boats are known for sweeping downeast-style lines, but the 40C has an aggressive straightedge sheer line with some bow flare, and carries a good bit of her 12-foot-5-inch beam throughout her length overall.
One of the benefits of that beam is an air-conditioned space belowdecks. It has U-shaped seating that converts to a queen berth. There’s also a head with a shower, and a galley with a single-burner Kenyon cooktop, Isotherm refrigerator, microwave and (naturally) cappuccino machine. Headroom belowdecks averages 6 feet 6 inches.
With its Picnic Boat success, Hinckley is no stranger to designing and building solid-running dayboats with high style. The 40C follows in that family tradition while taking advantage of high-tech construction materials and modern outboard power. For center-console enthusiasts looking for a turnkey vessel with a pedigree, the Hinckley 40C is worth a look.
Take the next step: hinckleysportboats.com