Because it looks great, it's probably safe to say that the Picnic Boat could well be bought almost without thinking.

Because it looks great, it’s probably safe to say that the Picnic Boat could well be bought almost without thinking. And yet, even if you examine it dispassionately, it does rather well on several counts.

Because the boat can be beached and has a shallow draught, you can explore cruising grounds previously off limits. Although there are few places as littered with lobster pots as Maine, the boat’s lack of underwater fixtures will be a comfort to helmsman and swimmers.

The Picnic Boat’s single jet-drive and bow thruster give it a degree of manoeuvrability and controllability that most boat owners can only dream of. If you want to look ultra-impressive in the marina, this boat’s for you. However, we felt that certain areas would benefit from a freeing of the purse-strings: these include gas struts on the heavy engine box, hinges on various loose hatches, and, for instance, the aft settee seat – a $2,000 extra that is a fundamental part of this boat. If the previous criticisms of the woodwork and joinery sound particularly severe, it is because woodwork standards are so high these days and the boat is being judged relative to its £200,000 price tag. In general, the criticisms do not spoil your enjoyment of the boat, but they should be addressed if Hinckley are to continue to consider themselves to be among the finest boatbuilders. If you are familiar with today’s typical powerboats, driving a long thin craft provides a salutary reminder of just how comfortable these boats are at sea. Notwithstanding its highly innovative design approach, the Picnic Boat still ‘works’ extremely well as a boat in conventional terms – it has not embraced innovation for its own sake.

This brings us back to the ‘must have’ factor. There’s no doubt that this feeling is inspired primarily by the Picnic Boat’s beautiful, graceful looks. Of course, looks are subjective, and there may be those who do not find the boat inspiring – but these jaded few will be in the minority.

DIMENSIONS

Length overall (no jetdrive) 38ft 0in 11.58m

Hull length 36ft 5in 11.10m

Beam 10ft 0in 3.05m

Draught 18in 0.46m

Air draught (estimated) 8ft 0in 2.44m

Displacement 4.7 tons (light)

Fuel capacity 130 imp gal 590 litres

Water capacity 25 imp gal 136 litres

Single Yanmar 6LYM-STE

350hp @3,300rpm

6-cylinder 5.2lt turbo diesel with Hamilton 291 waterjet

RPM Speed Trim GPH MPG Range

650 2.9 0.0° n/a n/a n/a

1,000 4.6 0.5° 0.47 9.79 1,018

1,500 6.9 1.0° 1.52 4.54 472

2,000 8.5 2.0° 3.38 2.51 261

2,500 14.2 3.0° 6.37 2.23 232

3,000 22.4 4.0° 11.2 2.00 108

3,500 27.0 3.5° 16.4 1.65 172