On Board the Aviara 40

The Aviara 40 is a 47-plus-knot dayboat, weekender and at-sea party platform.

Aviara 40
The Aviara 40 can be powered with outboards or with sterndrives. Courtesy Aviara Boats

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While Aviara labels its 40-footer as a “day extender,” I found it to be an innovative outboard-powered flagship that’s suitable for stretching days afloat into long weekends of family fun.

There is 6-foot-1-inch headroom, an enclosed head with a shower, and a mid-cabin with a queen-size berth and a memory-foam mattress. The dinette converts to a nearly queen-size berth. Amenities in the main cabin include air conditioning, a fridge and a microwave; most serious cooking will be done in the cockpit, which has two fridges, dual Kenyon grills, a sink and stowage for everything needed to entertain. A 7.5 kW Westerbeke genset ensures power for the hotel loads.

The cockpit layout has standard “terraces” that convert the coamings into expanded “beaches” on each side, stretching the 12-foot-3-inch beam to 18 feet. This setup creates a cockpit with a forward-facing bench seat, convertible aft-facing seats, and gas-actuated pop-up “bar stools” atop the seatback that overlook the water-toy fun.

Underway, guests can move forward to enjoy a spacious, secure lounge with high coamings (kid-safe at 41 inches), wraparound seating, a cooler and a locker-hidden Lewmar anchor windlass.

The Aviara 40 I got aboard had twin 600 hp Mercury Racing outboards, which pushed this boat to a smile-inducing 47.8 knots at 6,500 rpm while the motors consumed 75 gallons per hour. Vital data is found on the all-glass dash with a 22-inch Simrad display, a proprietary Aviara systems monitor and a separate engine panel. The helm has a pair of individually adjustable seats with bolsters, a joystick to aid with docking, and Lenco trim tabs to balance out any load shifts.

Just abaft the helm is counter space for buffet-style munchies. The helm, galley and portside bench seat are shaded by a rakish 11-by-12-foot fiberglass hardtop with a retractable sunroof.

I was struck by many small, thoughtful touches, such as a sole hatch aft that provides upright fitted stowage for fenders and lines so owners don’t waste a good locker room. To enhance the 40’s comfort level, a Seakeeper gyrostabilizer is available.

Construction is full fiberglass. An inner liner combines all-fiberglass hand-laid stringers with composite reinforcing to create a hull whose solid build can be felt at speed underway.

The Aviara 40 is available with a choice of Mercury outboards: triple 350 hp or 400 hp, or twin 600 hp. It’s also available with twin 435 hp Ilmor 6.2L sterndrives or twin 520 hp Ilmor 7.4L sterndrives. The twin 600s give all the torque necessary to pull water toys or skiers. Cranked hard into a turn, the boat doesn’t bleed off speed, in part because Aviara carries the chines and strakes well forward to provide plenty of bite.

Skippers will need to get used to the fact that the upper portions of the outboards don’t turn (only the lower units provide steering), so when you’re glancing astern in a turn, the engines are still aligned. But with a deep-V hull form, a transom deadrise of 19 degrees and a dry weight of nearly 12 tons, chop and afternoon seas don’t bother the Aviara 40.

All told, this is truly an all-purpose boat for family fun on the water. Go fast, cruise easily, and spend the night in comfort. The Aviara 40 does extend your day, but it also does so much more.  

Take the next step: aviaraboats.com

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