The Marquis 40 SC has everything you'd want in a Euro-style express yacht. Sexy lines? Heather Locklear, eat your heart out. Impressive handling? Even when she was on Melrose Place, Heather wasn't this smooth.
But the 40 SC stands alone among production boats built in the United States, carrying a Class A rating according to guidelines established by the European Directive for Recreational Craft.
Class A is a big deal because a boat must be built to withstand Force 8 (40-knot) winds and 13' seas. Among the multitude of construction requirements to meet Class A are that stringers can't be more than 1'2" apart and that only a limited number of through-hulls can be used.
To meet those requirements, the 40 SC is built with sectional liners for the cabin decking and the salon. The hull bottom is solid fiberglass whereas the sides are cored with closed-cell foam below the waterline and balsa above. Stringers are molded fiberglass and those in the engine compartment are cored with foam. The deck is reinforced with 1¾" aluminum tubing that's inset with balsa to provide strength. When the hull and deck are put together, the joint is bonded with fiberglass.
The strength was evident during my flinch-free ride on test day. The 40 SC hit 35.3 mph at wide open and cruised at 26.9 mph at 3000 rpm. As we've come to expect from IPS-equipped boats, its handling rivaled skinny-beamed offshore go-fasts as the boat made quick S-turns and carved tight arcs in each direction.
By comparison, both the Fairline 44 Targa ($925,980 with the IPS 600s) and the Cranchi 43 HT ($653,389 with the test engines) carry Class B ratings. The Cranchi is faster at 43 mph and its construction features molded stringers with Kevlar reinforcement. Fairline builds its boat with an interior liner, and the hull and deck are bonded together. Its top speed is also estimated at more than 40 mph.