One of A Kind.One at A Time.
Intrepid’s new 407 Panacea was built with the avid fisherman and adventurous cruiser in mind.
Panacea is loosely defined as a cure-all, and by that meaning, the moniker for Intrepid’s new 407 center console is spot on. Whether you want to troll or cruise, dive or snorkel, entertain friends or just chill on board with family and good food, this semi-custom 40-footer can remedy all of those needs. As both a day boat and an overnighter, it’s anything-goes design utilizes every inch of space to offer all the right features for family fun and serious fishing.
My sea trial began on a bright morning that dawned after a day of grizzly, late-fall rainstorms. I boarded the 407 at Intrepid’s sales center in Dania Beach, Florida, where winds were blowing 5 to 10 knots. From the dock, the Panacea impressed me with its symmetry. A sharply angled full-glass windshield met a slick fiberglass hardtop that hovered over the deck’s 11-foot 1-inch beam. From the gunwales down, the rich blue Imron paint job (an option worth considering) enhanced the boat’s handsome lines and put a cooly conservative spin on what is an aggressive and proven offshore-ready hull design with 22 degrees of deadrise aft. The test boat was powered by a trio of color-matched blue Mercury 400 outboards, although twins are offered, as are Yamahas. If you have a thing for quad engines, that setup requires transom modifications.
It was easy to board the 407, even with a rising tide. A service platform forward of the engines functions as a step, although it also facilitates motor maintenance. Then there’s a port-side door—a sweet piece of robust engineering with a heavy-duty stainless hinge and latch—that opens inward, so you can’t ding it against a high dock or a boat in the next slip. Wait for the gunwale to pop up then slide the door over and watch two electrically operated steps unfold from the transom. There’s also a four-step, powder-coated ladder that drops down into the water, making it easy for swimmers, snorkelers, and divers to come and go from the cockpit. Owners who like to host guests will appreciate the various entry points, each designed to accommodate different needs.
Gallery: Intrepid 407 Panacea
Joining me for the ride was Christian Gonzalez, the company’s vice president of sales. We settled in at the helm, where a Llebroc fold-down bench for two caught my attention. It’s a departure from the Ocean Elite brand typically found on Intrepid boats. On this model, Intrepid gave a few of its regular vendors the opportunity to showcase new products; among them were this seat, the color-blocked upholstery from Miami Prestige, and the Taco Grand Slam 500 outrigger system—a big plus for the trolling crowd.
After we made our way out of the marina en route to a cruise off Ft. Lauderdale, I got better acquainted with the helm setup. Curiously, there’s no footrest for the bench, although a bar folds down from beneath the seat for support. (Gonzalez said they’ll most likely make that bar two pieces so the captain and mate can choose individual positions.) At 5’4” I first stood on tiptoe to see over the bow, but the boat then trimmed automatically, dropping its nose so efficiently that I felt comfortable standing at the helm with the seat folded up as bolster support. Offshore, the Intrepid handled smoothly in sharp turns in an unpredictable chop, and it cut through 3- to 4-foot seas easily while cruising at 39 knots. Top end was an exciting 52-plus knots. Gonzalez attributed the handling to Intrepid’s reputable and proven single-step hull. “When other people slow down, we speed up,” he said. “This is the best running hull we have.”
The dash layout is clean, key features being a Mercury Smartcraft screen and Bennett automatic trim tab control. Since electronics are not part of the Intrepid package, the dash is constructed so customers can have their preferred navigation and sound systems installed by outside vendors. While personalizing the helm, some owners may want to add more stowage for all the little things we bring on board, although a glove box with charging port is standard. If it were my boat, I’d also consider a slight shift of the Smartcraft screen to the left of the steering wheel for better visibility and access. The ability to modify features at the helm, and elsewhere, is one of the benefits of owning an Intrepid. Every boat produced by this builder is custom and Intrepid encourages its owners to get creative.
After cruising along the beach, we came back into the channel, throttling down to accommodate the boat traffic and confused seas. The Panacea’s bow split a roller with a mighty splash and yet we stayed dry—so did the boat. Moments like that give you a special appreciation for the Intrepid’s flared bow and Taylor windshield, which is an upgrade from the standard Plexiglas version.
