Whenever we thought about the popular side boarding door, we couldn’t help but wonder how the options on the today’s market were good enough for the boaters who bought and used them. Fundamentally, the side boarding door should ease the transition from dock to cockpit. But, the side boarding doors currently available require guests to climb over the gunwale and open the door from within the cockpit. And, as the door is ultimately a cut out of the hull, this inconvenient option also sacrifices precious space aboard. Apart from easing the boarding process for your guests, this simply didn’t do it for us.
What does the team at Hinckley do after realizing this couldn’t be the best our industry has to offer? The industry-revered Hinckley engineering and product development teams spent months dreaming of what an easy to use, space saving, hassle eliminating solution could be.
What are they saying?
“Why should an owner have to climb over his yacht’s gunwale to open the side boarding door from inside the cockpit? Hinckley Yachts asked that question. And then answered it. With the press of a key fob, the starboard-side boarding door on the Hinckley Yachts Picnic Boat 40 slides back and tucks away under the gunwale, creating a 2-foot-wide deck-level entrance.
As the door disappears, a teak step folds out, easing the transition from finger slip to boat. The system works, has had hours’ worth of endurance testing, and has zero impact on cockpit real estate, which is not the case with most inward-opening boarding doors.
That 30-second display of wow-cool technology has about 600 hours of engineering behind it. And it’s just one of many such features on the builder’s new flagship Picnic Boat which combines today’s leading technology with traditional Downeast styling.”
“The 40 is not light on creature comforts. It was made to be an entertainer, with all the appointments of a luxury craft, now arranged in a reimagined cockpit. It has its share of cool features, although my favorite is the powered hullside door. It opens with the click of a remote and slides neatly into the gunwale, rather than opening into the cockpit, so usable space isn’t sacrificed.”
“One thing Hinckley added is a hull-side door. On previous Picnic Boats, people would step on the swim platform and then use the transom door, or they would swing a leg over the side of the boat to get into the cockpit. On the 40, Hinckley added the door on the starboard side of the cockpit and created a nifty way to have it hide inside the hull, instead of taking up cockpit space when it swung open, says Peter Saladino, Hinckley’s chief marketing officer. Owners also didn’t want to lean over the gunwale (and the water) to reach an interior door handle, so Hinckley made the door remotely operated. O’Connell demonstrated the feature by pushing a button on the boat’s key fob, which caused the door to open, fold itself into a neat little package and then slip itself inside the gunwale.”