After running 78 mph in the Nor-Tech 390 Sport Open center-console powered by quadruple Mercury 300 hp Verado outboards, I was curious as to why the custom manufacturer wouldn’t have gone with triple 350 hp outboards. The answer actually had nothing to do with the question of ponies per pounds. The 350s require 91-octane fuel while the 300s can run on 87-octane ethanol-blend fuels and have a longer warranty. It makes sense to go with the fourth outboard for practicality.
Besides, the four-engine setup (30-inch shafts for the two centers and 20-inch for the outboard motors) is 7 mph faster and a whole lot of fun. The acceleration was outstanding. The two-step bottom handled predictably in myriad maneuvers, and the combination of the reversed chine and the flared bow kept the bow seats dry even in crosswinds.
My test boat had the optional second three-person bolster ($3,800) plus an innovative bench seat ($1,500) that slides into the base of that bolster when it’s not in use. On the forward side of the console is a chaise lounge that accommodates at least two, plus there’s wraparound seating in the bow. If you prefer a cooler environment, enter the air-conditioned cabin on the port side of the cockpit. The belowdecks area has surprising space with a sink, head and forward V-berth.
Back out in the cockpit, with the aft bench tucked away, you could even walk around the stern fighting a fish. And if you land a monster, there’s space for it in deep fish boxes. Nor-Tech provides access so you can check on the trim pumps, battery charger and other equipment you’re likely to inspect often.
While I was in the Imron-painted bilge, I got a peek at Nor-Tech’s construction. The bottom is cored with composite Penske board about 6 feet forward of the transom. From that point forward, it’s reinforced with a combination of Kevlar and carbon fiber. The stringers and deck are foam-cored. To support the quartet of big outboards, transom knees are full height, the Penske board transom is 4 inches thick, and Nor-Tech sandwiches the structure with a stainless-steel plate before the motors are bolted in place. The 390 Sport Open has the right combination of performance and practicality.
Comparable model: Deep Impact 399 C