New Body, Same Soul


Yachts International - - Boats Of Distinction - By JeaNNe craig

Peter O’Connell was stand­ing be­side hull num­ber 1 of the Hinck­ley Pic­nic Boat 40, talk­ing about his weekend in New Eng­land aboard one of the most an­tic­i­pated boats to hit the wa­ter this past sum­mer. He’s Hinck­ley’s CEO, and while cruis­ing aboard the new flag­ship of the iconic Pic­nic Boat se­ries, O’Connell de­cided to make a run to Block Is­land for the night.

There, the dock­mas­ter as­signed him a high-pro­file slip, on a T-dock near the ma­rina’s en­trance.

“He told us he was not about to hide this boat at the back of the ma­rina,” O’Connell said with a smile.

The Pic­nic Boat 40 is built to be seen as well as en­joyed. Like all of the semi-cus­tom craft from this Downeast brand, its beau­ti­ful lines, care­ful crafts­man­ship and cut­ting-edge con­struc­tion rep­re­sent some of the best work in Amer­i­can boat­build­ing.

Her de­but comes al­most 25 years af­ter the first Pic­nic Boat rev­o­lu­tion­ized the lux­ury power­boat mar­ket, com­bin­ing clas­sic New Eng­land looks with jet-drive propul­sion and JetStick steer­ing—both of which were in­no­va­tive fea­tures at the time. The Pic­nic Boat of­fered those who love the wa­ter a new way to have big ad­ven­tures on a mid­size cruiser, sim­ply by ex­plor­ing coast­line cran­nies aboard a

shoal-draft ves­sel. That first Pic­nic Boat was a gamechanger that spawned many im­i­ta­tors, but it’s main­tained its place at the fore­front of the class through­out the years.

The new 40 can do all the things the first Pic­nic Boat could do, only the de­sign is more re­fined. With a length over­all of 42 feet (12.8 me­ters) and a 12-foot, 10-inch (3.9-me­ter) beam, the 40 of­fers more en­ter­tain­ing space than any other Pic­nic Boat to date.

Fea­tures in­clude a pow­ered hull-side door (it opens with the click of a re­mote and slides into the gun­wale to pre­serve cock­pit space), an ex­tended swim plat­form and a SureShade re­tractable sun shade in the cock­pit. There are two so­cial spa­ces on deck and a third in the cabin, where a con­vert­ible berth makes it pos­si­ble to spend the night aboard.

The new 40 also has Hinck­ley’s OnWatch ves­sel mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem and CZone, which re­places fuse pan­els with net­worked dig­i­tal switch­ing in­ter­faces that con­trol the on­board elec­tri­cal sys­tems. With CZone, skip­pers push one but­ton and ev­ery­thing needed

comes on. At the helm, own­ers will find the lat­est it­er­a­tion of Hinck­ley’s JetStick, now more pre­cise than in the past, ac­cord­ing to the builder.

“We want to make the own­er­ship ex­pe­ri­ence sim­ple and en­joy­able,” says Hinck­ley’s vice pres­i­dent of prod­uct de­vel­op­ment, Scott Bryant. “Sys­tems like the JetStick III serve to make the boat eas­ier to han­dle and use.”

Con­structed with Kevlar, car­bon fiber and epoxy resin, the Hinck­ley Pic­nic Boat 40 will cruise at 30 knots and top out near 34, ac­cord­ing to the builder.

Above: The Hinck­ley Pic­nic Boat 40 cruises at 30 knots, with a top end near 34 knots.

Top: With more en­ter­tain­ing space than any other Pic­nic Boat to date, the 40 ben­e­fits from a reimag­ined cock­pit, where so­cial liv­ing ar­eas were in­te­gral to the boat’s de­sign.

Above: Cherry wood is stan­dard in the cabin, but teak is an op­tion on the semi-cus­tom 40. top: Built to be seen as well as en­joyed, the new Pic­nic Boat 40 com­bines clas­sic New Eng­land looks with jet-drive propul­sion and JetStick steer­ing.

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