Without a doubt the four new Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboards installed on the transom of the 2015 Nor-Tech 390 Sport Open we tested grabbed our attention, especially at the top speed of 92.2 mph they helped deliver at 7,000 rpm. We were just as interested in the comfort-focused upgrades that Nor-Tech has made to this mega-console boat since we tested the 2014 version.
First, Nor-Tech redesigned the helm. The big, flat panel can now accommodate two 15-inch chart plotters and still have space for a 7-inch screen and a stereo head in between them. Our test boat had two huge Garmin GPSMAP chart plotters with Mercury’s SmartCraft screen in the middle of a carbon fiber panel shaded by a 3- to 4-inch eyebrow. Visibility of this instrumentation proved excellent underway.
Additionally, the T-top frame sports a new sweptback design with fewer pipe obstructions in the helmsman’s sight lines. Yet we did not notice undue wracking or shaking from this new top. In the bow, the chaise-lounge-style seat on top of the cabin has integrated cup holders, each lit by an LED light, and fold-down armrests. To make boarding easier, there are steps integrated into the amidships gunwales and the starboard swing-in dive door now comes standard. Finally, to better illuminate the cabin, Nor-Tech installed a skylight in the console. There is also a portlight with stainless-steel trim.
When you build a boat with a 10-foot beam, you can design a console that can protect three people in individual stand-up bolsters with drop-out seat bottoms. Clamped in place in the backside of the bolster bases aboard the 390 Sport Open is a portable cooler, and an aft bench seat has a bottom cushion that pulls out to access all the mechanical accessories. Nor-Tech finished the bilge in Awlgrip for a custom touch.
A hatch in the port side of the helm console accesses the cabin and head area. There’s a berth that’s just shy of 6 feet long with seated headroom at the aft end. The skylight opens up the area by letting in the sun’s rays, while the head with holding tank is there to help answer nature’s call.
Of course in a boat like the 390 Sport Open, the louder call will be to enjoy the great outdoors, and the seating options and cockpit depth make that easy to do. Of course, the acceleration of 1,600 horses on the transom doesn’t hurt either. Cruising at 70 mph, we nailed the throttles and in seconds hit top speed. That’s attention-getting.
Comparable Model: Midnight Express 395 Cuddy