IMG 400 Boat Review

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Boat Review Date: August 2010
Author: Mike Brown


On the face of it the IMG 400 is the boat for a buyer who does not much like boating – at 60 knots the experience is over pretty quickly. On the other hand it could also be the boat for someone who wants to spend the maximum time fishing on the edge of the shelf and the minimum time travelling. Or the boat for someone who simply likes going fast.

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As well as the fastest, at 12.2m this is the biggest centre console I have been on. Any centre console emphasises space; this one has vast quantities of it, and could probably accommodate all your fishing friends. Although once people knew you had an IMG you would probably have a lot more friends.

The hull has a pair of steps in the bottom, and a subtle hollowing near the transom. The designer inserted this when his extraordinarily expensive computer analysis discovered a pressure point there. This thoroughness in form extends to the finish. The hull obviously came out of a magnificent mould: the review boat was black, the colour to show up moulding imperfections, but I could not spot any.

And that standard of finish is everywhere: open a locker, lift up a seat, and you will see only off-mould surfaces.

IMGs are made, in small numbers by international standards, in Dubai for customers who are mainly owners of mega yachts and use their IMGs as daytime playthings. It goes without saying that the boats have to be equipped with the best of fittings, the most comfortable of seats, and be geared up to the last degree of fishing efficiency.

But that speed is the most conspicuous feature. If 60 knots is not enough you can order the 70-knot version with 350hp motors - or the 80-knot with jacking plates and surface-piercing propellers. And you would be able to use a fair percentage of the speed for a lot of the time even in WA’s waters. The trick at 60 knots is to get shelter from the console. Sit ahead of the console and the wind glues you to it; open your mouth and you feel your face inflating.

Our triple 300hp Verados were controlled by two levers. Press the docking button and the middle motor goes into neutral; press the single-lever button and one lever controls all three. Ideal for the lightly coordinated driver.

The console is understandably large, and has room in it for a complete bathroom. On its business side the console has an extensive array of switches and minor controls, a single large display for the top of the range electronics and, just below the eye line, three analogue rev counters – probably the most important items of all.

Suspension seats would be logical for a boat this fast, but it would be class discrimination for only the driver and offsider to get them. On the review day the resiliently upholstered driving lounge did a fine job and matched the ride characteristics well.

There are seats on board for 14 or 15. Six of them cantilever out from the bulwarks forward; within their moulded bases each of them is also an icebox. The wide driving seat has the bait tray grafted onto its rear, and within its base has endlessly useful compartments.

And yet more compartments in the form of lockers and pockets within the bulwarks; but the real storage bonanza is under the deck: eight lids bedded down on rubber gaskets conceal huge spaces. They are sized and equipped for tasks such as rod and fender storage and catch tanks, with space left over for items the size of hay bales.

The complete perimeter of the coamings is upholstered, and the bulwarks are high enough to put the padding way up the thighs of a standing angler. For extra security recessed grab rails are provided.

A hardtop shades the driving position, and for most customers that is enough shade. The imports to WA though have an awning to cover the entire foredeck (remember to take it down before you reach for the throttle). Another extra, curiously not provided as standard, that most local buyers would specify is a power windlass.

The transom is a busy and intricately designed item. It contains a sink, hot and cold shower, salt and fresh water deck wash; a neatly housed lounge unfolds from it, and a magnificent switchboard occupies a compartment in it.

The IMG 40 does not come cheap – or anywhere near it. It starts at AUD $390,000, and with a high level electronics fit-out and a few other extras the review boat pushed that to AUD $480,000. Clearly, volume sales are unlikely but, as it is with the likes of Bentleys and Ferraris, for those who want one nothing else will do.

Price from AUD $390,000
Price as reviewed AUD $480,000
Length overall  12.19m
Beam  3.40m
Weight 5.7T
Fuel capacity 1976L
Fresh water  190L
Maximum power  3 x 350hp
Motors fitted    3 x 300hp Mercury Verado 4-strokes