Navigator 48 Classic Pilothouse: Sea Trial

Navigator 48 Classic Pilothouse: It's cruise-ready and comfortable.

13th January 2004.
By Connie Cassinetto

When it came to comfort and performance, the 48 delivered both.

When it came to comfort and performance, the 48 delivered both.

The Navigator 48 Classic pilothouse motoryacht is decked out with all the bells and whistles a cruising family could want — and then some. Its entertainment center and wet bar set it up for effortlessly entertaining family and friends, so that everyone aboard can have a good time.

In addition to its convenience amenities, the 48 Classic also delivers on horsepower, handling and cruising comfort.

Navigator Yachts, founded in 1988 by the Jule Marshall family — creators of the legendary Californian yacht line — specializes in building luxury cruising yachts with numerous practical features built-in. Navigator yachts are known for their quiet operation, soft ride, useable power and enviable fuel economy.

The company’s semi-custom motoryachts, built in Navigator’s own facility in Southern California, feature made-to-order interiors and custom options. Navigator hallmarks include efficient hull designs, superb visibility from the pilothouse or saloon and owner-selected custom fabrics.

Our test boat more than lived up to the Navigator reputation — and when it came to comfort and performance, the 48 delivered both admirably.

Plush, Yet Practical

We tested the 48 Classic off Alameda, California, on a calm late summer day. Our test boat was provided by H & S Yachts, the California dealer for Navigator Yachts.

This boat handled well at sea and was remarkably quiet throughout the sea trial, at all speeds. At 37,000 pounds and with a 15-foot beam, it sat proud in the water, cutting through a slight chop without any noticeable roll.

We really enjoyed riding in this boat — and piloting it was even better. The hydraulic steering and controls made the job of steering almost effortless.

We tested the boat at a variety of speeds, from 6.6 knots at 1,000 rpm to a wide-open speed of 21 knots at 2,800 rpm. Even at top speed, the boat made little noise and glided easily through the water.

At all speeds, the boat handled well and was responsive to the helm. At a cruising speed of about 17 knots at 2,300 rpm, it consumed about 22 gallons of fuel per hour — providing an economical .8 mpg fuel burn rate. Even at top speed, it consumes only about 33 gallons of fuel per hour.

Our test boat was equipped with twin 318 hp Volvo Penta diesels. The standard equipment package includes a 5 kw generator, but our test boat had an optional 10 kw Kohler generator installed. Both the engines and the generator are freshwater cooled.

The boat’s ZF transmission has a ratio of 2.45 to 1, so it spins at a lower rpm — creating improved handling capabilities at low speeds. The test boat engines were turbocharged, and the boat was equipped with a bow thruster for the ultimate in close-quarters boat handling convenience.

Racor fuel filters and two 250-gallon aluminum fuel tanks are standard equipment. The house and starting batteries are wired separately. The new model also features underwater exhaust as standard equipment.

The roomy 5- by 14-foot cockpit has a swing-in transom door, lights, skid-resistant decks, welded stainless steel rails and sturdy stainless steel hardware.

The engine room access is through a hatch in the cockpit, so there’s no need to get the saloon dirty or move furniture or floorboards when it’s time for maintenance. The engine room is quite large — and it can even accommodate a few stored carry-on items, such as a bicycle or scuba gear.

It’s also well illuminated, with six overhead lights, so that you can find whatever you need in a hurry. Built-in drip pans for the engines keep the bilge oil-free.

A Look Inside

The 48 Classic’s interior is trimmed in cherry wood, throughout the boat. A high-gloss finish can be ordered for the saloon and galley, which really gives the boat a classic look. The boat we tested had high-gloss finish throughout the galley and saloon, with matte finish wood in the staterooms.

The saloon, with its buttery soft faux leather wrap-around settee, is roomy enough to accommodate family and guests. Custom upholstery choices are “standard” on the 48 Classic — and so is carpeting throughout, indirect lighting, tinted windows, mini blinds and accent drapes.

