There was a quick, short chop on Long Island Sound near Stamford, Connecticut, on the early fall day I ran the Hinckley 35. It was the kind of chop that could cause a trip to the dentist or possibly rearrange your internal organs—if your ride was not of the sea-slicing variety.
Fortunately, the Hinckley 35 I was aboard runs on a Michael Peters hull form with a fine entry to manage agitated sea states. A moderate transom deadrise, wider-than-average chines and running strakes help with overall stability and lift. And the 35 runs relatively level from its slow cruise to its top hop, aided in part by a longitudinal center of gravity that is right on the numbers set by Peters, according to Scott Bryant, Hinckley vice president of sales and marketing.
Additional support comes in the form the 35’s standard Zipwake, a trim system using interceptor blades that are flush-mounted to the hull. The parameters of the boat (such as length, beam and displacement) are entered into Zipwake’s system, and it automatically adjusts trim on the fly. Owners can manually adjust the interceptors too.
This 35-footer has notable speed, thanks in part to a pair of optional 350 hp Mercury outboards. The 35 I got aboard made 40 knots on the pins running at 6,000 rpm with a full load of fuel and a half-tank of water. This thoroughbred-level gallop burns 60 gallons per hour. At top speed—and considering a 10 percent fuel reserve—range is about 180 nautical miles. At 4,000 rpm and a 24-knot cruise speed, fuel burn plummets to 23.5 gph and range jumps to 276 nautical miles.
It’s admirable performance when you consider that those engines are pushing a boat displacing 13,174 pounds. Hinckley also offers Yamaha outboards, and the 35’s standard engines are twin 300s, from either Mercury or Yamaha. At press time, Hinckley had sold 15 hulls, and all the owners had picked the bigger engines, Bryant says.
I found the single-lever Mercury throttles smooth and the engines instantly responsive. The boat gets up and goes in a hurry. It’s an agile vessel that runs true with a moderate inboard heel on hard-over turns.
Sightlines are clear in all directions and made even better with the single-pane ClearView windshield. Sitting in the high-gloss teak ladder-back helm seat looking out to the water, I felt no barrier between inside and outside.
Side windows open to let in breezes on fair-weather days, and hatches over the helm and companion seat open as well. Those hatches also automatically close and lock into place.
In addition to the helm seats, there are two J-shaped settees abaft the helm for four or so guests and elements-free cruising. The cockpit seating includes two seats forward to port and starboard, as well as a settee along the transom to catch some rays underway. There is stowage under all the seating.
Supporting the vessel’s performance and helping to create comfort underway is robust, tech-savvy construction. The 35 is built end-to-end with vacuum-infused carbon-fiber composites and epoxy resin. An integrated interior structure is infused with the hull adding rigidity. The hull is then post-cured in an 80-foot oven, further strengthening the structure. Illustrating its faith in its build process, Hinckley offers a lifetime warranty on its hulls to the boat’s original owner.
The Hinckley 35’s powerplants and build materials may be throughly modern, but this vessel’s lines have a timelessness about them. The 35’s proud bow addresses the ocean, and the profile sweeps down and aft, gently carrying the freeboard lower as it descends toward the cockpit. The effect is one of flow. High-gloss teak toerails accent the lines and this transition—defining it.
A trunk cabin harks back to the days when Down East design was boatbuilding, yet it offers some rake forward, adding shape that follows the profile while adding headroom belowdecks. That single-pane windshield is also raked, enhancing the profile even more.
A mirrorlike blue hull quietly states sophistication, as do the high-gloss teak accents abovedecks and the additional gloss teak and satin finishes belowdecks. A teak-and-holly sole in the cabin puts a fine point on the ambience of tradition.
Hinckley has decided that its boat is so complete, the builder needs to offer 35 owners just three options: a Seakeeper gyrostabilizer, engine upgrades and teak decks.
Another piece of the ownership puzzle Hinckley has figured out is offering owners personalized, concierge-level service. Called YachtCare, the program lets owners tell Hinckley where they want their boat and when, and the company will have a captain deliver the boat to any dock an owner wishes. Additionally, the builder has 10 service locations along the East Coast, so if an owner is on a cruise and has an issue, there’s a service center not too far away. Owners also get a dedicated manager for their vessel; haul-out and climate-controlled offseason storage; a 24/7 hotline; preseason commissioning and launch; and more.
When you consider that the Hinckley 35 is a design that should stay in vogue for the long haul, has performance to satisfy anyone with a need for speed, and has finish work where you can see your reflection at every turn, it’s not surprising that the boat has found early fans. If past is prologue, this is only the beginning of the Hinckley 35’s story.
Stepping aboard the Hinckley 35, the first thing I noticed was that I could see straight past the helm and across the water, as if there was no glass in the boat. It was like being outside. The house-spanning, single-pane windshield is called ClearView. Even looking deep into the upper and lower corners of the glass, I couldn’t find any distortion or warping.
When it comes to close-quarters moves on the Hinckley 35, there are options. The boat comes with a Side-Power bow thruster, so a skipper could adjust the engines and thruster to maneuver into a slip like we did. There is also a joystick, offering the helmsman fingertip control if that is preferred.
While primarily a dayboat, the Hinckley 35 has a cabin with a V-berth forward. A filler cushion creates real estate for a couple for weekend voyages or longer cruises. Headroom belowdecks averages around 5 feet, 11 inches. A galley is abaft the berth to port and has a single-burner Kenyon electric cooktop, a sink and a GE microwave. The head is directly across from the galley. All in all, the Hinckley 35 is a perfect pocket cruiser.
Take the next step: hinckleyyachts.com