The striking 40-foot Tactical 40 is the brainchild of Tim Charles, principal of Richmond, British Columbia-based Platinum Marine Group, which builds megayachts under the Crescent Yachts brand. This is the first in his new line of “tactical-looking,” outboard-powered aluminum yachts. It was designed by Gregory C. Marshall to have a tough military look, but with yacht features and yacht ride quality. While speed wasn’t a priority, twin 627-horsepower Seven Marine outboards—the largest outboards in the world—can push the Tactical 40 along at up to 40 knots.
Like the exterior, the interior is finished primarily in grays and blacks that contrast well with the upholstery’s bold red-stitching. Not only is the interior styling stunning and modern, it adds to the “tactical” look.
The helm area is where things get even more appealing. Four massive 24” Garmin glass-cockpit screens are arrayed in a wall on both sides of the companionway. An aluminum rail that runs underneath the screens serves as a wrist rest in rough weather. The screens are backed by a row of four hydraulic S3 Shockwave professional series seats. These high-tech seats promise an easy ride when the going gets rough. The Tactical 40 is fitted with a molded, high-end Super Sport racecar wheel, which features integrated buttons that control programmable functions wirelessly. It’s not your traditional steering wheel, by any means. For those sunny days, an overhead powered skylight is an added bonus. The flooring in the salon is teak, but Ultradeck—a closed-cell foam material—is used in the helm area. This is an unusual feature and a great idea as it provides a superior grip and is soft underfoot.
ft of the helm, a C-shaped settee offers a cozy dining and lounging space. An aluminum table with built-in handholds drops down to convert to a second berth. To starboard is a linear galley that has everything for entertaining or extended cruising, with Caesarstone quartz countertops, a two-burner induction cooktop, convection microwave, and two stacked Vitrifrigo drawer fridge/freezer units. Two additional freezers are located under the cockpit’s forward settee.
The Tactical 40 was designed as a couple’s yacht, thus the single stateroom in the bow. It is opulent, with an island-queen berth and plush carpeting.
Four opening hull ports and two overhead hatches bring in plenty of light and ventilation. There’s ample room for clothing in two large hanging lockers and under-berth drawers.
In lieu of a second cabin, there is a head to starboard and a separate shower across the companionway. The head was fitted with a black carbon-fiber toilet. It matches beautifully with a raised, custom carbon-fiber sink, rich Ferrari red countertop, and glossy, wood cabinetry. The large shower compartment has a separate area for towel storage and dressing. Both the shower and dressing areas have teak grates and bench seating.
Redundancy is the keyword when it comes to systems. All the ship’s systems are integrated into a single C-Zone digital control and monitoring system, which can be connected wirelessly to an iPad. However, as a safety feature, physical switches were also installed to assure 100 percent backup. Overall, the system is absolutely state-of-the-art.
bin heating and on-demand hot water. A Seakeeper 6 gyro stabilizer was fitted to keep things on an even keel. A six-kilowatts Northern Lights generator provides auxiliary power and Ni-Cad house batteries should allow several days at anchor without running the generator. A low-maintenance watermaker provides ample fresh water to supplement the 100-gallon water tank. A sturdy black radar mast includes the latest FLIR gyro-stabilized night vision camera.
We tested the Tactical 40 in the Gulf Islands. Joysticks to either side of the cockpit made it a snap to ease us away from the dock. The joystick steering is somewhat different than usual because the outboards don’t articulate independently. Instead, the system uses a combination of steering, forward and reverse gears, and Side-Power proportional bow and stern thrusters married to joysticks. It works well.
Despite calm seas, we gave the Tactical 40 a good run and we found some large ferry wakes to crisscross. We plowed through them smoothly at speed and the Shockwave seats proved excellent ride dampeners.
The extreme torque of the twin Seven Marine supercharged, small block V8s are such that a computer governs acceleration to avoid loading up the drives too quickly. The huge four-blade props (19-inch diameter forward and 17.5 inches aft) take a huge bite. Counter-rotating, duo-prop gear cases are a new feature for the Seven Marine outboards—thanks to the company’s recent purchase by Volvo Penta.
At 27 knots (4,000 rpm) our fuel burn was 28 gallons per hour (gph). When we kicked it up to a fast cruise of over 33.5 knots (4,600 rpm), we were burning just under 35 gph. These numbers translate to about a mile per gallon—a testament to the efficient hull design. The all-hydraulic steering proved nicely responsive and we carved into sharp turns effortlessly with no slipping. On the plane, visibility over the bow was very good. The 40 proved to have a solid, comfortable feel at all speeds.
It is offered with many, many unique features, equipment, and built-in redundancy not normally seen on a yacht of this size. It’s not only military tough—and looks that way—but it comes with the a flawless fit and finish throughout that is certainly up to mega-yacht standards. Base price is $1.5 million CAD. Price as tested “ultimately equipped” is $1.9 million CAD. For more information, visit tacticalcustomboats.com.