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Dawn and dusk are often the best times to fish, but the logistics of being in position when the sun is on the horizon involves a slog through the dark. A better scenario is to emerge from the cabin after spending a restful night on the water and immediately get to work, which is possible on a boat like Intrepid’s new 41 Valor. It can also accommodate Mercury’s Verado 600 hp V-12 outboards.
The Valor also includes a swim platform with plenty of room to walk behind the transom. This will be useful for a fisherman who needs to guide the line around the tall V-12s.
A thrilling run through a nasty Port Everglades Inlet in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, gave us a chance to put the stepped hull with 22.5 degrees of deadrise at the transom to a stress test, which it passed with ease. By keeping the speed in the low 30s on the ride out to the color change, the Intrepid 41 Valor’s hull handled the 3- to 4-foot seas without drama. Despite a confused sea state, the hull tracked straight with minimal helm input.
But the question remained: Can this multitasker fish? We were a little early for the annual winter sailfish bite off the South Florida coast, so we targeted late-season mahi instead. Deploying the optional outriggers, we trolled along the ragged sargassum weeds beat up by the rough seas and chased the plentiful birds that ultimately led us nowhere.
Live-bait anglers will appreciate the twin 25-gallon livewells set into each corner of the transom, each with their own pump. A worthy option is the Hooker sea chest with variable-speed pumps that ensure bait stays lively in any sea condition. There are 15 Gemlux rod holders, with 10 of them doing double duty as cup holders. The standard hardtop also comes with a SureShade retractable awning system that provided a welcome respite from the midday Florida sun. For more rod storage, owners can add rocket launchers. An in-deck fish box has a macerator.
Intrepid preserved all its cockpit space for fishing, thanks to features like a folding stern bench seat that retracts flush to the transom. A Frigid Rigid cooler is tucked under the doublewide helm seats and can slide out for refilling or to provide extra cockpit seating. You can still grab a drink when it’s slid forward and out of the way. To starboard, there’s a rear-facing jump seat positioned in front of the helm seats that can raise electronically to reveal storage underneath. A dive door to port makes access to the water easy and can also be used to help land large fish.
The layout of the 41 Valor is unconventional, with an amidships social seating area that can accommodate up to eight people. The console is similar to those on center-consoles, and part of the change from its predecessor model is a larger dash that can accept 22-inch Garmin multifunction displays. It’s pretty tall, though, and can hinder visibility for a couple of seconds upon launch when combined with the concave, enclosed bow section and slight bow rise. I’m 6 feet tall and found myself channeling my inner ballerina to keep the horizon in view during hole shots. But Intrepid mitigates this issue with a helm deck that can electronically rise 4 inches.
Unlike mega-center-consoles with abbreviated cabins, the one on the 41 Valor is large enough to handle a week in the Bahamas without feeling like you’re deployed on a submarine. It also helps that it’s extremely well-lit with 10 windows and hatches. A yacht-style head includes a stand-up shower with a door, a porcelain toilet, and a sink with a vanity. An abbreviated galley includes a refrigerator-freezer combo, a microwave, a Kenyon stovetop burner, a sink, and a working surface. The V-berth has a teak dining table that electronically lowers to become a filler sectional. And to increase its sleeping capacity to four, there’s an amidships berth with a queen-size bed.
The 41 Valor comes loaded with standard features like the Seakeeper 5 gyrostabilizer (DC only), windlass, SureShade, 9 kW diesel generator and air conditioning. Our test boat replaced the generator with a bank of four lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries, a growing trend. The standard power setup of triple Mercury Verado 400 hp V-10 outboards pushed the 41 Valor to a top speed of 57.8 mph with a 290-gallon fuel load. At its best cruise speed of 35 mph, it achieved 0.89 mpg. With a fuel capacity of 468 gallons, its range is a respectable 375 miles, factoring in a 10 percent reserve.
Another option is the twin Mercury Verado V-12 engine package, which adds $50,000 to the $1,247,000 price tag. According to Intrepid, the performance and fuel economy of the two Mercury power packages are similar.
Yet another option is three of the new Yamaha 5.6L V-8 450 hp XTO Offshore V-8 outboards, which replace the 425 XTOs. More than just adding 25 hp, these new Yamahas are far quieter and have a pleasing, deep-throated note at higher rpm rather than the previous 425 XTO’s more abrasive tone. Shifting is also smoother and quieter, especially noticeable when using the boat’s Helm Master EX FishPoint suite of precision maneuvering tools.
|Length:||41’9” (w/ swim platform)|
|Price:||$1,247,000 (w/ triple Mercury Verado 400 hp V-10s|
Intrepid Powerboats – intrepidpowerboats.com