Popular entertainment options include a Bose sound system with a two-zone multiple source system, for impressive sound throughout the boat. Buyers can also opt for a built-in flat-screen television, which is cable-ready.

The newest version of the 48 Classic has a galley return with bar seating and a slightly bigger saloon. A full-size GE refrigerator is available as an option. The galley sports Moen faucets and molded Corian galley countertops.

The master stateroom comes complete with a queen-size berth, dual full-size hanging lockers, under-berth storage and plenty of drawer space. You won’t have a problem finding places for all your clothes and gear on this boat. All of the 48′s hanging lockers are cedar-lined, which keeps your clothes and stored goods fresh and ready to go.

Our test boat’s master stateroom had a convenient option for cruisers: a GE Spacemaker washer and dryer, hidden behind a locker door.

The boat we tested had two guest staterooms — and both were comfortably appointed and roomy, with an abundance of storage options. One guest stateroom would easily accommodate a couple.

The third stateroom — part of a new layout for the 48 — was equipped with twin bunks that would work well for kids.

The 48′s two head compartments offer fully enclosed stall showers, wood soles and electric marine heads. VacuFlush heads are available optionally.

The pilothouse on this boat is roomy, with a table that can easily seat a group. One of the best things about this boat is the 360-degree visibility from the pilothouse.

Steering from the pilothouse is a breeze, as two windows built into the corners of the stern afford great visibility for backing up to a dock or turning around in tight quarters. The side door, with easy access to the bow, is all glass — and the windows throughout the pilothouse are large and abundant, so the skipper can easily see what is going on outside, both to port and to starboard.

The 48′s custom pilothouse cabinetry affords plenty of space for electronics — and the comfortable Flexsteel helm seat can be adjusted to fit any skipper’s legroom needs.

The boat we tested did not have electronics installed, other than the standard engine instrumentation. New owners can pick and choose exactly the navigation gear they want, without having to remove equipment that doesn’t meet their individual needs.

Standard equipment on the flybridge includes a helm seat, a wrap-around windshield and a large panel area for electronics and storage. The boat comes equipped with a fiberglass radar arch, international running lights and night lights. Visibility from the flybridge is unimpeded from any direction.

The Navigator 48 Classic pilothouse motoryacht provides all the necessary entertainment options for a fun time on the water for the whole family, as well as the serious mechanics needed to deliver a safe, smooth ride.

This boat was a dream to operate, and it offered a great ride. It’s definitely a “boater’s boat.”

Navigator 48 Classic Pilothouse Specifications

Length 52’8″
Beam 15′
Draft 4’5″
Weight 37,000 pounds
Fuel capacity 500 gallons
Water capacity 130 gallons
Propellers 28″ x 28″ 4-blade bronze
Maximum power twin 318-hp Volvo Penta diesel engines

Performance

Top speed 24.5 knots
Miles per gallon at 16-knot cruising speed .8
Range at 16-knot cruising speed 400 miles
Sound level at 16-knot cruising speed 72 dBA

Standard Equipment

Antifouling bottom paint; 6 kw auxiliary generator; stainless steel hardware; radar arch; windshield; engine drip pans; heavy-duty batteries; battery charger; bronze seacocks and sea strainers; mini-blinds; accent drapes; Corian countertops; full shower stall enclosure; wood sole in galley; electric marine toilet; chrome fixtures; microwave oven.

Options

Air conditioning/heat; Bose Lifestyle 25 surround sound system; cockpit and bridge speakers; Brower Systems 800-pound davit; VacuFlush heads; refrigerator w/ice-maker; 19-inch television/DVD player in master stateroom; 27-inch flat-screen television/VCR combo in saloon; washer/dryer.

Construction

Fiberglass modified-V hull.

For More Information

Navigator Yachts Inc.
Perris, Calif.
(909) 657-2117
www.navyachts.com


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