boatingmag.com

Walker Bay Generation 390

For your eyes only.

They Say: The 12’10”-by-6’4″ Generation 390 is the coolest-looking, best-equipped, smoothest-riding RIB of its size.

We Say: RIBs usually make boaters think of Jacques Cousteau, but Walker Bay’s Generation 390 is James Bond all the way. Its molded transom trunk is straight off the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger. Its teak trim and racy console echo the styling of the inboard launch used in Man With the Golden Gun. And its deep-V hull, sharper than other RIBS this size, might have landed soft had it jumped the highway in Live and Let Die. In all it’s the perfect small boat to tour Monaco’s waterfront casinos — or any harbor — in style. It also has zip. Powered by Honda’s new BF50 EFI outboard, my tester hit 32.1 mph. On a 13′ boat, that’s fast enough for thrills. It corners without sliding, thanks to the deep-V, and in a steep chop, with two aboard, I managed a comfortable 18-mph ride into the waves — a good showing for a mighty mite in those conditions. The lockers beneath the transom trunk are larger than those aboard the competition, but I wish that they drained. Walker Bay says they will on subsequent boats, so check. Because the Generation 390 is Walker Bay’s first fiberglass-laminated hull — as opposed to the injection molding upon which they made their name — that omission is understandable. The finished boat is slick and functional.

Who’d Want One: A guy who wants a tender that also works well as a tiny runabout.