Brain-saving fabrication methods aside, the Picnic Boat's most impressive technology is controlled by a big teak-knobbed, rubber-booted joystick just to the right of the captain's articulated chair. (The chair itself is a U.S.-made Stidd unit originally designed for long-range military patrol boats, where coxswain comfort is important. Upholstered in white biz-jet leather as soft as Jell-O, each one costs Hinckley $8,000.) Though the Picnic Boat might look like it should go tump-tump-tump as it putts along at 6 knots from lobster pot to lobster pot, it in fact has a fully planing bottom, a 440-horsepower Yanmar straight-six diesel as big as a refrigerator, and a max speed of 28 knots (32 mph) via a pivoting New Zealand?built Hamilton jet drive controlled largely by that joystick. Today, New Zealanders are the world's jet-drive go-to guys, but the waterjet concept was developed in Ohio, just before World War II, by the clever minds at a company that built launch-size fireboats. They figured that they already had a high-pressure pump aboard to spray water on fires, so why not also use it to shoot water out the back of the boat to get to the fire? The technology worked just fine, but after a run of small jet-drive fireboats was made for the Coast Guard during the war, the concept lay dormant until the '90s, when it reappeared, mostly in big commercial craft and little jet skis. Hinckley was the pioneer in putting jet drives in midsize pleasure boats.