Boatquest

2020 Hinckley Sport Boat 40x

When it came to my turn at the helm, I sat at the optional ($6,880) Stidd wide companion seat and ran the 40x throughout the rpm range, banking turns with confidence. She seemed to really hum along in a spirited groove at a steady 32 knots and 4200 rpm, good for a 246 nm range. A fast cruise of 39.3 knots and 5000 rpm equals less than a 20 nm loss in range. This was a well-balanced, all-day cruiser.

Her optional triple Yamaha XTOs (engine packages are available in triple configurations from 350- to 400-hp from Merc’s Verado and Racing platforms with a trio of Verado 300s as standard), propelled her on calm seas to an average top sprint of 46.6 knots with 10 people on board, a few hundred pounds of equipment and full water and fuel. For those with a greater need for speed, twin 627-hp Seven Marines are available—the Sevens should push the 40x to a top end around 55 knots.

The 40x takes design cues out of the Hinckley playbook that will separate it from the pack—the teak-and-holly soles and teak bulkheads belowdecks glow as brilliant as a Picnic Boat’s stunning interiors. Optional faux soles for the pilothouse and cockpit and artisanal teak toerails can complete the custom look.

One can also choose to surprise the tassel-loafer crowd and swap out the cockpit grill and storage for a livewell and bait prep area, pilothouse rod storage and additional rod holders in the transom. The fact that it’s available on a Hinckley shows how far the Sport Boats deviate from the builder’s prior offerings.

She’s more wash-and-wear than her predecessors and as a semicustom boat, the 40x deftly straddles the line between bespoke and ready for action. Her best asset is that she can be as polished or unfussy as you please. It’s as if the builder urges you to cram the wine cooler with Domaine Tempier rosé, but save plenty of room for IPA. —Jeff Moser

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