Reviewed by Richard Crowder
Except for the introduction of ventilated stepped hulls, technological improvements and refinements of the 24°-deadrise deep-vee, offshore-style hi-performance boat has been mostly evolutionary. Until now that is, with the introduction last year of Statement Marine’s first boat, the 42 Ultimate v-bottom.
What is revolutionary about this boat is its air-cushion cockpit designed to mitigate the effects of the constant pounding often experienced by the occupants of an offshore boat in heavy seas. Now air-cushion seat bases like the ones found in some high-end motor homes and tractor-trailer cabs have been experimented with in hi-performance boats in the past, but never an entire cockpit and the difference is like night and day.
Looking into the cockpit of the Ultimate 42, you would never notice or suspect anything is different from any other v-bottom. But out on the water you can see and feel the difference and it is a most pleasant, exciting, and rewarding experience. The entire cockpit “tub” including the floor, sidewalls, seats, and dash “float” together on an engineered sub-grid suspension on air-cushion shocks similar to those you find on the suspension of some tractor trailers. It truly is an engineering marvel, patented, and it works – very well.
I had a chance to experience the ride in some nasty waters of Tampa Bay off St. Petersburg, Florida, the home of Statement Marine. Two things really impressed me. One, the custom seats are designed strictly for sitting down, in itself unusual for a v-bottom, and are angled back in such a way as to take pressure off the tailbone and distribute weight more evenly. Being used to standing up, I was actually surprised just how totally comfortable, supportive, and agreeable the seating is. Secondly, with the dash and entire cockpit “floating” together, there was a feeling of being “at one” with the boat, as in any other v-bottom, and no sensation of bouncing around as you might at first expect. The “shocking” mechanism can be made firmer as desired and was adjusted perfectly as there was no bottoming out top or bottom, even in the nasty seas we were experiencing. We simply “floated.” The ride was so unbelievably smooth! And with the very level running attitude of the 42, visibility was excellent, even from the fully seated position.
Power in this first Ultimate 42 is staggered twin Mercury Racing 1075 SCi’s with #6 drives. We topped out at 125 mph that particular day with lots of air time but the boat has seen even more under more favourable water conditions.
Statement Marine’s second boat, introduced at this year’s Miami Boat Show, is also revolutionary and not only because it too has an air-cushion cockpit. This one is a 50-foot catamaran with a novel, patent-pending tunnel design and powered by twin turbines. Because turbines are so small, the space between them in the show boat was a hot tub for use at the dock or at anchor. Statement says that space could be custom designed for a number of uses including a theatre-surround system, cocktail bar, or whatever the potential owner desires.
These first two boats of Statement Marine are intended to indicate what their potential is. The relatively few boats built per year will all be custom finished, equipped, and outfitted according to the wishes of the buyer. There won’t be that many around in the next little while, so if you ever have a chance to inspect one up close, take advantage of the opportunity. They are intended to make a statement, and they sure do.
|Length:||42' 0"||12.8 m|
|Draft:||2' 6"||76 cm|
|Dry weight:||12000 lbs||5443 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||225 US gals||850 l|
|Engine / Drive:||twin Mercury Racing 1075 SCI's, #6 Drives|