Captain's Report by Capt. Steve
The 399 was, for Deep Impact, a natural evolution of the popular 36' (11 m) center console. It maintains the company's reputation for delivering the same quality of build and customization that Deep Impact is so well known for.
While the 399 is impressive in its own right, she does bring some distinguishing features to the table over other boats in class. Here are the ones that caught my eye--• The console, with its 6'10" (2.08 m) of headroom inside has a full head with sink and shower accessed by a sliding door to the side. • The helm seat had three across seating with drop-out bolsters and integrated tackle storage. • The Jump seat has retractable armrests. • Decking is a crown, rather than gutter design to channel water overboard. • Gutters for hatches are under the deck so they are not seen. Any water gets channeled back to the next gutter until exiting at the engine cut-outs. This eliminates the use of thru hulls in the topsides and streaks. Further, there are no floor gutters to stub your toes on. • Macerators pump out through the engine cut-outs as well eliminating some thru-hull fittings.
While we haven't tested the 399 to verify the claims, Deep Impact does have performance numbers that they've shared with us. With the boat powered by the new Mercury Verado 350 engines, the 399 reached a top speed of 72.4 mph at 6200 rpm. At that speed she was burning 100.2 gph which translates to .72 mpg and a range of 312 miles at top speed.Best cruise was measured by the builder at 3000 rpm and 30 mph. At that speed the Verados were drinking only 22.8 gph for 1.32 mpg and a range of 568 statute miles. But let's face facts… nobody's gonna be buying a boat like the 399 to be doing 30 miles an hour. Advance the throttles to 4500 rpm and you'll be cruising at 50.5 mph with an endurance of 472 statute miles. That's just over 9 hours of running at an impressive speed. It's not hard to imagine the places that you can go.
The 399 has a dry weight of 13,800 lbs (6260 kg) which definitely puts her in the heavyweight class, and that is a direct reflection of the build quality that goes into the hull. Even without the engines, the hull weight is just under 11,800 lbs (5352 kg). All of Deep Impact's hulls are reinforced with resin infused coring. The hull sides are cored with Mantex and Airex. Transoms are over 5'' thick, and are cored with 24-lb. Mantex foam. Using a no-wood construction technique the longevity of deep impact boats is self-evident. But of course it takes more than a thick hull to maintain the rigors of continual punishment from high-speed offshore use. The CNC cut foam stringer system is bonded to the hull to further the build strength. To add even more integrity, the floor boxes are inserted and then glassed into place, making them integral structural components.
With boats in this class I always seem to have a problem with visibility since so many builders fabricate such a high console in order to get the headroom needed below. Here, the height is comfortable enough for even short captains such as me (I'm 5'8.5"/1.73 m), to have a clear view of the bow, and beyond. So I am pleased. The captain gets a center spot in the three-across seats, and these seats wrap around the occupants for sustained high-speed operation. For standing, the bolsters drop down, further enhancing the wrapping effect of the seats. With your kneees slightly bent, your spinal column is protected. Instruments. The console is beautifully laid out and again, high-speed operations are the key factor to the layout. The captain is intended to spend his/her time looking ahead, as one does at 70+ mph (113 kph). For that reason, the only gauges in front of the helm are the SmartCraft Vessel View, fuel gauges, and the compass. With the dual observers adding a hand in the navigation, twin Garmin 5215 touch screens are to either side of the panel so the workload can be divided up quite nicely between the 3D chart plotter, radar, bottom topography readouts, satellite weather service, and probably even a partridge in a pear tree. All switches are to the port side and are waterproof with indicator lights just above allowing a glance to show which is activated. Battery switches. Four switches, however, stand out to the upper left for the port, center, starboard, and house batteries. This is undoubtedly a unique feature that allows quick activation of the batteries and I'm on the fence as to whether I like it or not. On one hand, I really hate when I have to go on an Indiana Jones-type quest for the battery switches and find them under some remote cushion… far out of reach, but they're usually in such a position so some numb-nut doesn't come onboard and activate your batteries and run them down on you. The requisite console cover should alleviate that concern, and the fact that you still need ignition keys means that turning on the electrical supply does not equate to a ne'er-do-well being able to start, and therefore take off with, your 399. All switches, gauges, and nav screens are mounted to carbon fiber panels that look great against the white console.
The first item of business in an offshore fishing boat is the need for handholds, and on the 399 they're seemingly everywhere. Two large coffin boxes are integrally built into the deck and serve as structural components. Macerators feed debris from the boxes overboard through a thru-hull fitting in the engine cutout. At the transom is the usual rumble seat, but I use the term "usual" loosely, as this one accommodates three-across seating, armrests, and drink holders. When stowed it lies flat against the transom allowing you to fish right to the stern of the boat.
A sliding door to the starboard side of the console allows for accessing the rather large head compartment without impeding the walk space between the console and the bulwarks. The head is nicely equipped with 6'10" (2.08 m) of headroom, a porcelain toilet, ss sink and a shower. Natural light enters from a skylight overhead, just forward of the windshield. Forward of the console are two individual seats, again with the generous wrap-around demanded in high speed operations. U-shaped seats are forward and easily convert to chaise recliners.
One of the benefits of purchasing a Deep Impact 399 is the ability to customize the boat any way you'd like. Deep Impact does not, and doesn't intend to, make their boat in a production-style format. For that reason, you simply will not find any two DI boats that are the same. The test boat was built for a client that wanted to have all the requisite fishing features, yet with extensive seating and family amenities as well. It is important to understand that the photos of the test boat are not the “only” deck configuration possible. DI offers a bow seating delete for the demanding angler that benefits from additional deck floor space, and a livewell delete for those that would rather have more transom seating without livewells. That delete can be coupled with a starboard side “L” seat module as well.Max hp for the 399 is quad 350SCis from Mercury Racing. The test boat is shown with the triple 350 Mercury Racing Verado's and with that power the boat carries a base price of $405,955. If you want to dial it back a bit, you can power with triple 300-hp Verado's and you'll be looking at a base of $369,955. Either way, you'll be in a boat that is sure to turn heads, even if you enter the high profile offshore tournament realm.
Standard and Optional Features
Boats More Than 30 Feet
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