Over the past year, we’ve watched NorthCoast Boats build their new flagship model, the 415HT, which is their first model built from CNC tooling and also the first designed in collaboration with an outside firm—Langan Design Partners. Now we’ve taken a ride on hull #1, and—as predicted by NorthCoast owner Jose DaPonte—the boat is exceeding expectations on every level, even for the designers. 

Controlled Speed

Representing the designers, Sam Howell joined 13 other lucky passengers on an overcast blustery day (the day after Billy Black took these photos) and found himself very impressed with the combination of speed and control. “The boat hit 54.5 miles per hour in rough seas,” he says. “It just GOES! She would have gone faster with fewer folks, but it was great to see all the smiles.”

Craig DaPonte from NorthCoast Boats handled the helm, and once outside the harbor, he put the throttles down. “It does not take much to get this boat up onto a plane; there is no hesitation,” Sam says. “At slow speed, the bow sits slightly up, but at a cruise of 35-40 mph, it comes close to horizontal. Visibility from the helm is fantastic at all speeds.”

Once out in open water, Craig slowed to neutral and shut off the Seakeeper stabilizer, letting the boat sit beam to the waves as if drift-fishing. “The boat started rolling uncomfortably,” Sam says. But when the Seakeeper was turned back on, “within 30 seconds, the roll dissipated.” That increased stability will be a great creature comfort for both offshore fishing and family cruising. 

The Seakeeper stabilizer reduces roll, even beam on to waves.

Comfortable pilothouse

Fourteen people sounds like a crowd, but Sam says there was room for eight in the pilothouse—and even with the aft door open, they could all enjoy the excellent sound system from Wet Sounds. “The settee can easily seat four. With the aft door open, conversation is normal; closed, you barely hear the engines. The helm station is clean and efficient, and everyone liked the layout—especially the Release Marine seats, which are a huge hit.” And with dual Raymarine monitors, digital switching through Yacht Sense, Zipwake Interceptors, and Yamaha’s Helm Master, “Everything is at fingertip control.”


Back up on a plane again, Craig went in search of waves to show off the boat’s maneuverability. “The boat turns like it is slalom skiing,” Sam says. “When a large wave broke in front of the boat, it just went through it like a knife. And 54.5 mph does not seem threatening.”

According to Sam, “The consensus of those aboard familiar with smaller NorthCoast models is that this big boat feels like it has the NorthCoast DNA. Even though it has a lot of horsepower, it is easy to handle, so it will not get less experienced drivers into trouble.”

Returning to the marina, Sam noted that Craig brought the boat alongside the dock as if he had already steered it thousands of times. “The maneuverability, control, and ease of handling all exceeded my expectations,” he adds. “I’m eager to go back out with fewer folks on board and really put her through the paces.”

Multiple outboards provide a top speed of 57MPH+.

Beyond excited

After explaining that NorthCoast is “beyond excited about this boat,” Sam warns anyone thinking about a test ride to “Be prepared for a wide grin on your face! It was a long road to get here—but the end result is stunning, fast, and responsive. More importantly, it is fun! This boat is going to be a standout,” he predicts; “no other boat has a similar combination of layout, performance, range, configuration, and price.” 

For more details and photos, visit our NorthCoast 415HT project page or visit NorthCoast Boats

Photos by Billy Black