Proportional Perfection

Hinckley Yachts launches yet another winning addition to their iconic Picnic Boat line-up.

With its new Talaria 43, Hinckley Yachts has managed to get both the big things and the little things just right. For the big picture, take a look at the 43’s profile. The 43 is a big boat. In fact, the beam is one foot more than the beam of the 44 that it replaces but the proportions are almost perfect. On a smaller scale, consider this: Hinckley makes the toe rail out of eight pieces of Burmese teak and then covers them with exactly ten coats of varnish. The overall result is stunning.

The new Hinckley 43 is a blend of traditional made-in-Maine craftsmanship with the latest cutting-edge technology. The lobster-boat-inspired profile is classic, the shear line is long and flowing, the hull curves are just right, and the tumblehome is sensuous and eye-catching. But inside lie some head-turning surprises, particularly the new patent-pending mechanism that electrically lowers the windows in the port and starboard aft bulkheads and the window in the aft door and then slides the door into the port bulkhead. Push a button on the dash—the windows and door disappear, and the elegant climate-controlled motor yacht morphs into a jaunty open sport boat with an open-air socializing area from helm to transom. “Other boats have windows that retract,” says Jim McManus, Hinckley’s president and CEO, “but Hinckley is the first to make the door retract fully as well.”

Hinckley also improved its patented JetStick fingertip controls in the 43, which work with the boat’s twin Hamilton water jets and standard bow thruster to provide pinpoint maneuverability and worry-free docking. The new JetStick II on this boat has Hover Lock—a station-keeping program that keeps the boat in place while you’re waiting for a bridge to open or an empty space on the fuel dock—and Heading Hold, which keeps your boat’s course on track at low speeds. Hinckley also offers its own PalmStick, an elegant teak wireless remote about the size of two decks of cards that comes with finger insets to fit easily into your hand. An $11,992 option, the PalmStick remote allows you to control the helm-based JetStick from anywhere on the boat—standing in the cockpit, say, or next to the pulpit for a better view.

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Then there’s the high-tech hull. Hinckley uses the SCRIMP process to build its DualGuard hulls, complete with Kevlar, carbon fiber, E-glass, and a Corecell core using vinylester resin for exceptional strength and light weight. All this only adds to the builder’s worldwide reputation for exceptional quality and innovation.

Hinckley has been on a roll the past few years. The 43 is Hinckley’s third new model in three years—after the 48 and 34—and McManus indicated that 2014 was the best in Hinckley’s history. The company has already sold 21 of the new T43s. With degrees from Yale and Harvard Business School, McManus instituted a comprehensive product development group at the company, which conducts long interviews with owners, prospective owners and owners of competing brands, often walking them through a plywood full-scale model of each new model under consideration. “We’re not building the boats we want,” McManus said. “We’re building the boats that owners and prospective owners want.”

Hinckley hit a nerve—and a home run—when it launched the first 36-foot Picnic Boat in 1994. With its single diesel, jet drive and lobster boat lines, the Picnic Boat quickly became an icon that has been copied around the world. Now stretched to 37 feet with twin diesels, the Picnic Boat is in the middle of Hinckley’s powerboat line, with models from 29 to 55 feet.

When testing the market for the new 43, Hinckley found that people still want an elegant day boat or weekender. “That’s the way most people use boats today,” McManus says. “And they want large social areas on their boats the same way they have large social areas connecting their kitchens and their family rooms at home.” As a result, the galley on the 43 is up—a first for a Hinckley—opposite twin Stidd helm seats. The new disappearing aft window and door treatment was born from this socializing concept also; the entire assembly is produced in one aluminum frame in Detroit and built into the hull. The problem is that the windows fall below the sole when they’re retracted, so the engines have to be placed aft.

Hinckley hired Michael Peters, the Sarasota-based designer, to draw the hull for the 43 (he also previously designed the 48 and 34) and he ended up with what he calls a balanced deadrise design, with more deadrise carried farther aft than on the previous boats; deadrise at the transom is a relatively steep 19 degrees. The lazarette is forward of the engines, and two 250-gallon fuel tanks are forward of that. Draft is still a negligible 2′ 4″ with the Hamilton water jets, ideal for exploring thin waters of the Bahamas, say, or avoiding Maine’s lobster pots. The 43’s hull is painted with gleaming Awlgrip, as are all the company’s new boats.

You climb on the boat from the teak swim platform via a very solid, inward-opening door on the port side of the transom or via a small door built into the cockpit coaming on the starboard side. A large social area, the cockpit has two L-shaped settees holding up to eight people plus a large entertainment center with gleaming teak accents housing a wet bar, sink and fridge. For protection from the elements, an optional ($19,450) SureShade awning extends over most of the cockpit at the push of a button—it retracts into the pilothouse hardtop. The cockpit sole tilts up electrically for easy access to the engines, and a small hatch is built in for daily checks.

The salon is straightforward, with twin inboard-facing bench seats and a varnished wood table, while the galley—with a Corian counter, two-burner electric cooktop, fridge, freezer, icemaker, and microwave—is forward to port. The view from the helm—indeed, the view from anywhere in the salon—is outstanding. The three forward windows are large, and the side windows (which open electrically, as do the two forward overhead hatches) are supersized. Two Raymarine eSeries displays are centered on the dash. The cherry interior gleams with satin varnish.

Down three steps, the guest cabin is to starboard behind a sliding door, with a small seat in front of the hanging locker and a slide-out double berth. The master head is opposite it to port, with a molded fiberglass shower with a teak seat. The master cabin forward has a walk-around queen berth, ample headroom even for my 6′ 2″ frame and lots of storage.

All in all, the 43 is a luxurious weekender, or day boat, or a platform for getting away from it all. And it’s guaranteed to turn heads wherever it goes. “It is, indeed, a beautiful boat,” says McManus. “It’s the magic of the proportions.”

By Peter A. Janssen, Southern Boating April 2015


Here is the brilliant Talaria 48′ launched by The Hinckley Company and filmed in FL. The yacht features jet propulsion and is capable of speeds up to 35 knots.

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