Intrepid 375 Center Console
Intrepid's 375 Center Console delivers a controlled, thrilling ride.
By Kevin Falvey
Original article appears on Boatingmag.com.
How about a boat that delivers 500 miles of range at a comfortable 30-knot cruise in 3- to 4-foot seas?
Intrepid’s 375 runs on an updated bottom, optimized to deliver great performance when using the heavier, torquier outboard engines now available. We first detailed these design changes in our test of the Intrepid 327 Cuddy.
The hull form features twin keel vents, a deeper motor bracket — aka "bucket" — location, wider chines aft and other refinements intended to accommodate larger and heavier outboards, like the twin 557 hp Seven Marines installed aboard my test boat, while retaining efficiency and ride quality. The 327 lived up to the expectations we’ve developed over three decades of testing Intrepid boats. Could Intrepid deliver the goods again with this new 375 Center Console?
Clearing the inlet breakers, I put the helm over and ran in the trough and accelerated to 30 knots. Seas were running 4 feet.
Two things quickly became obvious. First, the Intrepid 375’s step hull could take much more throttle than I was giving it and still provide a safe-feeling, comfortable ride. Second, the Seven engines deliver power in testosterone-inducing fashion. Accelerating incrementally through 40-, 50-, 60- and finally 65 knots running at wide-open throttle, the 375 flew across the water. The sensation of the 375 is special in that it feels lighter both underfoot and through the wheel as you increase speed. Unlike what you get in most boats, your feeling of contact with the water and control of the boat remains constant. The 375 delivers a controlled, thrilling flight, not an on-edge, fear-filled flight.
Running up-sea, motoring at 30 knots, the re-entry into waves proved soft, the decelerations slow — landlubber crew will remain happy. Down-sea, it did not stuff, or even dig in enough to hesitate and require a correction to the wheel to keep my course: The lift and tracking built into the hull does the job required of the skipper aboard most other boats.
During all this, the Seven 557s crooned their operatic roar. Above 5,000 rpm, we had to wait a beat for the power output to catch up with the rpm as, about 30 seconds after dialing the boat in at high speed, we’d suddenly feel a surge and a gain of about 2 mph. This is typical of supercharged engines as the power on the pulley running the blower maxes out.
Two gripes: The Seven Marine controls have no trim built into the handles. And the power-steering pump installed aboard our test boat produced an annoying whine.
Intrepid is a semicustom builder that offers a wide selection of upgrades and options created upon owner demand. Shoppers must be cautious about comparing “base” prices. Also, while there are a half-dozen each 35- and 40-foot center-consoles on the market, 38-foot-long CCs are more rare than feathers on a fish. With these thoughts in mind, check out Contender’s 39 Luxury Sport ($406,897 with triple 350 hp Yamaha F350 outboards).
Our tester was outfitted with numerous niceties from Intrepid’s fabrication and rigging repertoire. We enjoyed the electric bow lounge, featuring seats that recline at the touch of a switch. The upholstery is triple-stitched, and the backrests are tall for comfort and hinge open to reveal hidden stowage for a quiver of fishing rods. A module at the aft end of each lounge serves as a table, chill box, stowage — your call. There is massive stowage in the seats and in the sole, and when you lift a hatch in the forepeak you reveal a cuddy-cabin-size stowage locker. As aboard all Intrepids, hatches are finished on both sides, feature through-bolted, hidden fastenings, and have gutters that are plumbed as part of a total cockpit drain system. Stowed gear stays dry.
The console conceals a head compartment boasting standing headroom and a bright and roomy interior, which is accessed via a nifty sliding hatch. Ask Intrepid where the ventilation is — I could not find it. Access to the head plumbing and valves, as well as the rigging, is excellent: The rigging of, and access to, every system aboard the 375 rank as good as you’re likely to see aboard a boat.
At the helm, we found switches and controls ideally placed for intuitive operation at speed and at sea. Display and gauge placement enabled a natural visual scanning pattern, and because the 375 carries her bow at a reasonable angle of inclination, visibility close aboard and to the horizon proved excellent. The “Vision” helm seat with its built-in, clear-sides livewell is as cool as anything.
We were impressed by the structure of the top: 3-inch pipework for support and not a fastener to be seen. Our tester’s cockpit had an updated hull-side dive door, a feature Intrepid popularized years ago, and a comfortable yet removable aft bench.
To go on, one would need to list each individual boater’s preference for entertaining and activities. Take a factory tour to find out more. Better yet, to find out what Intrepid can do for you out on the water, take a 375 outside the inlet for a sea trial.