On Board the Intrepid 51 Panacea

The Intrepid 51 Panacea is a supersize flagship center-console with 60-plus-knot speed and luxe appointments and finishes.
Intrepid 51 Panacea
Intrepid was an early pioneer of resin-infused hulls and carbon fiber for lightness. Courtesy Intrepid Powerboats

The Intrepid 51 Panacea is the new 60-plus-knot flagship for the builder’s line of deep-V center-consoles. While the automotive world has crossover vehicles that combine sporty sedans with SUV functions, so the 51 Panacea lets go-fast owners step up in size while adding family weekending comforts and even more offshore safety.

Like each new Intrepid model, this one is built on the base of earlier Intrepids, drawing on ideas and suggestions from Intrepid owners. The 51 Panacea bears the DNA of the Intrepid 475, but what a difference the extra 4 feet of length makes. That extra space (and 14 inches of added beam) takes a really good idea and makes it even better.

The pilothouse, with a trio of 22-inch Garmin displays and a full-height curved windshield, is the nerve center of the 51 Panacea. During our flat-out sprints across a lumpy Gulf Stream, nary a drop of spray hit the windshield, which also keeps the breeze off the two rows of seats abaft the helm. Four seats wide, with the afterseats raised to a mezzanine level to enjoy the action, this space is protected by the fiberglass hardtop and a slide-out awning aft.

The bow area looks like a bowrider on steroids. There are two seats with armrests, a wraparound lounge with seatbacks that tilt electrically, and a sun pad filler/table that rises from the sole.

Intrepid 51 Panacea
Headroom belowdecks is 6 feet, 1 inch. The table drops to form a berth for overnights and weekends. Courtesy Intrepid Powerboats

The cockpit is also thoughtfully planned. On the 51 Panacea that I got aboard, it included a Kenyon grill, a sink, a pullout ice chest and drawers. Anglers can use this space for bait work or opt for a full bait-prep station. Aft, a bench seat hinges out of the way.

Intrepid invented the hinge-out boarding platform—for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, which uses Intrepids for marine patrols in Florida. The wide, portside opening includes a husky ladder for divers. Opposite is a boarding door, thoughtfully backed up by nonslip coaming steps for higher docks.

The cabin has 6-foot-1-inch headroom and weekender luxuries. There’s a wider-than-queen (86-inch) berth, a convertible table, a galley with a single-burner cooktop, twin fridge drawers and a sink. The enclosed head has a stall shower that is spacious, at 44 inches wide. A feature in the cabin I particularly liked was just inside the gull-wing door: an eye-height electrical panel.

And yes, this boat packs serious power. The Intrepid 51 Panacea has quad 600 hp Mercury outboards. In addition to the 60-plus-knot top speed, these V-12s provide an industry-first two-speed automatic transmission. Front-mounted oil fill and service points should make maintenance easy.

The outboards also eliminate all the undercockpit space usually taken by inboards, giving the 51 Panacea a cavernous area to mount the 11 kW Kohler genset and Seakeeper 6 gyrostabilizer. There is more room for stashing water toys and fenders, although dedicated fender (or dive-tank) stowage unfolds from the coamings.

With regard to performance, putting the hammer down doesn’t cause the bow-high waddling onto plane that plagues many boats. The 51 Panacea just rises flat—levitates, really—and suddenly, it’s running hard and fast. I didn’t touch the trim tabs or the outboard tilt as I pushed to full throttle.

All up, the Intrepid 51 Panacea has everything needed for a seakindly ride, speed, weekending, fishing and entertaining. Just add water.

The Hull Story

The Intrepid’s deep-V, 21-degree transom-deadrise hull form has proved itself for years. The 51 Panacea continues the evolution with three strakes, a wide chine to throw water out flat, and a transverse notch to aerate the planing section aft.

More is Better

MarineMax acquired Intrepid Powerboats in 2021. “It made my dream a reality,” says Ken Clinton, founder and president of Intrepid. “I’ve been wanting to expand into what we’re calling our yacht line, and with the financial support and solid encouragement from MarineMax, the 51 Panacea is the first of that series.” Intrepid’s new 56-acre boatbuilding campus near Swansboro, North Carolina, also helped make this model possible. The 51 that we got aboard was the first hull produced from the facility, which Clinton says “draws on a huge pool of very talented boatbuilders that includes three generations of boating craftsmen.” The second hull of the 51 is past the decking stage, and more orders are in line. And, Clinton says, a 64 is on the boards with quad 600s.

Take the next step: intrepidpowerboats.com