Attention to detail is oft touted but often hard to see. There’s no missing it aboard the 40 Express. In the cockpit I found everything, from tackle lockers to under-gunwale stowage, under a lid or behind a hatch so blood spatter and salt spray wouldn’t soil gear. The cockpit is crowned and graced with large scuppers for drainage. To test its bailing ability, I backed the 40 Express down hard, covering the nonskid with a foot of water. It drained quickly, and the boat carried the tonnage without a hitch. When I opened the transom door and peered below the waterline, I noted a safety feature rarely seen factory-installed, but one that the ABYC recommends: a boarding step mounted on the transom to allow for solo reboarding. There’s room for a chair in the pit and a backing plate to secure it, and, with 100 square feet of cockpit space, there’s room to swing the chair and allow the wireman space between the footrest and the 48-gallon transom livewell. Leaning against the cockpit bolsters, I felt the firm resistance of high-density foam rather than the squishy softness of pads better suited to calm waters. Two insulated fish boxes, an icebox and a tackle center complete the kit.