By Captain Steve
One of the goals of the new 327 CC was to take advantage of the more powerful V-8 4-strokes on the market, but that would mean adding weight to the stern of the boat. In order to accommodate the increase in transom iron, the team at Intrepid not only added a larger wetted surface area that increases flotation in the stern, but also created a new hull design with four steps. In this manner, Intrepid says that it is able to maintain the previous model's speed and performance without adding significantly to the hull's dry weight. Intrepid tells us that with this new hull design it is able to achieve the same upper speed range and fuel efficiency of the 323, even with the 327's additional 60 gallons (227 L) of fuel and larger hull. As for what will power the 327, well, that's up to the buyer. Intrepid will power the boat with any brand up to 900-hp but they tell us that most boats get twin 300 Mercs or Yamahas, and some twin 350’s or triple 300’s, so that's twin V8's or triple V6's. (Intrepid is also working closely with 7 Marine to accommodate bolting on a single 557-hp outboard!)
The new deck arrangement of the 327 adds on an additional 4" (10.2 cm) side to side, and 6" (15.2 cm) from the helm leaning post to the transom. That extra room is precious and will be appreciated when there is a double hook-up and when the big one hits the large fishbox.
One of the features that has always impressed us with Intrepid, is that unlike most other builders that just add seats to the bow, Intrepid has gone with a bit more of an innovative design. For starters, the storage underneath those bow seats is accessed by lifting the aft end of the seat, and the whole seat top lifts up. This is a vast improvement over just lifting a hatch that allows for a small opening to a large storage area. In this manner, Intrepid is able to allow for customizing the storage space to suit the desires of the customer. Does one want empty space, rod racks, divided storage, or how about converting it to a macerated, insulated fishbox? Or just use the space to bury the cushions when starting to fish since one is going to be standing on the seats anyway.
Also, where others simply extend the padded bolsters to form the forward seat backs, Intrepid actually fabricated seat backs that are angled back like a regular seat. Now there is comfortable seating without having to sit upright, which no one likes to do. And as if that weren't enough, with the push of a button (thankfully located right abaft the seat) one can electrically actuate a recliner into a forward facing chaise lounge… a nifty touch. As always, Intrepid kept the opening seat backs that allow access for additional rod storage, as well as the powdercoated grab rails beneath the caprail, two features which their customers have always liked.
Another feature that stayed with the new design is the forward dry storage locker. To my way of thinking, this is one of the most convenient aspects of this line. When not fishing, this area can hold towels, beach bags, purses, lunches… the list is endless. If fishing, then additional tackle, rags, whatever. It's a great feature. An access port in the forward bulkhead allows one to reach the anchor rode to do a quick untangle should they get bound up.
The forward facing seat just ahead of the console slides to the side via an electric actuator and that allows access to the head inside the console. It features 6' 3" (1.9 m) of standing space, and even includes a sink and pull out shower head. (I'd also like to see padded bulkheads. It's rarely calm offshore and being in the head with the boat pitching and rolling with the swells can't be good on a noggin.) I was pleased to see a manual release button so no one will be stuck in, or out, of the head in the event of a power failure.
The helm offers an open panel 35" (89 cm) across so one can add up to two 15" (38 cm) flatscreen displays. Thankfully, Intrepid doesn't align themselves to any electronics supplier so the buyer is free to have whatever brand, and model of electronics that suits their fancy. Too often we see one factory-installed helm electronics package and that's it. Intrepid focuses on the boat, and I'm perfectly capable of ordering my own electronics.Below the expansive panel were the Yamaha multi-function gauges on our test boat. To the right were the trim tab controls, and I'd like to upgrade to the ones with indicators on the sides. Just to the right were the digital engine controls and while there was both a collective trim switch, and individual engine trim switches, I only found the individual trim to be necessary for offsetting an uneven distribution of weight, perhaps the 500 lb. (227 kg) swordfish in the fish locker.Below were stainless steel, lighted push-button switches that were not only waterproof but submersible to 15' (4.57 kg). Having these switches freed up the glove box base to the right that served to keep the switches dry on the old 323.I was impressed with the visibility at the helm of the 327 CC. Often with boats in this class the console is so large that I can't see over it. [Capt. Steve is 5’ 8’’ (1.72 m). – Ed.] Not so here as Intrepid concerns itself with ergonomics as well as functionality.
I found the helm seat to be very comfortable and it's adjustable fore and aft on an electrically actuated slider. Not only was I able to reach the footrest under the console but there was an additional flip down foot rest on the seat base. Underneath the seat on my test boat was a self draining storage compartment. Interestingly, inside a compartment was a brand new personal locator beacon. It seems that intrepid is so dedicated to their customer's safety that they include one of these with the purchase of every boat.
Our test boat also had an optional hardtop installed, but I use the term optional very loosely. Basically every 327 will get a hardtop, but the buyer gets the option of choosing exactly what kind of hardtop they will get. Want a solid hardtop? How about one with opening hatches? Does the buyer want outriggers supports? How about an electrically actuated opening sunroof? Maybe they even want it wider to add shade over the side decks. Intrepid will be happy to accommodate.
