Go, Baby, Go
Our test boat had a crew of five and half-full fuel and water tanks, plus it sat in the water, bottom unpainted, for two weeks -- so it sported some growth. All of which slowed it down. Still, 40-plus mph is plenty fast for a 10-ton cruiser and in line with other boats in this class, such as Cruisers Yachts' 420 Sports Coupe ($629,910 with IPS 500s) and Formula's 400 Cruiser ($656,310 with IPS 500s). The 420 Sports Coupe weighs 500 pounds more and tops out at 37 mph. The 40 PC weighs 500 pounds less and hits 42 mph. The difference in horsepower between IPS 500s and 600s is 66 bhp, so it's safe to conclude that the 400 Premiere's Wide-Tech Bow doesn't markedly affect speed.
Does the hull's shape affect handling? Grab the wheel, depress the levers, and smile as the 400 Premiere whooshes onto plane without black smoke, noise, or vibration. The bow rides a little high until you exceed 20 mph. The 400 Premiere responds decisively. There are no speed-and-tab combos needed to dial this boat in. It delivers exactly the performance you'd expect from a well-designed cruiser.
Except for some harbor chop, test conditions were flat, so I can't attest to its rough-water ride. However, Chaparral's head of engineering Mike Fafard says that because the wider bow doesn't touch the water, it doesn't slam and keeps you dry. What I can say is that with the tabs fully deployed, the 400 Premiere stayed on plane and maintained its directional stability down to 11.9 mph. Any boat that can do that will gently bring you home when the wind kicks up.