|Max Headroom||N/A||Bridge Clearance||N/A|
|Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.|
|Std. Power||Not Available|
|Tested Power||4 x 350-hp Yamaha Four-Stroke|
Available Triple or Quad Outboard
By Captain Steve
Our Captain Steve never let a little lightning and thunder keep him from testing a boat. Here he is heading out to Tampa Bay on the Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht with 1400-hp strapped to the transom.
Intrepid has a lot to offer the discriminating buyer. While the company motto is "One of a Kind, One at a Time" it should probably be "Do Nothing Halfway". As I walked the decks of the flagship 475 Sport Yacht, that's what I saw. Everything is top of the line, and what's more surprising…the Intrepid 475 SY was powered with outboards!
As for performance, it was just as impressive as the boat itself. So with Thor's lightning surrounding the proving grounds, we set out to see for ourselves exactly what sort of performance four 350-hp Yamaha V-8 outboards could bring to the party.
With quad 350-hp Yamaha V-8's our test boat had plenty of get up and go. One can also opt for triple 350-hp V-8's or quad 300-hp V-6's.
The 475 Sport Yacht is the flagship of the Intrepid fleet. She has the largest master stateroom, the largest cockpit, and the largest about everything else of the 15 basic models that Intrepid produces. She is designed for a couple of purposes, the most obvious of which is as a move-up yacht for people who already own an Intrepid, and appreciate the level of quality, customization, and factory care that Intrepid provides. They also must enjoy, if even only a little bit, the approbation of their boating peers for owning an Intrepid.
The floor layout of the Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht.
Our guess is that the owner of a 475 will use the boat for fishing or diving -- which is likely how he was introduced to Intrepid in the first place -- but secondarily, he is now ready to dial back a bit from his earlier passion, recalibrate how he uses his boat. With the 475 he can cruise with two couples or a few buddies, explore the Bahamas, fish, dive, and glory in the fun of driving an exhilarating boat across the flats at 50 knots.
As an example of how far Intrepid is willing to go to meet customers' requests, here's a shot of one 475 with an enclosed bridge. Intrepid intended this to be a "one-off" but once others saw it, that plan was out the door. Now it's on the options list.
The 475 is intended to offer a higher degree of luxury and comfort that only a large boat can provide.
Another specific mission of the 475 is to be the second or third boat owned by a yachtsman who has a large motoryacht or even a battlewagon in his navy. The 475 is just what its name says: a "sport yacht." For this owner the boat will be a fleet-footed day boat that he can operate without a crew, and take off on a moments notice. Because of her hull, heft, and minimum draft she can go most anywhere and is only limited by her 480 gal. (1,816 L) fuel tank -- and her owner's imagination.
Because she is so fast, the Intrepid 475 can be there and back the same day. Caught on one of the out islands because of weather or good fishing fortune? She has all of the accommodations needed for a comfortable week in paradise.
Finally, part of the Intrepid's flagship mission statement is that it must also be a classy and elegant entertainment platform for an evening harbor cruise, or have enough room to be a VIP spectator boat for the start of the local yacht club's annual regatta. She must have enough comfortable seating for 12 to 16 people in the cockpit and on the bridge deck.
Even though today's outboards are well protected from salt water corrosion, Intrepid even adds a dedicated flush-out port. Simply connect the dock hose up and run the engines at idle. Done.
Power to Spare
First things first… to me at first glance the outboards on a boat this big seemed out of place. But it did not take me long to look a little deeper and see the advantages. So much space was opened up both below and above decks that it makes one wonder why everyone doesn't do this. Imagine all of the space under the bridge deck taken up by engine room as would be on a conventional inboard-powered express -- with the Intrepid 475 that space can now be used for living large or stowing equipment and gear.
Intrepid is quick to tout the improved economy of powering with outboards, and while they may be correct, without an apples-to-apples comparison, I'm not going to jump on that bandwagon. What really hit home was the fact that there is a choice between several combinations of V-6s and V-8s ranging from 1050-hp to 1400-hp.
