For a gallery of the Concept 4400 Sport Yacht in action click here.
If there’s ever a remake of Miami Vice, Concept’s 4400 Sport Yacht is going to be front and center. Renowned offshore racer and boatbuilder John Cosker designed the Concept’s hull — and its racing heritage is apparent from the moment you cast off. Despite the boat’s 44-foot length and 10-foot beam, it handles nimbly in tight quarters with the help of a bow thruster. The hull features twin steps located just aft of amidships, and quad 300 hp Mercury Verado outboards provide a quick jump-start out of the hole. It planes in 8.1 seconds and reaches 30 mph in just under 12 seconds, that on a 17,500-pound boat. Unlike many boats with stepped-hull designs, the 4400 Sport Yacht jumps on plane without squatting and blocking sight lines. Turning out to sea, the 4400 Sport Yacht raced through four-and five-footers at 45 miles per hour. Concept is still tweaking performance characteristics, but our tester (hull No. 1) still topped out at 66.8 miles per hour.
Concept specializes in custom outboard-powered boatbuilding, and the 4400 Sport Yacht is one of its best yet. Below, we found a comfortable v-berth with a small stovetop, sink, microwave and refrigerator to port. The cabin also features a 32-inch flat-screen television and DVD player. Opposite is a full head with a stand-up shower fed by up to 200 gallons of fresh water. The head provides plenty of room, even for larger passengers like myself. There’s also ample storage in the form of two closets and a recessed bay that extends below the main deck. In a pinch, the bay can be used as a sleeping area for extra passengers.
On deck, the helm and spacious lounge area are fully enclosed. The boat is unique in offering an enclosed and fully air-conditioned outboard-powered sport yacht. There’s also bench seating for a crew of eight.
The hull is made wood-free, with all-fiberglass construction. Above the waterline Concept even opted to make the superstructure for the bridge deck out of machined and powder-coated aluminum. This approach allows owners to totally customize the enclosure to their liking rather than being restricted by mass-production tooling. A 22-inch flat-screen television is concealed in the forward bulkhead, and an optional Fusion MS-IP600G iPod dock stereo provides sound throughout the boat. An optional sunroof adds an exotic feel when under way — particularly at speed. During testing, the sunroof worked well and appeared sturdy enough to put up with the rigors of running at high speed in heavy seas. Water-resistant upholstery and the nonskid gelcoat interior offer secure footing when fishing or diving. The scuppered deck allows for a quick hose-down inside to remove salt, fish slime or blood.
The cockpit is packed with features serious fishermen and divers will appreciate. Foldaway bench seating along the transom and port side accommodates up to six people. A complete rigging station, as well as a small sink and frigid rigid cooler, butts up against the rear bulkhead of the bridge deck enclosure. Twin 200-gallon macerated fish boxes flank the 500-gallon aluminum fuel tank located below deck. The Eurotransom is home to a standard 50-gallon livewell and sink, plus both freshwater (heated) and saltwater showers.
Perhaps the most unique option on the Concept is a Brownie’s Third Lung hookah rig built into the transom. More than a hundred feet of air hose connects to a custom splitter allowing four people to dive simultaneously. A powered hose retractor stows the lines out of site, out of mind.
The helm station opens from the front, offering easy access to electronics and wiring. The boat has six batteries, and the main switches are recessed on the side of the console. The forward anchor locker features a remotely operated windlass and custom stainless-steel anchor. Our test boat boasted three Garmin touchscreen units, one GPSMap 7215 and a pair of 7212s.
Belowdecks is a spacious and well-laid-out machinery compartment that houses most of the working systems on the boat, including a 5 kW Westerbeke gasoline generator that provides power for the two air conditioners (one for the boat’s interior and one for the cockpit), an optional ice machine, a standard water heater and two 100-gallon freshwater tanks. There’s ample room to get at everything, and all wiring and plumbing are clearly labeled, making them easy to trace when troubleshooting. In addition, there are two below-deck storage areas for life jackets and other accessories and an insulated cooler under the helm leaning post.
Intrepid’s 400 Cuddy can also be customized and so typically leaves the factory for about $480,000 with triple 300 hp Verados. It doesn’t offer the enclosed hardtop like the Concept does, but it has a queen stateroom and a convertible dinette, compared with the Concept’s single, queen-size v-berth. By any measure, the 4400 Sport Yacht is ideal for water enthusiasts into long-range fishing and diving cruises or extended weekends with the family.
Comparable model: Intrepid 400 Cuddy