New Body, Same Soul
HINCKLEY’S PICNIC BOAT 40 IS THE NEW FLAGSHIP OF THE RENOWNED POWERBOAT LINE.
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.