This was not our test boat but this photo does show the beauty of the 475's lines on a sunny day. Her side lights in the hull work fine for us, and are not visually obtrusive.
The Intrepid 475 has a dry displacement of 21,500 lbs. (9,772 kgs.), including about 3,288 lbs. (1,494 kgs.) for her four Yamaha 5.3 liter V-8s. As I tested her our boat weighed 24,500 lbs. (11,136 kgs.), something near her fully loaded weight of 25,184 lbs. (10,992 kgs.).
Under the conditions we encountered that stormy day on Tampa Bay we recorded a top speed of 58.0 mph (50.4 knots) at 5900 rpm where she burned 132.6 gph (501.9 lph). Remember that we had to feed 1400 horses at WOT speed.
I recorded a best cruise speed of 37.3 mph (32.4 kts) at 4000 rpm, where we burned 54.1 gph getting .60 nmpg for a range of 298 nautical miles. At that speed the boater will be across the Gulf Stream from southern Florida to Bimini in about 1 hour and 35 minutes. Nassau, anyone?
I was very impressed with the handling capabilities of the 475. I hate to overuse the word “solid” but that is the definitive impression I got from this boat. Since she has a stepped hull I wanted to see if she would slide or exhibit any bad habits in a sharp turn.
I brought her up to over 50 mph, and since I didn’t have passengers to worry about, I cranked the wheel hard over just to see what would happen. What happened was, the 475 carved a perfect turn with an average bank angle of 5-7 degrees with no slide or no tendency to slip off the turn. The 475 was in her element.
And while it was a relatively calm day I was able to create a good sized wake. Then I added power to come around and blast through it. It was anti-climatic. She carved right through the 2’ (.6 m) wave as if it wasn’t there. Then I tried again and launched her off the top of the wave. I expected a smash back down but instead the re-entry was soft and gentle as the 475 landed in the center of the hull, and then gently pressed down towards the bow.
There was nothing I could do to get the hull to pound, or even take spray on the windshield. This is a boat designed for offshore and hard use. With her, I would not worry about any nasty weather that might pop-up. She can handle it. Toward the end of this report I will explain why the 475 Sport Yacht has such a solid feel.
This, now famous, dive door started out as a customer request. Now everyone orders it on their Intrepid, and it may possibly be the icon of their level of commitment. One can get a dive door opening out, down, or in.
Looking under the dive door I noticed that there are stringers molded into the hull and the receiver for the door is molded to the stringers. In this manner, the door frame in the gunwales may very well be the strongest part of the hull.
Want a large bench seat across the transom? No problem. With the bench seat removed, I measured 110 sq ft (10.23 sq m) of open space in the cockpit. With the bench in place, it still seemed wide open.
A Huge Cockpit
Open space seems to be the keyword when looking about the 475 Sport Yacht. I measured 110 sq ft (10.23 sq m) of open space in the aft cockpit. Folks that is huge, as large as one will find on a number of far bigger battlewagons.
There are accommodations for an in-deck recirculating livewell, and an enclosed space for a gas or diesel generator. In addition, there is a dedicated pumproom that allowed easy access to all of the main mechanical components under the deck. I also noticed that all the hatches fit perfectly flush, and when opened I saw gutters surrounding the openings to channel water to the overboard deck drains.
This 475 has a baitwell with picture window and no bench seat in the cockpit. If there was ever a builder who could fabricate foldaway seating in all of the wasted spaces under the gunwales in a cockpit, Intrepid is the company. We see three places in this photo.
I also find it interesting that with all of the space that this boat presents, that Intrepid still managed to find room for side decks.
With comfortable seating for 8 adults on the elevated bridge deck, this is likely the most popular spot on the boat when she's underway. Add a table if desired.
The Bridge Deck
The bridge deck is up two 8" (20.3 cm) steps and has accommodations to hold a party here. A quick glance shows seating for eight, and very comfortable seating at that. There's a space for an optional flatscreen television to port. Our test boat had the optional 24,000 BTU helm deck air conditioning, which I thought was a nice touch on our hot Florida day even with the open cockpit. The vents for the helm A/C ran across the top of the entire panel, not just an opening or two at the end of a hose.
