Genesis 400 Targa Review

Issue: September 2001

Like many of its peers, the Kiwi built Targa is designed with entertaining and outdoor living in mind. This leisure market is already targeted by our locally produced Riviera 4000, Mariner and Mustang, plus a variety of imports including Bayliner, Fairline, Princess and Sea Ray. So competition in the category is hot.

Genesis used the 2001 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show as the Australian launching pad for the 400 Targa test boat. Designated the Genesis 400 Targa, this smart looking Kiwi boasts a large open-plan cockpit coupled with a versatile hard top. The overall impression of cockpit space is further enhanced by an oversized boarding platform that works well as an extension to this area. These features are aimed directly at the Australian way of boating and should easily find a niche in the local market.

But the Genesis 400 differs to its sisters in both layout and construction. New Zealand boat builders are great fans of core construction, where fibreglass is used over a foam core for the hull lay up. Genesis Marine is no exception. Although cored construction is used for a variety of reasons including strength and weight reduction, one noticeable benefit is the apparent soft ride it produces. But in most cases the ride merely seems softer than a conventional laid-up hull. It’s an impression that arises from the thickness and insulating properties of cored hulls, which generate little hull noise when underway.

That said, there’s no denying the Genesis 400 does give an exceptionally good ride in offshore conditions. The forward design of the hull means it doesn’t pound or plough into the seas, thus delivering a dry ride. The result is a comfortable, easy going boat that’s a joy to take to sea. Even the engine room is well insulated, enabling passengers to carry on a conversation even while powering along at 20 knots in a big sea.

The driver has excellent hull control in all conditions and little trim tab is needed to get the boat balanced when working hard. The hull handles the V-drive installation well, turning tight without labouring on the propellers and without cavitation. Below decks the layout is conventional with a diagonal double berth in the bow and a transverse convertible single/double berth tucked back in under the cockpit.

Both cabins are luxuriously finished with top quality fabrics and materials. Someone call room service because these are more like rooms in a luxury five-star hotel than boat cabins. The saloon/galley area is enormous with good headroom, a high standard of finish and oozes class. With the number of sports cruisers around 12m now available you can order interior layouts and decors to suit all tastes. But it’s the cockpit layout and fixed hardtop that stand the Genesis 400 out from the rest.

The hardtop and glass screens to the front and sides of the helm station ensure that the pleasure of being on the water can be enjoyed in any weather. The hardtop also provides shelter over most of the cockpit which is well appreciated under the harsh Aussie sun.

The cockpit design that is as good as you will get – well thought out and functional. There’s plenty of room to move about, good seating, plus all the facilities are close at hand. Why not relax around the folding table enjoying a drink or a snack, safe in the knowledge the recessed drink holders will stop your drink ending up in your lap?

When opened the table can handle a dinner party, but it can also be dropped down to form a large sun lounge or additional double sleeping berth. This area also features clever circular seating with offset fixtures that don’t encroach on the overall cockpit space.

But what really caught our eye was the enormous rear boarding/swim platform. It can hold a decent size inflatable or a PWC with ease. Open the rear transom doors on each side of the transom mounted sink and BBQ module, and you’ll see the platform also doubles as another entertaining or cooking area when safely at anchor, tied up at the marina, or rafted up with a few other boats.

During the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, the guys from Genesis Marine arranged an onboard BBQ. Guests could move around freely or congregate around the barbie, a classic boatie lifestyle look that grabbed the attention of passing showgoers.

In the crowded pleasure cruiser market, the unique layout of the Genesis 400 sets this boat apart.

There are plenty of hardtops around, but few offer the fully glazed enclosure of the Genesis 400’s main cockpit.

But despite its solid design, the hardtop doesn’t detract from the outdoors feel of the open cockpit and the overall open-air lifestyle it infers. The boat has a clever transom mounted, built-in BBQ, sink, a huge boarding/swim platform and the wide dual transom doors.

Genesis Marine has paid plenty of attention to detail during the 400 Targa’s construction and it shows. For the $415,000 price tag you get a design that’s subtly different from its competition in a powerful, soft and quiet riding hull.

The Genesis 400 Targa is a new boat for the new millennium and the beginning of a new era for Genesis Marine.

Engine Room
The Genesis 400 Targa is powered by twin 260hp Volvo KAMD44P EDC diesel V-drives that propel the boat to a top speed of 28 knots at 4000rpm.

The twin diesels have more than enough power. At 3300rpm the boat cruises effortlessly, before reaching a top speed of 28 knots. The hull also holds on the plane easily at 2500rpm.

Other speed to rpm readings are: 10 knots at 2000; 17.5 knots at 2800rpm; 19 knots at 3000rpm; 24 knots at 3500 and 28 knots at 4000rpm.

To determine the exact point the hull gets on the plane is difficult because the hull trims well at speed. It slides effortlessly from displacement to planing mode.

Story by David Toyer