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February 26th 2013. By Jeanne Craig.

Intrepid 40 Center Console: The Ultimate Yacht Tender

With a trio of brawny outboards, the Intrepid 40 Center Console is the largest open model built by this Florida builder of premium boats for fishing, diving and cruising.

A large number of Intrepid customers are megayacht owners, and they consider this company the go-to source for high-end tenders and fishboats for use with mother-ships. But a number of these clients with new yachts in production began asking for a diesel-powered version of the 40, as some insurance companies tightened restrictions on storing gasoline aboard. These yacht owners wanted to move away from outboard-powered tenders to insurance-friendly diesel rigs—and Intrepid answered their call with this new 40 Center Console.

This Intrepid is powered by two sterndrive diesels, propulsion that Intrepid selected for draft. “Many of the yachts that carry our tenders are Caribbean cruisers. The owners want to be able to trim up the engines when cruising in shallow waters,” says Mark Beaver, Intrepid’s C.O.O. Draft on the diesel-powered 40 is just 32 inches. (The outboard version has a draft of 28 inches.) Like other Intrepid models, this one also features the company’s signature transverse-stepped hull with high freeboard for safety, stability and handling.


Intrepid has built two diesel 40s already and both are powered by 400-hp Volvo D6 sterndrive diesels. “My guess is Volvo will be the preference for many owners, but we can accommodate other requests,” says Beaver. “The ability to customize each boat to an owner’s preference is one of the strengths of our brand.” With the Volvo package, the 40 will run at up to 54 mph at top end, or cruise at 40 and get 2.8 miles to the gallon.


When designing the 40 for diesels, Intrepid built a new hull around the propulsion with an emphasis on easy engine access. “We’ve made access very robust. The engines aren’t crammed into a tight area,” says Beaver. “If you do need to remove engines for service, it’s very easy. We installed the sterndrives far aft to make maintenance easy and also to maximize the amount of usable space in the cockpit.”


Intrepid 40 running

Intrepid has a reputation for making tough tenders. This 40, for instance, was recently built for the owner of a 200-foot yacht who plan to tow the boat on short jaunts while running at 17 to 20 knots. “One thing people tend to forget is that no one is sitting in the tender and asking the captain to slow down when it gets rough,” says Beaver. “Because we’ve been offering boats as tenders for so many years, we've learned a lot about how to build hard-core boats in general. That’s why yacht owners keep coming back to us. We hear stories from captains who say their Intrepid was seven feet out of the water when being towed, yet when they stopped to assess damage there was hardly any.”


By carefully managing the installation of the diesel sterndrives, Intrepid says it was able to create a cockpit that is almost as big as the one on the outboard version of the 40. Even with the optional bench seat aft, there’s plenty of room for anglers to get the job done. A re-circulating baitwell is in the sole; it’s flanked by a pair of insulated and macerated fish boxes. On the other side of the transom is a dive platform for safe and easy boarding.


Like other Intrepid models, this one is designed for multiple uses. Because it’s engineered with convertible features, it’s a hard-core fishing boat, a robust dive platform, and a day cruiser for the family—all at the same time. At the foredeck, for instance, bench seats to port and starboard can be slid toward the center of the deck to create a big sunlounge, for use after fishing lines are reeled in.


For anglers, there’s a casting platform far forward, plus an in-sole insulated fishbox with macerator pump that measures 5’2”.


Intrepid makes excellent use of all space onboard, even in the gunwales. This optional rod locker is 9- feet long. It’s one of 15 stowage compartments on board.


While the 40 Center Console is a great platform for fishing, diving and other sports, it’s also family-friendly. Forward of the helm, a power seat glides aside for access to a huge head compartment, with 6’3” of headroom. Inside is a shower and vanity.


Like other Intrepids, this one is a true driver’s boat. Owners take command of the offshore hull at this bullet-style helm console that features power seating, a tilt wheel and a large dash that can accommodate big flat screens. Overhead, an optional fiberglass T-top is supported by sturdy, three-inch-diameter bars.


To guarantee strength, Intrepid hulls are vacuum-bagged and resin-infused for strength. The builder sweats the small stuff, too. Oversized tow bits, for instance, are designed and manufactured in-house. In addition, the tow bits are installed with a custom hybrid lamination scheme.


Specifications: LOA: 40’3” • Beam: 11’1” • Disp.: 14,500 lbs. • Transom Deadrise: 22.5 degrees • Water: 40 gals. • Fuel: 300 gals.

While the 40 Center Console is a good choice for the person in search of a high-end open model as a primary boat, it’s also one tough tender. And it represents how the brand has evolved to meet the needs of this market niche. Intrepid got into the tender market back in the 1980s, when an 80-footer qualified as a “big” yacht. “We had return customers because they loved the way our boats towed. And the fact that we were able to customize our boats for a yacht owner’s needs just increased our popularity,” says Beaver Today, the company builds about three tenders per month, and they’re distributed globally.

For more information, visit Intrepid Boats.

Jeanne Craig
Jeanne Craig has been covering powerboats since 1988. She spent ten years as a senior editor at Boating magazine and ten more as executive editor at Motor Boating. She’s now an independent writer based in Rowayton, Connecticut, where she’s close to the cruising grounds she most enjoys.