Padded bolsters run from the bow all the way across the stern and back to the bow seating. We had one fishbox in the cockpit deck that measured 6' (1.8 m) fore and aft. There is an option to add a macerator or simply leave the compartment empty. In the center of the deck was an aerated baitwell.To the starboard side of the deck was an open storage locker, and the reason that there was not another fishbox to this side had to do with a signature Intrepid feature – the dive door.
The Dive Door
Back in 1995, that Hillsboro, FL Police Department saw the need for a rescue door on their Intrepid patrol boat. They made a phone call to intrepid, and not surprisingly company president Ken Clinton answered the phone. They told Ken what they wanted, and as he usually does with any customer request, replied "no problem" before even thinking about the problem.The decision was made to install a door right into the hull side. At first glance it seemed simple enough. Just cut out a section of the hull and use that piece to create the door, right? Wrong! That just created more problems than it solved. It would weaken the integrity of the hull, create problems with water intrusion, then there was how to deploy the door, stow it, keep it from falling overboard and sinking… the problems just seemed to keep growing and seemed insurmountable. So in the end, Intrepid decided to mold a receiver into the hull side, and to make it strong, they bonded the hull stringers right to the sides of the opening, and continued the stringers across the bottom to the other side of the boat and up to the opposing gunwale. Then they built their own door to fit into the receiver. It's hinged at the bottom, and steps are integrally built into the door. Beefy stainless door latches, that might be found on waterproof doors conveniently enough, were utilized to keep the dive door closed. When open, a rope rail helps to climb out and the entire assembly can hold the weight of the fattest diver fitted with weight belts and dive tanks. To close, pull on the rope rail, let some water dump out, and pull closed the rest of the way and latch. Any water remaining falls into the deck gutter and out the scuppers. The door is neutral buoyant so it's easy to find using just feet, and one doesn't have to pull it closed from the full-down position. And with the integral stringers, hull strength is not only un-compromised, but this section now becomes the strongest part of the hull. As with any other custom feature that Intrepid can't seem to say no to doing, this is now on the options list, and virtually every customer wants it.
Performance and Handling
I loved driving the 327 CC as it felt so solid and beefy. I didn't get into heavy seas unfortunately, but the self-generated wakes from our 47' (14.3 m) chase boat showed how well the 327 carves through waves, and after launching over one, the re-entry was gentle. Turns are crisp, but I found that I did lose speed, but not rpm. Thus, the preferred method to entering a hard turn is to drop the engine trim, add throttle when entering the turn, and once established a new heading, let the speed build, then back off on the throttle to normal cruise and bring the trim back up. The power steering was not only effortless, but required with these big engines. The full test results can be seen by clicking the tab at the top of this report, but for the highlights….The twin Yamaha F350 V-8 4-strokes had a maximum rpm of 5700 which brought us to a top speed of 55.5 knots. At that speed we were burning a total of 63.6 gallons per hour for a range of 181 nautical miles. Best cruise came in at 3000 rpm when we were running at 25.8 knots while burning 17.8 gallons per hour. That gave us a range of 301 nautical miles with a 10% reserve.
Remarkable Hole Shot
We had a quick time to plane of 3.2 seconds and reached 20 miles per hour in 5.8 seconds, 30 miles per hour in 8.7 seconds, 40 miles an hour in 12.4 seconds and continued accelerating through 50 miles an hour in 16.3 seconds. These are remarkable numbers for such a large and heavy boat.The Yamaha V-8s ran very quietly. I measured only 60 decibels at idle speed with a sound level peaking at 97 decibels at wide open throttle but that was mostly the wind and water noise.
Travel In The Future
Don't expect to walk over to a local Intrepid dealer to see this new boat because there isn't a local dealer. These boats are sold factory direct. That may sound like a pain at first blush, but it makes sense. These are semi-customizable boats, and the only way to get the boat desired is to make a trip down to Dania Beach, FL and see it first hand and get the features that are wanted. It also helps Intrepid avoid that pesky 25% markup that dealers must have to stay in business. Plus, Dania Beach is a nice place to visit and test drive the 327 CC before finally signing. Additionally, when ordering an Intrepid, one will be dealing with the company officers, and they know the first name of every customer. If service is needed after the sale, they'll be there. The Intrepid folks tell me that fully 2/3 of their existing customers are repeat buyers trading up. With a base price with twin 300 Mercury Verado's of $189,000 I think Dania Beach is going to be seeing some increased traffic. But… none of the Intrepid 327 CC customers will be slapping their foreheads and saying… "I could have had a V-8!"
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Intrepid Boats 327 CC (2013-) is 63.9 mph (102.8 kph), burning 63.6 gallons per hour (gph) or 240.73 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Intrepid Boats 327 CC (2013-) is 29.7 mph (47.8 kph), and the boat gets 1.67 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.71 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 346 miles (556.83 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 350-hp Yamaha F350.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Optional|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Optional|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!