Made the List Because: There is an exception to every rule, even the rule stating every boat is a compromise, as Intrepid’s 400 proves. This big center console will fish with the best tournament boats, provides the amenity of a mega-bowrider and, thanks to its proprietary stepped hull and triple outboard power, delivers speed and performance that nudges into “go-fast” territory. It’s three boats in one, with nary a trade-off to be seen. But that alone isn’t why we picked it.
Intrepid builds boats with an attention to detail we can’t say we’ve seen anywhere else. During a factory tour, we watched as technicians “flashlighted” a deck fresh from the mold, backlighting the laminate and looking for the smallest defect. They also developed a proprietary gelcoat, the chemical composition of which retards stress cracking better than off-the-shelf resins. The 400 is built by a company that employs painters, welders, electronics installers and other technicians in-house, ensuring that the accessories you select aren’t just installed right, they are installed right for you.
Lasting Test Impression: The Intrepid 400 handles like a conventional V-hull, exhibiting none of the handling quirks associated with many stepped hulls.