The L-shaped bridge deck seating is enormous for this size boat. Note the twin Stidd helm seat on a raised platform.
The helm panel will accommodate dual 15" (38 cm) flatscreen panels of one's choice. Notice the A/C vents across the top of the panel. That windshield frame is 2.5" (6.4 cm) thick.
The 475 has a long salon with the dinette forward. Why some builders dedicate this space to a berth that rarely gets used escapes me. Naturally, this will convert to a berth at the push of a button. Note the sturdy hydraulic pedestal under the table. Those cabinets are attached to resin infused fiberglass structures that get glassed to the hull. These box sections add tremendous integrity and strength to the hull.
I can barely reach the overhead, which is 7' (2.13 m) above the deck. That hatch is one of four in this cabin alone.
Down below Intrepid went with an interesting design layout. Rather than the usual galley-to-one-side-dinette-to-the-other layout that we see in practically every boat of this size, Intrepid went with a very lengthy galley leading to the forward dinette. The U-shaped dinette can easily seat six large adults. An electrically actuated high-low table will allow for easy conversions to a queen berth if the owner happens to have six people overnighting instead of the more comfortably accommodated four.
The banquette in the bow can be as formal, or informal, depending on one's mood. Note the unobtrusive A/C vents at the top of the forward bulkhead. All of the built-in furniture that is seen is actually also a structural element of the monocoque hull.
A surprising amount of natural light is allowed into the salon from hull-side port lights, and four opening overhead hatches. This is easily the brightest salon area I've seen in class. And the salon boasts 7' (2.13 m) of headroom which is unusual.
The galley features a very large side-by-side refrigerator and freezer, a single-burner stove top, a single basin stainless steel sink with a retractable cover (no worries about where to store that), and a microwave in one of the cabinets. All the drawers are lined with stainless steel and are self closing. This is an important sanitation detail.
All of the cabinetry here is structural to the hull. The wood veneers are backed by paper-thin sheets of aluminum that keep the wood stable and are able to withstand changes in temperature and humidity. All of the drawers are stainless steel inside.
I noticed that the largest galley cabinets are 13" (33 cm) deep which will handle storage for full size dinner plates, this is something that boat builders often forget to accommodate.
Now that's a high-gloss finish! Here's a cedar locker next to the dinette and it's an integral component of the hull.
Staterooms and Head
The teak and holly sole from the galley and salon continues into the head. This head features storage below and above the sink and a separate shower stall. An overhead hatch provides natural light, and ventilation.
When I first looked at a diagram of the 475's layout, I assumed that the head would be shoehorned into a small space but nothing could be further from the truth. This head even featured a separate shower stall with teak grating, a built-in seat, and plenty of natural light and ventilation from an opening overhead hatch. I found more than enough storage for each of the overnight guests to have their own space for toiletries.
The master stateroom has a queen athwartships berth, triple hull-side windows, 6'8" (2 m) of overhead clearance and a deck hatch for light, ventilation, and emergency egress. There is also a separate access to the head.
The Master. The master stateroom lies to port and features an athwartships queen berth and three large hullside portlights. The view out of the portlights from the seated position is spectacular as one is just above the surface of the water. Imagine waking up in the morning and looking out across the harbor. Additionally, there's a counter atop two drawers that I found made a surprisingly comfortable spot to sit and put shoes on and just get ready for a night out on the town.
As for headroom, I measured well over 6'8" (2 m) and with 3'4" (1 m) of clearance over the berth, I even had extra room over my head when seated on it. Intrepid was still able to accommodate an overhead deck hatch that allows for ventilation as well as an emergency egress.
The guest stateroom also has the high overhead, an opening hatch, teak and holly sole, and hull-side windows.
The Guest Stateroom. To starboard is a guest cabin with a second queen berth which stretches from the hull side to the bulkhead, making it a crawl-in berth. There is standing headroom at the entrance, the usual hanging locker storage and drawers, and I found the same overhead opening hatch. This cabin is small, but in this size and type of boat it is amazing that it is there at all.
