As far as new-boat introductions go, the one held Wednesday in a boat shed at The Hinckley Co.’s Portsmouth, R.I., facility was a little unusual in that the boat was nowhere to be seen.
Instead CEO Jim McManus introduced the first look at the Talaria 43 from the cockpit of a full-scale mockup of the next model in the builder’s “second generation” of express cruisers. This generation is marked by its hull design from Michael Peters Yacht Design and a layout designed for an open-air feel.
The T43 will feature the oversized, powered side windows found in the T34, T37 (the redesigned Picnic Boat) and T48. An added design feature in the T43 is that the three oversized windows that make up the top half of the aft pilothouse walls retract down on mounted tracks within the walls and pocket door in the center.
“With the push of a couple of buttons, you have a wide-open express saloon or the warmth of an enclosed pilothouse,” McManus said.
The yacht, he said, is designed around the way Hinckley’s customers want to use it.
“It’s the perfect blend of outdoor space and onboard livability. That’s the nerve we’re striking with the T43,” he said.
Construction has begun on Hull No. 1, with a customer delivery expected in late spring or early summer 2014.
“We’ve sold five 43s already, which is remarkable because this is the first announcement we’ve made about the boat,” McManus said. “To have already achieved our year-long goal is outstanding.”
The starting price of the T43 is $1,575,000.
McManus said the concept of a full-scale mockup for each new design evolved from basic layouts of cardboard to assess a design’s spatial dimensions to building with plywood accurate representations of the boat’s design and layout, then modifying them, based on customer and internal advice. What began as a design tool has evolved into a valuable part of the company’s production chain as a sales tool.
Several customers have bought boats based on a tour of the mock-up and trust in the Hinckley brand, he said.
“The full-scale mock-ups have become the intersection of product development and sales for us,” MacManus said.
— Rich Armstrong