Hull blueprinting, the process of meticulously finishing a hull’s bottom so that mold variances are eliminated and dimensions remain as true to the original design specifications as possible, is often thought of as a process reserved for race boats. Nor-Tech deems blueprinting worthy of every boat. The builder also goes so far as to fill and core all the hull strakes for added hull rigidity, strategically add high-density foam, Kevlar and carbon fiber to key areas, and completely encapsulate its composite stringer grid in fiberglass.
It’s an almost obsessive attention to even the smallest detail that could instantly be felt on the 340 Sport. I brought the craft’s triple Mercury Racing 350 outboards to life, cruised into open water, and then anxiously firewalled the throttles. The boat hurtled forward with nary a twitch, the numbers on my GPS advancing in rapid succession until I was flirting with 80 mph. Throttling down into the 50s, I barreled into a hard-over turn and experienced sure-footed stability, the 340 almost begging me to pile on more speed. Many boaters might be wary while pushing such limits, especially on a stepped hull bottom, but the 340 Sport proved worthy of my confidence, hugging the water with utter tenacity. This particular 340 Sport was outfitted for upscale cruising above the waterline, but a performance heart clearly beats below its glamorous finish.
Interior and Accessories
Step into the cockpit via the starboard-side dive door, and Nor-Tech’s Club Sport bench offers the first hint of the luxury that is to come. With plush contours and diamond-pattern stitching, it offers a full 7 feet of seating space, spanning the entire width of the transom, enough to accommodate a sizable crew. Corner cushions lift out to step out onto the swim platform. Just forward, a custom-painted Frigid Rigid cooler backs up to the deluxe leaning post. With its plush upholstered lid, it creates an aft-facing, double-wide bench while keeping refreshments within arm’s reach of all. Slide the Frigid Rigid backward on its tracks to open up some legroom, and you can create a second row of forward-facing seating along the centerline.
At the helm, a trio of segmented spots await the captain and mates at the deluxe leaning post; flip up the bottom cushions to take a seat during more casual cruising. Contoured backrests and generous dividers provide the locked-in feel you’ll want at speed. Storage awaits on the back side, behind the padded wall that doubles as that Frigid Rigid’s backrest. Opt for a tackle center should you desire a fishier focus. In fact, add a transom livewell, convert the pair of in-sole storage lockers to fish boxes, and include plenty of rod holders and inwale storage, and you’re ready to bag that trophy fish.
Overhead, Nor-Tech’s custom hardtop offers ample shade. It’s created from a two-part mold, giving the bottom stylized contours, and incorporates lights and an overhead electronics box with a cushioned interior liner. Extend the top’s shade aft with the optional SureShade. The latter’s hardware is likewise built right into the hardtop for a seamless finished appearance.
Nor-Tech’s focus on passenger comfort continues forward of the console. Two additional crewmembers can relax in what can best be described as a 4-foot-wide sun pad with full-size, forward-facing backrests. Stretch out and flip down the center -armrest, and you’ve possibly got the most comfortable—and cozy—seats aboard. Stainless–steel grab rails stretch nearly the full length for peace of mind. Opposite, more seating rings the squared-off bow cockpit. Its generous depth offers a notable sense of security for occupants when the boat is running at speed. Raise a powered, trapezoidal panel atop the deck to sit level, and throw in a filler cushion to fashion a sun bed. Raise it higher, and it doubles as a table for entertaining.
The helm befits Nor-Tech’s performance-oriented approach. The expansive dash shows off Nor-Tech’s attractive, hand-laid carbon-fiber panel. On its face sat twin Garmin 8616 16-inch displays, the port of which brought up pertinent engine and fuel info large enough to allow those of us with tired eyes to leave our cheater readers in our pockets. Dual throttles and shifters sit adjacent to a stainless wheel. Within the console, 6 feet of headroom awaits, along with a marine toilet and stainless-steel sink. A skylight and twin screened ports provide natural light and ventilation. A 6-foot-deep berth may get tight from the knees down, but it offers a spot to nap or overnight.
Given Nor-Tech’s impressive level of customization, it’s difficult to find a direct competitor, but Fountain certainly has a similar taste for speed. Like the 340 Sport, the Fountain 34 CC features a double-step hull, and similar layout and helm. With triple Mercury Verado 350s, it starts at $409,400.
Clearly, performance of this level has a price. But in the case of the 340 Sport, I’d argue you get what you pay for. The proof is obviously found in the amenities and attention to detail topside, but don’t overlook the time that’s gone into the hull. Because, as my test ride showed, that’s where the magic happens.
How We Tested
- Engines: Triple Mercury Racing 350 R
- Props: Mercury Rev 4 14.625″ x 25″ 4-blade stainless steel
- Gear Ratio: 1.75:1 Fuel Load: 69 gal. Water on Board: 0 gal. Crew Weight: 600 lb.
- A-plus for organization; wiring and cabling is meticulously laid out behind the helm, and accessed via a zippered vinyl panel within the console.
- Acrylic windshield offers protection from the elements; flared sides deflect wind away from the captain and crew.
- Large anchor locker includes windlass and freshwater shower.
- Don’t twist an ankle—the powered bow filler/table platform does not recess into the floor, resulting in a trip point.
- Premium boat deserves pneumatic shocks or articulating hinges on all seat bottoms and hatches; Nor-Tech uses the occasional inexpensive stainless-steel hatch spring.
- Screwed-in panel blocks easy access to the fuel sending unit.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$453,000 (base with triple Mercury Racing 350 R outboards)|
|Displacement (approx.):||9,500 lb.|
|Transom Deadrise:||21.5 degrees|
|Fuel Capacity:||275 gal.|
|Available Power:||Twin or triple Mercury Marine outboards up to 450 hp each|
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Nor-Tech Boats – Fort Myers, Florida; 239-567-5030; nor-techboats.com