Performance, cruising, and fishing intersect aboard Intrepid's 390 Sport Yacht. Triple 275-hp Mercury Verado outboards hurled us across the water at more than 56 mph, and the 390 Sport Yacht's single-stepped hull provided confidence during every crazy maneuver I pulled. Anglers and divers will appreciate the wide open, self-bailing cockpit, complete with fishboxes, washdown, and livewell. In a more sedate mood? Throttle back and enjoy the company of guests sprawled before you - where you can see and speak with them - in the lounges forward of the helm. Feeling frisky? Step belowdecks, where you'll be guaranteed a successful weekend getaway. Family fishboats are a hard target to hit, but the 390 Sport Yacht makes the combination work with little compromise.
For all the talk about how boaters are energy gluttons, Intrepid's 390 Sport Yacht is at the vanguard of harnessing technology to do more while burning less fuel. Its hull is designed for efficiency, not high speed. It's powered by outboards, which deliver the best power-to-weight ratio. And its highly engineered fiberglass laminate is a combination of cored, vacuum-bagged, resin-infused, uni- and multi-directional fibers that delivers strength and stiffness without horsepower-robbing, fuel-consuming excess weight. By winning this techno-trifecta - design, construction, propulsion - the 390 Sport Yacht delivers a range of speeds at which economy exceeds a mile per gallon. There's no fleeting, single-speed "sweet spot." Just set the tachs between 3000 and 4500 rpm and go. This 40' performance cruiser delivers outstanding performance, and while some tractor-, pod- and stern drive-powered cruisers can match it, none can multitask like this boat.
One boat that might give the 390 Sport Yacht a run for its money is Contender's 38E. That triple outboard-powered cruiser rides a nonstepped, 22-degree deadrise deep-V hull. The Contender offers a second stateroom and its topside layout looks equally versatile, with an open cockpit and expansive lounges forward. Pricing wasn't available at press time, but it can be powered by triple outboards totaling 1,150 hp. We'll let you know how it does when we test it. How does the 390 Sport Yacht handle? Grab the throttles. I've tested Intrepids for years, but this was my first trial of its Version 2 hullform, which has been specifically designed for the new heavier outboards. Changes include a wider chine beam and increased buoyancy aft. The result is a quick-stepping boat, providing what I can only describe as nimble heft. Its bow is responsive, coming around sportboat quick. Yet even trimmed out fully and running across wakes and waves, it never feels flighty. But, boy, does this boat fly, planing fast and flat and making a one-way top speed of 57.6 mph during speed trials-with the half-tower installed. Enjoy all that power. This boat lets you thrill to speed, and it does so without any foibles that I could wring out.