Rooted in Tradition
The Talaria 44 was designed in 2000 by Bruce King, who based the lines on traditional Down East boats. Maine lobsterboats are known for high, sharp bows to cut through the chop, sweeping sheers and low cockpits that make it easier to retrieve lobster pots. Deadrise is minimal, for squeezing maximum speed out of the single engine, often a marinized car engine (Oldsmobile engines are popular). Why the need for speed? Lobstermen have to get out to their pots, which can be far from home, harvest the lobsters and then race back in to get the best prices. Lobsters don’t weigh much, so the boats can be quite fast even when laden with a good day’s catch.
Yachts have similar needs: Folks with only a couple of days a week to go boating want to cover as much ground as they can, so speed is a given. They can’t sit home waiting for calm weather, so their boats have to be comfortable running through chop, and seaworthy in heavier weather. But unlike lobsterboats, which have cabins mostly for shelter and to stow gear, lobsterboat-inspired yachts must be stylish – they’re yachts, after all – and comfortable belowdecks. Bruce King’s Talaria 44 was all of these things, and more: Powered by twin diesels driving Hamilton waterjets, the boat was able to run through lobster pot-infested waters without wrapping a buoy around the non-existent prop shafts, and drew so little water it could nose onto a beach for a day of picnicking.
The Mark II
Now, ten years on, Hinckley has a new version of the Talaria 44: the Talaria 44 MK II. (Okay, they might have thought of a catchier name.) It’s based on the same hull as the original (which we guess is now the MK I?), but has bigger engines, a different arrangement and a redesigned pilothouse. It’s available in both hardtop Motor Yacht and Flybridge configurations. We’d love to show you some pictures, but the yacht is so new that so far all we have are artists’ renderings; however, the external appearance is basically the same as the earlier boat – the changes are out of sight.
Like the first T44, the new boat is built of Kevlar, carbon and E-glass composite, laminated using the SCRIMP process which forces a carefully controlled volume of resin into the stacked reinforcement. Once the fabric is wetted-out, the builder applies vacuum pressure to squeeze the sandwich together. SCRIMP-ing produces a totally bonded laminate with a precise resin/glass ratio. Too much resin adds weight but not strength; too little makes a poor laminate. SCRIMP gets it just right. It’s more expensive and demands a skilled production crew, but the results are worth it when you’re aiming at building a fine yacht like the Talaria 44. Along with Hinckley, many of the world’s best boatbuilders use SCRIMP.
The Talaria 44 MK II is powered with a pair of Cummins 550-hp common-rail diesels; the builder predicts a cruising speed of 29 to 30 knots, top speed around 34. These are Hinckley’s figures, not BoatTEST.com’s; we haven’t tested the boat yet – but are dying to get our hands on one, if only for a couple of hours. The company expects a cruising range of 400 n.m. on the boat’s 500 gallons of fuel. The diesels drive a pair of Hamilton HJ322 waterjets. Steering is by Hinckley’s patented JetStick, the granddaddy of joystick controls.
Before IPS and Zeus, there was JetStick, a computer-integrated system that integrated the waterjet drives and bow thruster to permit a skilled helmsman to move the boat in ways some onlookers thought approached magic. How does it work? Ask the computer, but we do know that moving or rotating the joystick (this being a Hinckley, the stick has a classy wooded knob) makes the boat go ahead or astern, spin or move sideways. Once underway, the skipper steers with a conventional wheel – in close quarters, he goes back to the JetStick.
Need we mention that a boat with the qualities of a Hinckley does not come cheap? We didn’t think so – but since we know you want to know, budget about $1.8 million for your new Talaria 44 MK II Flybridge, along with some time to travel to Hinckley to meet with the folks who will design and build your boat. Every Hinckley is really a custom boat, and you’ll want to take an active part in its creation.
Here’s some good news: If you don’t have the cash on hand for a new Hinckley, the company will refurbish an older one, and make it good as new. There are always Talarias on the market; they won’t be MK IIs yet, but the MK I was pretty nice, and there are other models, too. Rehabs make up more than half of the Maine yard’s business, and the craftsmen working on sprucing up an older boat are often some of the same ones who built it in the first place.Whether you buy new or have an older boat redone, the guys driving Rolls-Royces will be jealous.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!