You know you’re getting pretty jaded when center console boats rigged with triple or quadruple outboards start to seem ho-hum. But truth be told, there are so many of these boats now flooding the marketplace that they’re no longer unusual or unique merely by virtue of their size and power. These days, it takes something special for a 40-foot, 1200 HP boat to cause a raised eyebrow or a second glance. And when we walked by the Belzona 40cc, we found that something special. Hop aboard with us for a quick First look Video, to see what this boat is all about.
We’re sure that five seconds in, you knew what we knew when we laid eyes upon this boat: it’s look is completely different from all those other ho-hum center console yachts. The reverse-raked pilothouse-style windshield, long console cabin windows, two-tone matching hull, painted outboards (you have your choice between triples or quads), and upholstery colors don’t just grab the eye – they hold it. And that’s before you wrap you hand around the lever and open Belzona’s trademark gunwale door, which is essentially the entire gunwale. Give it a yank, and the entire side of the boat slides back on a track to provide the ultimate in easy access to the water.
Design for the Times
What’s surprising is that Belzona not only takes a unique approach to styling, they also went outside of the box when it comes to deck layout. Sure, there’s a fold-away aft transom bench seat. Yes, an outdoor galley with an electric grill can be found up forward in the cockpit. No big whoop. But check out that bridgedeck. Where 99 out of 100 boats have a rack of forward-facing seats, Belzona instead chose to pedestal-mount a single helm chair for the captain, with an L-shaped settee behind it. Some may argue that this socially isolates the captain when the boat’s running, and there’s some truth to that. It’s also true, however, that when the captain is running his or her boat, he or she generally isn’t part of the party, anyway. And when the cruise is over and everyone kicks back with a frosty beverage, the traditional helm seating arrangement doesn’t function well as a social area. In this case, however, the helm chair can be spun around 180-degrees, thus allowing for interaction with those sitting at the settee.
Social areas like these dominate many modern center consoles, which are used more for entertaining than for fishing. And the second party spot aboard the 40cc is the bow cockpit. Again, Belzona takes a road less traveled. On most center console yachts, you’ll find a pair of loungers with backrests built into the console cabin top. But in order to have backrests without obscuring the view from the helm the cabin overhead has to be kept relatively low, which cuts on headroom belowdecks. Instead of taking this tack Belzona raises the cabin top, places a horizontal sunpad with flip-up backrests on top, and then builds forward-facing seating into the front of the console cabin. A U-shaped seat runs around the perimeter of the bow and viola – you have your second social area with the added benefit of more room than expected belowdecks.
Every yacht needs luxury accommodations – even a center console yacht – and in this regard the Belzona 40cc doesn’t miss a beat. Slide open the cabin door, head below, and aside from enjoying the chill of the standard air conditioning system you’ll discover a continuation of the color thematic found topsides, plus wood grain finishes on the head door and the dinette table. That table is pedestal-mounted and can be lowered, a filler cushion added, and it becomes a V-berth sufficient for overnighting. There’s also a small settee aft of the V-berth/dinette, but the highlight of the cabin is really the head. Since the boat isn’t trying to be a cruiser with long-term accommodations and multiple berths, it can dedicate a lot of space to the head compartment. So instead of the usual sardine-in-a-can feeling you get from a cramped console cabin head compartment, this one feels wide and open with plenty of elbow room. And, unlike most, it has a separate stall shower instead of one of those hokey pull-out vegetable sprayers.
What about a galley? You won’t find one down there. As is true on many center console yachts the galley is moved outdoors, in this case behind the helm-deck. That not only helps in the struggle to maximize cabin space, it also makes for easier clean-ups and ventilation that can’t be beat. The sink, stainless-steel electric grill, and solid-surface countertop will make whipping up that fresh-caught mahi-mahi a breeze. We note that Belzona strategically places a rack of bullet speakers just above the galley on the hard top pipework, so you can rock out as you roast your meal.
Still a Center Console
Unlike some modern center consoles which have completely abandoned their fishing boat roots, the 40cc does come with the goods you need for a day of bluewater fishing. This shouldn’t be too big a surprise if you read our review of the Belzona 325, in which we looked a bit at the history of this builder. Prior to creating their own model-line they made polymer composites and parts for other boat-builders, and these people have boating – and fishing – in their blood. When it comes to fishing from the 40cc in specific, most importantly the cockpit is open and unimpeded. But you’ll also find flush-mount rodholders in the gunwales, a brace of seven rocket launchers on the hard top, a 31 gallon livewell, integrated fishboxes in the deck, and racks under the bolster-lined gunwales. Like most boats of this nature anglers will have to deal with getting gamefish around multiple lower units and propellers far aft of the fish-fighting arena, but unlike the others, if you need to drag a 1,000 pound tuna aboard you can always slide that tricked-out gunwale open for easy access to the water.
Will the Belzona 40 be the first pick of die-hard anglers? Not likely. They’d be too worried about putting a gaff through the beautifully-upholstered coaming bolsters, or spraying fish blood across the helm-deck lounge. And with a starting price of about three quarters of a million dollars you could choose a much plainer boat, and have quite a hefty bait fund left over. But can the Belzona function capably as a fishing boat? You bet. And when it comes to entertaining is doesn’t just function, it’s utterly fantastic. It’s got that something special.
Other Choices: Boston Whaler’s 420 Outrage is also designed to please both the anglers and the partiers in the crowd. The Nor-Tech 450 Sport places a bit less importance on chasing finned critters, and a bit more on the performance aspect of boating. And the Deep Impact 399 is another boat with stylish attitude and plenty of versatility, though it trades off the cabin in favor of additional deck space.
See Belzona listings.
|Fuel capacity||500 gal.|