New Boats

With a cor­ral of 3,135 horses and a 65-foot LOA, the world’s largest pro­duc­tion cen­ter con­sole has been at­tract­ing a lot of at­ten­tion.

Power & Motor Yacht - - IN THIS ISSUE - Daniel Hard­ing Jr.

Hinck­ley’s first out­board-pow­ered boat re­de­fines what it means to be a Hinck­ley; HCB’s 65-footer is a mon­ster.

Imeet the HCB 65 Estrella in Mon­tauk, New York, where I find a short win­dow to slip the beast from its chains for a test. The cap­tain for the world’s largest pro­duc­tion cen­ter con­sole is a youn­glook­ing man named Matt Huyge who deftly uses the boat’s ZF joy­stick to slide us out of a tight, shal­low (maybe 4-feet deep) slip. I mis­take him for a full-time com­pany cap­tain; I’m sur­prised to learn he is much more than that. Of­fi­cially, he’s the di­rec­tor of tech­ni­cal sales. His role on the 65 is, in his words, “a lit­tle bit of every­thing and de­sign­ing the hull bot­tom.”

“They let the naval ar­chi­tect run the boat up the coast?” I ask.

“This is our test­ing,” he ex­plains. “I ac­tu­ally de­liver all of our 53s to their own­ers, which is un­usual. It’s well worth it be­cause we spend be­tween three and seven days with each owner. Some need that time more than oth­ers, but it’s a yacht; it has as many sys­tems as some boats twice the size and we go through all of them with our cus­tomers.”

Just a few of the sys­tems aboard in­clude a water­maker, gen­er­a­tor, Sea­keeper, nu­mer­ous re­frig­er­a­tors, livewells and air con­di­tion­ing at the helm. And then there’s the in­te­rior. With a record-set­ting 8-plus feet of head­room you for­get you’re be­low the con­sole and sun­pad. The set­tee could eas­ily seat a fam­ily of five; there’s a small gal­ley for meal prep in a pinch and a dou­ble berth in a sep­a­rate mas­ter state­room for­ward. The head is size­able, but the shower is re­ally im­pres­sive. A rain­for­est shower head looks like it be­longs in a lux­ury ho­tel suite.

I no­tice a pair of small hinges on the wall of the sa­lon. Huyge gives a tug and re­veals a nice-sized Pull­man berth. All told, the in­te­rior can sleep five.

I was care­ful to re­view the sight­lines around the boat at dif­fer­ent rpm and turns. I was con­cerned that be­cause of the LOA it might be hard to see the wa­ter in front of the boat. But at the raised helm, I can see around and in front of the boat eas­ily.

The ride was smooth, quiet (I mea­sured 72 deci­bels at the helm and that was mostly wind noise) and sporty. Sporty, yet con­fi­dence-in­spir­ing. In tight turns I never felt the boat slip, and run­ning the boat through its wake re­vealed pil­low-soft land­ings.

Pow­ered by quint 627-hp Seven Marine out­boards, the goal of the boat is to hit 52 knots. We were a cou­ple knots shy of that dur­ing our test but with some prop tweak­ing from the team at Volvo Penta, which re­cently ac­quired Seven Marine, I have no doubt they’ll hit that num­ber.

A smooth ride like that doesn’t hap­pen by ac­ci­dent.

“We took this boat to Stevens In­sti­tute with a 6-foot scale model and ran it though a tow tank for sea­keep­ing and bare-hull re­sis­tance test­ing,” says Huyge.

This ex­ten­sive test­ing gave him the con­fi­dence to run the boat up along the coast from the Keys. “I took on 14-foot­ers at one point at 42 miles per hour in the Out Is­lands. She han­dled it great.”

With world-record size and power, a thor­oughly tested hull and mo­to­ry­acht level fin­ish, this boat is go­ing to make some se­ri­ous waves at the Ft. Laud­erdale show where she’ll de­but to the masses.

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