Hinckley Talaria 43
To say that the first 36-foot Picnic Boat was a success would be a laughable understatement. When the first generation went out of production in 2010, some 450 had slid down the ways in Southwest Harbor, Maine. Her replacement, the 37-foot MK III, is, to the untrained eye, identical in profile—why change something that works so well? The roughly 7 feet that separate the Picnic Boat from the new Talaria 43 have been perfectly parceled out so as not to disturb the proportions—instead they improve on them.
Many explanations for the phenomenal success of the Picnic Boat have been proffered, but all eventually come down to aesthetics. The sinuous shape perfectly manages to express the two worlds from which this boat sprang—yachts and lobsterboats—and its proportions are inherently pleasing to the nautical eye. Little wonder then that every Hinckley powerboat since has tried to mimic that prototypical form.
And as the LOA of those boats increased, the proportions sometimes became even more pleasing. For me they have reached their pinnacle in the new Talaria 43.
When Hinckley began working on a boat that would fill the gap between the MKIII and the 48, it actually started out as a 42. But by the time the designers settled on the desired interior proportions for what would be essentially a big weekender/dayboat, the LOA had grown to 43 feet 9 inches, a size that allows for improvement in all areas, but especially the cockpit and bridgedeck.
The Picnic Boat hull was drawn by Bruce King, but this one, like all next-generation iterations (the MKIII, 48, and 34) is the work of Michael Peters. Unlike the designers who were working with a known shape, Peters had to start from scratch because this boat has engines that are all the way aft, not under the saloon sole like most Hinckleys. With a “lazarette” forward of the engines and two 250-gallon fuel tanks forward of that, perfecting the 43’s center of balance presented a unique challenge. And Peters seems to have nailed it: The boat runs a bit bow-high, which makes it easy to tab down when you need to contend with a headsea or improve visibility.
This being a weekender at best, Hinckley wisely limited accommodations to a large V-berth with en suite head and a guest stateroom to starboard with a slide-out double berth, and invested plenty of space in a large cockpit. Its two settees provide sunning space for eight, but if anyone seeks respite from the rays you need only push a button and the optional SureShade sun awning will extend to cover as much of the cockpit as you desire. Retracted it is invisible and so doesn’t detract from the pleasing proportions.
And in the end, it’s the 43’s proportions that most people will swoon over. Indeed, as I was walking down the dock after my sea trial of hull No. 1, an admiring gentleman stopped me to ask, “That’s the new Picnic Boat, isn’t it?” I was about to correct him when I thought to myself, well, actually she is in a way. In fact you could fairly say that she’s the ultimate
Hinckley Yachts, 207-244-6602; www.hinckleyyachts.com
: 28,000 lb.
: 500 gal.
: 100 gal.
: 2/550-hp Cummins QSC8.3 diesel inboards w/ Hamilton 322 water-jet drives
: Twin Disc MG-5075-SC, with 1.33:1 gear ratio
*Range based on 90% of advertised fuel capacity.