Speed is a relative thing. Sixty miles per hour on a freeway makes you a rock in a stream getting passed on all sides. Sixty on a glassy lake is fun, but 60 mph on the Gulf Stream in square-edged 3-footers is a whole ’nother world, especially when you’re moving 10 tons of luxury.
The Intrepid 407 Panacea attracts all sorts. Prowling the docks at the Intrepid office in Dania, Florida, just south of Fort Lauderdale, was a cross section of Intrepidistas: some good ol’ boys from somewhere on the edge of the Everglades with Buck knives on their belts, a South American couple with a lot of vowels in their names, and a father-son duo who had that haughty arrived-on-the-Mayflower look that comes with a “III” after your name.
They weren’t just looking at Intrepids. They were taking copious notes because, you see, there are no Intrepid showrooms. Every Intrepid is custom-built for the owner. The only thing you can buy turnkey is a used Intrepid, whose owner has moved on to a larger or faster Intrepid. “We sit down with our buyers, they tell us their dreams, and we make them come true,” says Intrepid’s president, Ken Clinton.
Our 407 Panacea test boat with triple Yamaha F300s on the transom was quick enough to get us from the Intrepid office to an icy Kalik at the Bimini Big Game Club in the Bahamas in 60 minutes flat. Not fast enough? Just tick a few more boxes on the order sheet, and you’ll be looking at the same boat with 2,500 horses in the form of quad Seven Marine 627s on the transom and holding a cold bottle of Sands in 40 minutes — or less.
Even from a distance without the badging, you’d know this is an Intrepid from the ruler-straight sheer, the low-slung cabin forward of the sweptback windshield, and, of course, the general “git ’er done” look. No matter that it’s running three-plus in the Gulf Stream, we’ll just back off a notch and still run fast and soft on the stepped hull.
That hull, by the way, may not literally be bulletproof, but it’s darn close. Fully resin-infused using unidirectional and quad-axial fabrics with PVC foam coring, it’s a tough and rot-free package. Underwater, the hull is deeply V-ed forward (that’s proprietary info, sorry) with two strakes and a hard chine. Behind the transverse vented step is a planing “pad” (22-degree deadrise) that steadies the boat at speed. Design-speak aside, this boat feels solid and predictable, whether in smooth water, midstream, or a hard-over turn.
Panacea? It means a potion that solves all problems, and the 407 Panacea is so all-purpose, it makes the phrase “sport utility” seem ancient. This is a boat that both fishes and dives with the best of the dedicated center-consoles, but it’s also a great boat for families and overnighting.
Start with the cockpit: 52 square feet can handle several anglers, plus optional baitwells in each aft corner and tackle drawers. For divers, the side door opens inward (for boarding at docks) on oversize hinges, and a dive ladder unfolds from a deck locker, boasting comfortably wide steps.
You can take the family using the folding rear seat across the transom that is probably more comfy than your sofa at home. If you’re hungry, the outdoor galley behind the helm handles that with a grill, sink and fridge. Up forward, there’s bow rider seating on each side, plus a sun pad with an electrically controlled backrest.
The 407 Panacea also takes care of other needs, with a cabin that will surprise you if you expected a cramped cuddy with a portable potty. No, this has 6 feet, 3 inches of headroom and a wraparound dinette with table that lowers electrically to become a double berth. There’s also a mini-galley with microwave, fridge and sink. And — ta-da! — the fully enclosed head compartment has a hot/cold shower. Stay at Bimini for the weekend and you won’t be roughing it.
The optional hardtop (don’t skimp here) has a one-piece windshield and a dash big enough to absorb twin 22-inch multifunction displays. Illuminated Bocatech push-buttons handle all the systems. Don’t forget, every Intrepid is custom, so you can choose any seating, from racing bolsters to twins, adjustable in so many ways, they put BMW seats to shame.
With a trio of Yamaha F300s, our test boat topped out over 60 mph, but if you’re really lusting for speed, opt for quad Seven Marine 627 hp outboards (2,500-plus hp) and then hang on.
If you are shopping, take a look at the Pursuit 408 Sport ($703,475), which is 2 feet longer, and has Yamaha F350s and a similar layout to the Intrepid.
We liked the Intrepid 407 Panacea a lot because — like its name says — it really does many things well. Fishing, diving, overnighting, family outings — the Panacea 407 really is the all-purpose potion.
- Soft and seaworthy ride at all speeds.
- Stowage bins forward with gull-wing doors handle rods, dive tanks and fenders.
- Bow seating hides insulated and self-draining compartments for fish or cold drinks.
- Handrails around the bow are excellent but need to extend aft to the cockpit.
- One-piece windshield is so effective at wind protection that an adjustable vent would be good on hot days.
Price: $575,000 (base)
Available Power: Outboard
How We Tested
Engines: Triple Yamaha F300 outboards
Drive/Props: Yamaha SWS II 15″ x 21″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.73:1
Fuel Load: 200 gal.
Water on Board: 0 gal.
Crew Weight: 450 lb.
Intrepid Powerboats – Largo, Florida; 954-922-7544; intrepidpowerboats.com