I haven’t yet had a chance to sea trial the new 40cc from Belzona Marine, but there’s an open invitation in the offing and who knows? Miami (where Belzonas are designed and built) is pretty hot this time of year but it’s still nice. And considering the 40cc’s rather rousing top hop of 46.1 knots (as reported by Jesse Porben, company captain and VP of corporate development), she’s likely to be pretty hot herself and, presumably, quite nice as well.
I have briefly toured the 40cc, however. During the Miami International Boat Show earlier this year I got together with Porben and, once we’d concluded the formalities, immediately zeroed in on the two most stand-out features, features that hallmark not just the 40cc but the entire Belzona fleet. The biggie, of course, was the patented “Easy Open” sliding gunnel door on the cockpit’s starboard side. Swoosh it aft and you’ve got yourself a 40-inch-wide walkway with a sill that’s just about flush with the surface of any floating dock or fingerpier you happen to be tied up next to.
This is totally cool for boaters in wheelchairs, of course, but it’s also great for divers and snorkelers easing over the side, as well as a cockpit crew hauling in a big fish or simply for a couple of folks who want to just sit in the sun for a while with their feet dangling in the water. Are there some other center-consoles on the market with hullside doors that swing out or in? Certainly, but to my knowledge there are no others that offer the convenience and out-of-the-wayness that a smoothly functioning, fully mechanical slider does.
Gallery: Belzona 40cc
The second stand-out? Examine the windshield shown in the photos here. You’ll notice that, as with numerous military and commercial vessels, it’s canted forward, not raked aft, the point being to reduce glare, remove rain and spray water via gravity, and, I suppose, impart a whiff of distinction to the boat’s long, sleek profile. Moreover, the entire thing is encompassed within a beefy fiberglass receiver that helps support the hardtop—there are no intermediate mullions to obstruct visibility.
“We use a 10-foot sheet of acrylic to make the windshield,” Porben told me, “and we go with a special coating to make it exceptionally scratch-resistant.”
I found the layout of the 40cc to be conventional, although replete with standards that might be considered optional on some other 40-foot center-consoles. The helm, for example, sported a Garmin electronics package (with two glass-helm-type MFDs, a VHF, and a radar with dome antenna), a Mercury joystick and a nifty VesselView engine-info display. The center-console cabin (with V-berth, retractable table, MSD and separate stall shower) was outfitted with a 16,000-BTU Webasto air-conditioning unit, electrified via a 7.5-kW Kohler genset. In the cockpit, a SureShade was telescoped out to sunblock numerous fish-fighting standards (including a huge fishbox) as well as an outdoor galley with stainless-steel BBQ grill. And at the bow, I test drove both the cabin-top lounger with two adjustable backrests and the forward-facing bench with flip-up armrests. Comfy!
As Proben and I neared tour’s end, a vague initial impression solidified. The Belzona, it seemed to me, is a true multi-tasker, with all the features necessary to satisfy a customer with many interests, including fishing, modest backcountry cruising, overnighting on the run and plain old drop-the-hook, fun-in-the-sun weekending. Additionally, she displays a high level of finish, lots of solid detailing (with hardware through-bolted into laminated backing plates and thick SeaDek layered decks) and a straightforward hullform, with little more to distinguish her underbody than a 22-degree transom deadrise
“I guess you’d have to say that, with the 40cc, our bottom-line goal was to build a boat that both satisfies and lasts,” Proben synopsized. “She’s not for the guy who’s going to trade her in in a couple of years. We built her for somebody who’s into long-term enjoyment.”
Given her highly-finished panache, her easy-to-live-with, many-sided personality and her sporty reported top speed, I’d say Porben’s last point is spot on. If there’s a boat out there that’s an obvious keeper, it’s gotta be the new Belzona 40cc.
Belzona 40cc Specifications:
DRAFT (motors up): 2’4”
DISPL.: 16,900 lb.
FUEL: 500 gal.
WATER: 60 gal.
STANDARD POWER: 3/350-hp Mercury Verado 350
OPTIONAL POWER: 4/350-hp Mercury Verado 350
CRUISE SPEED (w/standard power): 23.5 knots
TOP SPEED (w/standard power): 46.1 knots
BASE PRICE: $745,681
Belzona Marine, 305-512-3200; belzonamarine.com