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power-marquis_40sc-largeYou can tell what time of day it is perfectly well with a Timex. So why do so many people wish that they owned a Rolex?

It's the same kind of comparison you might make between the Marquis 40SC and any other 40-footer that's on the market today. Italy's Nuvolari Leonard designed the Marquis 40SC and it combines genuine, cutting edge European flair with American-style muscle to produce a boat that is breathtaking both visually and in terms of its performance.

Whether at a distance or up close, you know that this boat was designed to be something special. The dramatic lines are accented by a striking wine-colored topsides paint job that's extremely distinctive. The parchment and wine colours theme is carried throughout the boat. The dark stained cherry wood floors are beautiful and as soon as you open the cabin door, the very modern decor both welcomes you and impresses you with its clean lines and lack of clutter.

As if the exterior lines weren't dramatic enough, the most stunning design element is that the entire cabin roof is virtually glass. More than half is an electric sunroof that opens at the touch of a button. To keep the cabin cool, two massive sunshades can also be deployed electronically. For added privacy, our test boat had very attractive snap off blinds on the aft bulkhead while the side glass has external snap covers.

This is perhaps the brightest and most open-feeling cabin I have ever been in. We'll revisit the cabin, but first let's take the systematic tour from bow to stern.

Substantial polished bow rails with a remote-control spotlight surround the deck. There is an anchor and chain locker with electric windlass; the test boat had an enormous and very thick optional sun pad that is big enough for a whole group of people. Marquis has given the 40SC proper side decks and extensive handrails. The decks are flat with a good nonskid finish. Big side decks are a feature we always like to see on larger boats (Incidentally, from the deck, it's possible to get onto the cabin roof to service electronics or do other things.)

The side decks descend a couple of steps into the cockpit with its glorious teak flooring. It is a remarkable cockpit. The roof overhangs for protection from sun and rain. Our boat had the optional second refrigerator and cockpit icemaker and under the aft bench seat are cavernous storage areas. A big stainless steel tube carries a good size table that has the same high gloss finish as the interior tables; a protective cover is included.

To convert into a larger outdoor dining area, touch a button and an entire section of floor including the seat glides out on a track, increasing the cockpit space by a good foot and a half.

This creates an outside dining area to accommodate up to six. Other features include the swim platform ladder, hot and cold shower, storage lockers port and starboard and, in the sole, a large hatch lifts for access to the engine room.

The rigging appeared to be well done and all systems were quite accessible, particularly the Raycor fuel filter, the oil change system and the fuel lines and hardware. The Volvo Penta IPS engines are under the cockpit sole by the transom and even the drives are easily accessed and several engine room lights are included.

Now back into the cabin! To starboard as you enter is a spacious U-shaped couch with a permanently mounted table that has two leaves. The table is on an eye-catching extruded aluminum post, mounted at an angle and it rises electrically. Very cool.

Marquis has thoughtfully included shore power outlets here so you can run your electronics conveniently and there are large storage areas under the seats.

Just ahead is the helm with a double-wide seat that slides for reach and has a flip-up bolster. Under the seat are a handy utility bin and another locker, convenient to the captain. The helm is expansive but simple because all the engine information is on Volvo digital screens and a pair of Raymarine E120s provides GPS, plotter, radar and other navigation functions.

The elegant sport steering wheel tilts for standing or seated operation. It's interesting to note that Marquis placed the IPS joystick on the centerline of the boat. Clever. This makes it far easier to judge docking distances when you are almost in the dead center of the boat.

Opposite is a very attractive galley with real granite counter tops, a two-burner ceramic stovetop, a stainless steel single sink with designer fixtures and suitable storage space. Marquis has used the creative and attractive accent of metallic silver paint to blend with the stainless steel appliances for a very harmonious effect. There is a lighted liquor cabinet in the companionway and the head and sleeping accommodations are down three steps.

The master stateroom is in the forward Vee. The queen-size berth has a pair of large drawers underneath, side storage, a large overhead hatch and twin fixed portholes on either side. There is also a hanging locker, two other lockers and a convenient dressing seat.

On the port side of the companionway is the head which features polished marble tile floor and a Vacuflush MSD. An attractive glass vessel type sink maximizes counter space and we were impressed with the designer faucets in the bathroom and in the fully enclosed, glass door shower.

For the kids or occasional guests, there is a quarter berth. In the test boat, it was finished with a pair of single berths but a second queen berth is an available option. This handy little cabin can also be completed as an office. It has generous storage and our test boat had an optional flat screen TV and DVD entertainment system here.

All this is very nice but what really makes the high style Marquis 40SC worthy of its name is the performance the twin Volvo Penta IPS 600 drives deliver. These are actually 435 hp each and Marquis has a hull that really makes the most of these drives. We could plane off in just over 10 seconds from a standing start and in well under 20 seconds the Marquis 40SC was traveling at its full speed of 41.1 mph.

That's really flying for a 40-footer! What particularly impressed us was the very flat ride angle leaving a surprisingly small way while delivering an impressively soft ride. This 40-footer runs like a boat half its size. You can really toss it around and you can confidently drive through nasty weather. The IPS drives, at wide-open throttle, are using a combined total of less than 40 gallons per hour so it's actually getting better than 1 mile per gallon. That strikes us as surprisingly economical but if you really care about fuel consumption, idle along using 0.66 gallons per hour yet traveling 4.9 mph.

Back to the Timex/Rolex analogy...on a glorious sunny day with the massive sunroof wide open, this yacht makes every place feel like the Mediterranean and every driver feel like the Greek tycoon. It is a boat that can transform you. So, what is that worth?

By Andy Adams

To see if this boat is available, go to www.boatcan.com to check listings!