In the channel, we spotted an Intrepid 327 being towed behind a 100-plus-foot yacht; it cruised along through the chop without a bit of chine walk. It’s one of many boats from this builder used as “tenders” by megayacht owners, who comprise an impressive 25 percent of the company’s customers. To be a player in this market, a builder needs to really sweat the small stuff. And Intrepid does. There’s proof of attention to detail throughout. Fuel and water fills, for instance, are concealed by a hinged cover to create a clean gunwale, and the curved Seasmart cleats are an Italian design and look to be the shape of things to come.
Once through the channel and in calm water, I took a look around the cockpit. Behind the helm seat was a cabinet for the refrigerator, icemaker, and Frigid Rigid 95-quart ice chest. If you don’t need this setup for the type of cruising you do, the cabinet can be eliminated to provide an extra row of seats. If you use the boat to fish, a rod rack can be added to the aft end of the hardtop; insulated fish boxes, recirculating baitwells, and macerators also are available. The test boat had two baitwells in the port and starboard corners of the aft cockpit, and Intrepid carved out some extra space in the transom for additional stowage.
The rear bench is a good feature for cruising. When folded out, it seats up to four. When tucked into the transom, it opens up the deck for the anglers in your crew. Newly designed deck hatches have watertight spring-loaded gaskets and bumpers that protect machinery below, including a diesel generator and a SeaKeeper gyrostabilizer. The bilge—along with storage compartments, livewells, and hatches—is finished with a smooth gelcoat.
Comfort rules at the forward end of the boat, where there are upholstered coamings and automotive-inspired, diamond-stitched seats that wrap around a hydraulic hi-lo table. Electric backrests are a nice touch. There’s an interesting feature under the seating, too: storage for bow-thruster batteries. According to Gonzalez, thrusters are ordered for 95 percent of Intrepid boats over 30 feet.
Just forward of the helm console, a sunpad with retractable armrests adds yet another spot for guests to relax and enjoy the view.
The Intrepid is well-equipped for a long day on the water, but it’s also at home on the hook for an overnight. If you’re cruising with one other person, the cabin can accommodate. It’s surprisingly spacious and includes a mini-galley with Isotherm refrigerator and sink, plus lounge seating that converts to a berth for two. A wood table, which includes a stunning inlaid compass rose, was designed by custom furniture builder AJ Originals in Ft. Lauderdale. The head is basic but efficiently designed with a sink, counter, storage, shower, and a lofty 8 feet of headroom. An electrical panel above a cedar-lined hanging closet near the companionway is easy to access, and a skylight brightens the whole cabin.
All Intrepids are built with an FRP-infused hull, liner and deck and a wood-free PVC core. The company incorporates both unidirectional and infused hand-laid fiberglass fabrics that are knitted, not woven, for more tensile strength. Hi-flex white gelcoat is standard, but the Imron paint used on this model made it a standout at the dock and on the water.
As we approached the dock, Gonzalez easily slid the 40-footer into the slip, without the help of the bow thruster. As we tied up, we saw another Intrepid center console on its way out, an impressive 47-footer with color-coordinated quad Seven Marine 627 engines that can get 60 knots from the hull.
It was interesting to observe several Intrepid models on the water the day of the test. If anything, these glimpses gave me an even deeper appreciation for the brand, which, as Gonzalez said, “builds what the customer wants.” While a boat can typically get built in about three months, there are back orders for the 407, which means a new one will come off the line in about eight months. So, if you want the Panacea, named for the Greek goddess of universal remedy, you’ll need a little patience.
Test Conditions: Temperature: 80°F; seas: 3-4'; wind: 5-10 knots
Load: 185 gal. fuel, 30 gal. water, 2 people.
Intrepid 407 Panacea — Final Boat Test Numbers:
Speeds are two-way averages measured w/Smartcraft GPS. GPH taken via Mercury Smartcraft display. Range is based on 90% of advertised fuel capacity.
Fuel: 483 gal
Water: 60 gal.
Test Power: 3/400-hp Mercury outboards
Optional Power: 4/400-hp Mercury outboards
Price: Upon Request