Looking at the 475 on the trailer was very revealing. Intrepid uses Imron paint on all of their hulls, and even for the boot stripe and the Intrepid logo. This one had been getting the wet-sanding and buffing process for several days, and it had an astonishing mirror-like finish that has to be seen to be believed. I did my usual stare down the side and saw not a single ripple, not a single bend, not a single flaw…anywhere. It was meticulously perfect.
As for the inside, the same attention to detail can be seen everywhere. Joinery lines were arrow straight and sealed. Any visible screw heads were all facing the same direction, all angles met perfectly. It was an obsessive-compulsive's dream come true.
On most boats of this type there is a bulkhead where there is a step-up on the cabin sole. That is eliminated on the 475 thanks to the method of cabinet construction. The absence of the bulkhead opens up the boat.
Unusually Strong Construction
Intrepid's cabinetry construction is quite unusual and may be unique in the U.S. powerboat-building industry. Boaters who appreciate the very best construction will immediate realize the importance of it.
Most builders make cabinets for people to put things in. Intrepid makes cabinets to make their hulls stronger, and as a bi-product, one can put things in them. None of Intrepid's built-in joinerwork is actually what it appears to be. Rather, it is a series of boxes made of resin impregnated Divinycell PVC foam core and fiberglass that is vacuum bagged and laminated as separate modules. These parts are then fitted carefully to the hull sides, or hull and overhead, and glassed in with two layers of 1708 fiberglass cloth once there is a perfect fit.
Shown above is the vacuum-bagging process that uses atmospheric pressure to draw just the right amount of resin through the fiberglass reinforcing material. The process is labor intensive but better for the work staff and the resulting laminate is generally lighter but just as strong as those made by conventional hand lay-up.
The result is that from the floors and stringers up to the overhead, the accommodations area in the forward part of the boat is a series of fiberglass boxes that create a monocoque hull that has remarkable strength, but which is light weight, much like an egg crate. This system keeps the hull from oil-canning or "wheezing" and keeps the deck from flexing. It creates one unified structure that is the highest tech engineering I have seen in this class of boat.
Wood veneer backed by a sheet of paper thin aluminum is affixed to the fiberglass modules with heat treated glue, then repeatedly varnished to a high gloss. Fitted inside each cabinet is a fiberglass liner. Suffice it to say that the process is far more involved than it is being described here, but that is the general idea.
This build process is another reason why Intrepid is much envied by engineers at other boat companies. It can build in quality that is simply too expensive for most production builders to tackle. Further, only a small, privately owned company can make both the kind of decisions and quantity of them, fast enough, with which this kind of intricate work demands.
Life is good when flying low in an Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht. Too bad everyone can't have one.
Not only is the Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht a boat for veteran boat owners who are connoisseurs of the art of boat building, it is also a vessel other boat builders can admire. In an industry not given to false admiration, Intrepid's peers are nearly universally unanimous in their praise for the company's build quality and technical standards.
To a great degree, Intrepid has attained what I think of as "Hinckley status." Hinckley being that venerable Maine builder of sail and powerboats that popularized the "picnic boat" concept and was known for its "high-quality no matter what the cost" attitude. Hinckley's boats were so well executed and so expensive that production builders never even tried to compete. After all, there were only so many Rockefellers and Fords to go around.
And so it is with Intrepid these days. If people can afford one and appreciate what goes into them, then that's the brand they will buy. Smart consumers who appreciate what Intrepid does but can't afford it, should carefully inspect the Intrepids and find the next best thing that fits their purse. Right now, Intrepid is the builder setting the bar highest in this type and class of boat, in our opinion.
Having said all of that, because Intrepid sells factory-direct the dealer mark-up is eliminated which makes these boats closer in price to some production boats than one might imagine.
|Washdown: Fresh Water|
|Washdown: Raw Water|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc|
|Boats More Than 30 Feet|
= Standard = Optional
|Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!