Deep Impact Boats' 399 Takes Flight
At nearly 40 feet, Deep Impact Boats’ new 399 FE DI can hit an impressive top end of 72.3 mph with the ability of still providing comfort and stability for several activities on the water. "By offering a total fuel payload of 480 gallons, running the 399 at 4,500 rpm and 50 mph will offer more than a 500-mile range"
"We went into a hard turn and exited under full throttle and the 399 easily answered the call"
Article by: Chip Fendt
Photos: Deep Impact Boats
Deep Impact Boats has become a strong driving force with select pro fishing teams competing on the aggressive SKA offshore fishing circuit. Such models that can be found on the competitive tournament trail include its notable Monster Energy 360 Tournament Edition. But the Miami-based company has also become one of the leading builders of SUVs (sport utility vessels) designed for poker runners or recreational boaters looking to enjoy a plethora of activities on one platform.
General Manager Tim Gallagher and his crew at Deep Impact have put their hearts and souls into building some of the most excellent custom center consoles available. If your thing is fishing, cruising, or poker running, one should take a hard look at the company’s series of center consoles, including its latest effort, the 399 FE DI.
I recently caught up with Gallagher at The Conch Republic in Key West, FL, during the recent Offshore World Championships. Gallagher had previously pulled seven years with Cigarette Racing Team where he honed his understanding of construction and boat design prior to setting up Deep Impact.
During our test, the marina was filled with a series of high performance boats ranging from Cat’s, V-bottoms and SUVs displayed in the water and on land. To stand out in this crowd is tough. But the 399 with her trademark shear line did exactly that.
The moment I stepped on board the quality put into the soul of the 399 was evident. Coming from a boat building and design background, I understand what to look for and meticulous quality was not only found above deck, but below as well. All glass parts, hatches and compartments were painstakingly finished.
Settling in at the helm, the first thing I noticed was the unobstructed view of the bow. This is very helpful for maneuvering in tight confines and the three man drop-out bolster seating places the operator in the center of the boat - ergonomically correct and comfortable.
Directly in a plain line of sight is a wet compass, Mercury’s SmartCraft VesselView System and three mechanical fuel gauges. Flanking and slightly mounted inwards are two huge Garmin 5215 GPS touch screens offering a series of functions including 3D chart plotting, satellite weather service, radar, bottom topography, fish finder and my favorite, the LCD readout for all three engine functions.
The clearly marked carbon fiber switch panel is on the lower port side of the dash and one set of switches I have never seen before were four battery switches marked port, center, starboard and house. Gallagher explained they were part of a standard automatic battery switching system – simply jump on board, flip the switches and power up the boat. Just above, mounted in the T-top is a VHF, stereo system, water proof iPhone/iPad case and remote spotlight control that is set in a black carbon fiber panel.
Moving forward, down under the console the 399 offers a cavernous space with a head featuring a porcelain toilet, and stainless sink and shower, all enclosed in a finished, fiberglass inserted liner with an impressive six feet, ten inches of headroom. A synthetic teak floor might add a nice warm touch to this space.
The front of the console has two individual seats with grab handles and forward at the bow is a social area with U-shape seating. Upon a closer inspection, the aft sections of the rear cushions lift up and a stout, mechanical support locks them in place, creating a large lounge chair with drink holders - close your eyes and let the world go by.
Under the lounge seats is more dry storage and the clearly thought out anchor locker offers easy access from the deck. The forward cockpit floor offers two insulated storage boxes and the forward box was large enough for me to get in and just about close the hatch.
Moving to the rear of the cockpit, the 399 is custom outfitted to fish at the request of the owner. The rear of the front bolster offers enclosed tackle storage and when the lid is closed, it serves as a back rest for a reverse seat back. The base is a Frigid Ridged cooler with a cushioned pad snapped securely in place. The cooler can also be slid further aft for convenient access to the batteries under the bolster base.
Grab handles, drink and rod holders are mounted above and on either side of the console are two massive insulated coffin boxes that drain through macerated pumps overboard. Mounted on the transom is a very trick rear seat and Deep Impact engineered this seat base to lay flat against the transom when not in use. The base manually lifts into place and locks in with a sturdy, relaxed feel to accommodate three people with armrests and drink holders.
The starboard side of the transom offers a walk-thru to and from the platform with a stainless steel gate. On top of the transom are two additional hatches and the larger of the two compartments is rocket-style storage for four bumpers. When the remaining hatch is lifted, it reveals a large, lighted aerated bait well.
Please note this 399 is 13,800 pounds dry and is fully loaded without passengers. Under pay load it can weigh in excess of 17,000 pounds. The center tank has a 380-gallon capacity with two rear mounted 50-gallon auxiliary tanks for a total fuel payload of nearly 500 gallons. Running 4,500 rpm at 50 mph, the boat offers more than a 500-mile range.
Gallagher and I and three other adults left the marina and headed out into the harbor. Our test boat was powered by triple 350 SCi Mercury Racing Verado outboards spinning 23-inch pitch, four-blade Mercury Revolution 4 props. We aimed the 399 to open water and Gallagher brought her on top. There was no bow rise or loss of the horizon and acceleration was astonishing.
The sea conditions went from a confused chop in the harbor to real two- to three-footers with an occasional four-foot head sea. With 200-plus gallons of fuel on board and running 69 mph at 6,000 rpm, the boat was predictable and comfortable. The 399 actually left the water several times and needed to be throttled like a race boat. When we came off plane and were idling at rest, I realized how stable this 10-foot, seven-inch beam would be adrift - quite impressive to say the least.
Bringing the 399 back on plane in a following sea, I took her back into the harbor sashaying back and forth. I did this while varying the throttles in the mid- to upper speeds. The racer then came out in me and while making sure my passengers were secure, I went into a hard turn and exited under full throttle. The 399 easily answered the call.
I then turned the boat and made a full throttle pass running 6,200 rpm at 72.3 mph and 100.2 gph. My instincts then led to the question, who designed the bottom? Tim simply answered John Cosker, owner and designer of Mystic Power Boats as well as Eric Stuive of Fluid Design (who has also completed designs for Douglas Marine).
Following further inquiries about the hull, I was informed the 399 runs a twin -step design featuring multiple lifting strakes and is built with vinylester resin. Gallagher also explained Deep Impact completes its lamination process by initially cutting everything on a CNC router (that’s outsourced to a company called Mahogany in New Jersey). In turn, all the coring materials and fiberglass sheets are cut outside of the factory, which allows the company to simply place the pieces together upon completion. As a result, this process provides more consistency, less weight, strength and allows for a more accurate build time.
The 399 has been in the design stages for the past year and was officially completed and introduced at this year ’s recent Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Since its introduction, there’s no question the 399 will turn heads on the water for 2012. Following our test and sea trials, Deep Impact has proven that they are company that’s not only consistent with their boat and hull designs, but understand the demands of performance and functionality for the popular SUV center console market.
DRAFT: 28” (approx.)
DEADRISE: 24.5 degrees
FUEL CAP: 480 gal.
DRY WEIGHT: 13,800 (w/engines)
MAX HP: Triple 350 SCi Mercury Racing Verados
BASE PRICE: $405,955 w/Triple 350 SCi Mercury Racing Verados
$369,955 w/Triple 300 hp Mercury Verados
RPM MPH FuelFlow
2500 20 17.1
3000 30 22.8
3500 37 29
4000 45 35.5
4500 50.5 46.2
5000 57 60
5500 63.9 74
6000 69.4 97.8
6200 72.4 100.2
To learn more about Deep Impact Boats follow through to their website here: http://www.deepimpactboats.com/