Oh, what a boat! Triple Mercury Racing 400R motors are color-matched at the factory to complement the color scheme of the boat, but when we pressed the throttles down and the engines leaped into action, the last thing on our minds was the color.
Step-bottomed boats can be fickle, slipping out of crisp turns unexpectedly, making some experienced boaters forgo them for more predictable conventional V-bottoms. There was nothing unpredictable about this boat though. Sharp turns got sharper as we fed in more throttle, and acceleration curves got steeper as we got bolder with the throttles. The 390 Sport ran flat out with a touch of trim and got surprisingly good mileage for a boat powered with three huge outboards.
After a good run breaking 80 mph, we throttled down to look … under the hood, so to speak.
Performance boats can have quite elaborate paint jobs, and this one was no different. Deep-blue metallic paint dominated the sides, with black chines and triple pinstriping. The hull steps gave a glimpse of the white running surface and ran along the water like shark teeth. Colors were matched inboard too, at the console and bulkheads, and even the outboard motor panels bore the Nor-Tech color scheme.
Our boat was equipped with the hidden fishing package that tucked a powerful livewell under the transom walk-through. There was both a transom door and a side-boarding dive door — choose your poison for hauling your catch aboard. Rod holders were abundant overhead and in the gunwale.
Luxury was abundant as well. Forward seating included lounges at the bow, a dual lounge in front of the console and a double row of seats at the helm — all shaded under the generous hardtop. If the paint and seating arrangements were thrilling, the upholstery was reminiscent of the great days of Detroit-iron muscle cars, with quilted vinyl and sumptuous cushioning.
We couldn’t choose a performance boat now without giving strong consideration to the Nor-Tech 390 Sport.