Here’s a first look at the brand-new Hinckley 40x Sport Boat that was just launched in Newport, Rhode Island, with three 300-hp Mercury Verado outboards. Designed by the legendary C. Raymond Hunt Associates, the new Hinckley was built specifically for outboard power, and it has a 23-degree deadrise at the transom to cut cleanly through rough water.
The new Hinckley, coming from the Down East company that invented a genre when it introduced the iconic Picnic Boat in 1994, has two cabins and one head to make cruising comfortable and easy. In keeping with the times, Hinckley says the new sport boat is aimed for owners who are pressed for time in their daily lives: It’s easy to run and it’s easy to maintain. But it also has Hinckley’s legendary luxuries: The accommodations and amenities are high-end, down to the standard cappuccino machine.
Built in Maine, the new cruiser is Hinckley’s second outboard-powered 40-foot boat. The first version, the 40c, was introduced fall, and it was the center console model. The new cruising boat has a protected helm deck, with an open cockpit that has seating aft and two aft-facing seats forward. The helm deck has windows all around and two opening hatches in the hardtop. A large L-shaped settee with a teak table is to port, across from a sink, fridge and storage to starboard. A single helm seat on a stainless steel pedestal faces the helm.
Below, the master cabin has a salty teak-and-holly sole. A set of V-shaped settees with a raised teak table are forward, serving as a social or dining area during the day; at night, they convert to a double bed. The second cabin, with a berth for two set athwartships, is aft, tucked under the helm. The galley is on the port side, while the head, with an enclosed shower, is to starboard.
The new Hinckley’s lines are clean and flowing; the proportions are just right and are a contemporary version of the company’s classic heritage. The build is state-of-the-art. The company says the new sport boat is “the world’s first production outboard boat built in single bond, vacuum-infused epoxy from stem to stern.” It has fingertip Joystick Piloting to make docking easy. Top speed with the three Verados is about 47 knots.
I have to admit that I’ve been a Hinckley fan ever since I drove Dasher, hull number one of the first Picnic Boat, in Southwest Harbor, Maine, in 1994 with Shep McKenney, who then was a co-owner of the company. It was 36 feet long with a single diesel engine and water jet drive, and it was drop-dead gorgeous. Heading up Somes Sound, the Picnic Boat also was fun to drive. Now, I can’t wait to try the new Sport Boat; it certainly looks like it’s fun too.
Specs.: LOA: 42’7”; Beam: 12’5”; Draft: 3’1”; Disp.: 20,000 lbs.; Fuel: 450 gals.; Water: 98 gals.; Power: 3×300-hp Mercury Verado outboards.