The second model in Hinckley’s outboard-powered splinter group demonstrates just how boldly they’re entering this new market.
Five of us lounged in the cockpit, soaking wet and amped from splashing around Martha Vineyard’s Cape Poge Bay. I reclined in one of a pair of aft-facing lounges, feet up on its electrically actuated footrest. The outboards hummed in lockstep like a jazz trio in the pocket of a spirited groove at a steady 32 knots and 4200 rpm. A surfboard, foiled kiteboard, makeshift tow rope and the sports’ accoutrements were strewn about the ample, nonskid deck. We were a short ride from our Vineyard Haven destination but our workhorse for the day—the Hinckley Sport Boat 40x—was miles away from the bespoke, teak-clad vessels of her parent company.
The longtime builder of jet-powered, joystick-controlled craft launched their Sport Boat line last year with the center console 40c (the 40x shares the same hull) following the same stringent build process as all Hinckley models, with a carbon fiber and Kevlar epoxy hull utilizing SCRIMP resin infusion for a near-perfect strength-to-weight ratio. However, the Ray Hunt Design hull veers from the Picnic and Talaria models in several ways, most notably in that she’s designed for outboard propulsion.
Gallery: Hinckley Sport Boat 40x
The vessels do retain the meticulous, stylish, tailor-made approach that will separate them from a field of 40-something-footers with beefy outboards on their transoms. “[The Sport Boats] haven’t evolved from fish boats like so many of the outboard-platform boats,” Chief Marketing Officer Pete Saladino told our team of editors from the 40x’s pilothouse on our way out for the day. I was with a few of my colleagues at the L-shaped settee, with a few more flanking Saladino at the Corian-topped galley and standing at the belowdecks companionway framed in gloss-finished teak. With over seven feet of headroom, wide, electric windows to port and starboard and a pair of big, roof-mounted hatches with optional ($10,650) powered dogging, it at once felt airy and open even with ten of us gathered there.
The massive, one-piece windshield certainty helped. Dubbed Vista by the Hinckley team, the contoured glass is designed so that glare is reduced for virtually unmitigated sightlines. “We’re obsessed with visibility,” VP of Sales and Product Development Scott Bryant then told us, “We knew we had to nail the visibility and openness in the pilothouse.” When it was my turn at the helm, I sat in comfort at the Stidd double companion seat—full, 4-way electric power adjustment means comfort to just about anyone who takes the wheel—and ran the 40x throughout the rpm range, banking turns with a fine turn of speed and confidence thanks to excellent sightlines all around. Mission accomplished.
Hinckley Sport Boat 40x Layout Diagrams:
The performance was dialed in as well. With optional triple 425-hp Yamaha XTOs (engine packages are available in triple configurations from 350- to 400-hp from Merc’s Verado and Racing platforms as well as twin 627-hp Seven Marine, with a trio of Verado 300s as standard), she made an average top sprint of 46.6 knots at 5900 rpm with 10 people on board, a hundred pounds or so of equipment and full water and fuel. With a manual adjustment to the trim tabs—they were set on auto—the outboards spooled up to their rated max of 6000 rpm. She was quick and efficient at the aforementioned 32 knots—that’s good for 246 nautical miles—and seemed to really settle in at a fast cruise of 39.3 knots and 5000 rpm with less than a 20NM loss in range. This was a well-balanced, all-day cruiser.
She’s also ready for overnighting, with a just-enough meal prep galley but more importantly, a big double berth beneath the helm and forward V-berth that converts into a queen at the push of a button. A glossy teak-and-holly sole set off the teak wood trim and teak bulkheads and door of the head and echo the stunning woodwork of its sisterships.
The 40x is by and large a very different vessel from any Hinckley that preceded her. But it takes design cues out of the Hinckley playbook that will separate it from the pack. She’s certainly more wash-and-wear and unfussy that the Picnic line but upgrades like faux teak soles abovedecks allow her to be as bespoke as you want her to be. I thought about this as I looked at a pile of flip flops in the cockpit, covered in sand and among various sports equipment. There was not a tassel loafer in sight.
Hinckley Sport Boat 40x Specifications:
Displ.: 20,000 lbs.
Fuel: 450 gal.
Water: 82 gal.
Standard Power: 3/300-hp Mercury Verado outboards
Cruise Speed: 32 knots
Top Speed: 46.6 knots
Price: Upon Request