When a company has a loyal following, which Hallett Boats has developed over the years, it is easy to become complacent. But that's not the style of the Southern California custom builder, which continues to introduce new models and retool older boats in its line. One of the boats getting some refinements was the 400-T, a model that made its debut in June 1997. Hallett replaced the boat's bottom with a straight V and a couple of small steps with aeration ports through the chine.
One addition that really stood out were the new V-10 motors from Ilmor Marine in the engine compartment. The engines were a perfect complement to the 40' boat, turning it into an 80-plus mph cruiser.
Hallett's 400-T proves a boat that retails for $340,362 can hold its own with offshore boats that cost twice as much. The boat offers the same amenities, premium workmanship and performance that buyers demand from high-dollar boats.
Part of that performance is due to the 1,100 horsepower produced by the Ilmor motors. Connecting that power to the water were IMCO 4x4 drives with standoff boxes turning Mercury Bravo One 15 1/4" x 28" four-blade propellers.
Running the boat on the calm waters of the Colorado River in Parker, Ariz., the boat had a top speed of 82 mph at 5,500 rpm. A strong top speed considering the hull alone weighs 8,700 pounds.
From a standing start, the boat reached 73 mph in 20 seconds with the motors turning nearly 5,000 rpm. Though the performance was strong, the handling was even better. The boat got perfect marks in slalom turns at 30, 40 and 50 mph. The boat responded precisely to steering wheel input thanks to the full hydraulic steering—a must on a boat this size.
Credit must go to Hallett for incorporating some unique features in the 400-T. Our favorite was the bolsters that raised and lowered to accommodate people of different heights. The bolsters, designed and built by Arco, had dropout bottoms and stainless frames that anchored to the teak flooring. Berber carpet covered most of the cockpit sole.
The back of the bolsters had grab handles, but passengers sitting on the rear bench will probably opt for the handles in the gunwales.
Up front, Hallett opted for Livorsi Marine gauges with red bezels and the 100 mph GPS speedo was set high and in the center of the dash. Rocker switches were lined on carbon-fiber panels just above a tilt helm from IMCO. The trim indicator from Bluewater matched the panel, and the throttles and shifters were from Hardin Marine.
Access to the cabin was directly in front of the co-pilot's seat. The door slid open to reveal a cabin that appeared larger than most found on 40' boats. Inside to the left, there was a large countertop with cabinets underneath. Opposite the galley, Hallett included additional countertop space with cabinets and room for a portable head.
Rather than going with long lounges, Hallett opted to break it up with individual seats and love seats done in red leather. The result was an uncluttered cabin and seating for at least a half-dozen people.
On the left side of the boat toward the bow, Hallett installed a beach door with a folding ladder for easy access to the sand when the boat is beached. Although some buyers may worry about leaks, Hallett says it has never had a problem with the beach door. When the door is not in use, a cushion can be put in place and used for seating.
All the way forward, the boat had a V-berth done in a matching red with a mirror on the forward bulkhead. The builder finished out the headliner with a gray fabric and a red accent that ran down the center of the ceiling. Hallett included a couple of spotlights in the bulkheads in the cabin. Two large deck hatches provided additional light and could be opened to circulate air.
Always striving to improve its product, Hallett again showed why the company has a passionate and loyal fan base.
Editor's note: This article was part of a roundup that ran in the August 2004 issue of Powerboat magazine.
Hallett 400-T Specifications
|Engine/Horsepower||(2) Ilmor V-10/550|
|Propeller||Mercury Bravo One 15 1/4" x 28"|
|Top speed at rpm||82 mph at 5500|
|Price as tested||$340,362|
|Contact information||626-969-8844, www.hallettboats.com|