Taking the Highly Customizable Pardo 43 for a Spin

The dayboat has crisp lines and all the options you could want.

pardo 43
The Pardo 43 is the first powerboat from this company, long known for sailboats.Fabio Taccola

The Pardo 43 is as subtle as a chartreuse Lamborghini Aventador cruising Miami's South Beach. From its reversed axe bow to its black carbon-fiber hardtop, this sport boat bursts with Italian machismo.

But the Pardo 43 has a softer side too, starting with three cushy helm seats that are reminiscent of the Lambo’s, and continuing through the interior, which is finished with fine details that include stitched-leather drawer pulls.

A walkaround encircles the cabin house — which is so low, it’s barely visible from abeam — and leads from the bow sun pad to the transom platform, passing a dinette that can be reconfigured into forward-facing seats. An optional foldout “terrace” adds more deck space, and engraved pop-up cleats keep the deck clear when not in use.

pardo 43
Cantiere del Pardo, located on Italy’s Adriatic coast, may be a new name in powerboats, but sailors know the more than 4,000 Grand Soleil sailboats the company has built during the past 40 years. Pardo uses carbon-fiber reinforcement, vinylester resins and foam coring, all engineered by Zuccheri Yacht Design. Coming soon: 30- and 50-foot powerboat models. The Pardo 43 has an anchoring system similar to some found on mega-yachts: Touch a button and a section of the bow pushes outward, carrying a self-nesting anchor forward so it doesn’t ding the reverse bow when lowered. A built-in camera lets the skipper watch on a monitor from the helm. There’s also a watertight bulkhead in the chain locker.Pardo Yachts

While the cabin appears to be low, inside it has more than 6-foot-5-inch headroom, an open layout and a wider-than-queen-size island berth. My test boat also had optional twin berths aft. Grain-matched pale oak fills the décor, where niceties include self-closing drawers, stitched-leather trim and bookshelves with sea rails. The only bulkheads surround the head, with the rest of the space left open. One reason for the spacious sense is the absence of a galley. This is a dayboat, with a grill, sink and fridge in a console abaft the helm.

Speaking of the helm, a steeply raked Lucite windscreen protects the skipper. Overhead, the hardtop is supported on splayed supports with a pair of tinted moonroofs.

pardo 43
We may have lost count, but Pardo offers six interior woods, 13 upholstery choices and 12 exterior color schemes. There are also 12 versions of optional Flexiteek faux-teak decking. That’s more than 11,000 possible combinations. With Pardo producing about two dozen 43s a year, it’s unlikely that one will be exactly like another.Pardo Yachts

Power on my test boat was optional 435 hp Volvo Penta IPS600s (as opposed to the standard 370 hp Volvo Penta IPS500s). In smooth water, she topped out at 34 knots, burning 30 gallons per hour for an economically friendly cruise in the mid-20-knot range.

Her handling makes her nimble and fun. That snarky bow pierces chop, the chines throw spray aside, and the 16-degree transom deadrise keeps the ride soft and solid.