Economical and accommodating, the M class makes a strong case for the multihull passage maker.
When it comes to stretching the horizon, it is hard to beat a big cat. Yet for a seagoing nation, we Brits have traditionally been shy in coming forward when it comes to multihulls. Whether it is because of our ever-crowded marinas or our conservative tastes, we tend to ignore the advantages that two slender hulls offer in terms of displacement cruising.
Such simple logic has not been lost on Prestige Yachts, whose new M48 heads up their new M range – craft embracing the concept that less can mean more. Fully fuelled and loaded at 23 tonnes, and powered by just twin 320hp Volvo D4s on V-drives, this boat can reach a top speed of 20 knots. Alternatively, it can slip by at 8 knots returning 2.3nmpg, providing a range of 600 nautical miles from its 1200-litre fuel tank. If need be, you can take further advantage of its displacement speed potential and crack on at a swifter pace, as Prestige quote a range of 250 nautical miles at its fast cruising speed of 18 knots.
Frugality is just one side of the coin with a multihull; the other is space. In this case, this 48-footer exceeds the interior volume of a 60-foot monohull. In particular, its dedicated owner’s cabin offers a huge suite, measuring 5 metres wide, with a total surface area of 18 square metres. It features a king-size master bed and exceptional storage options, as well as en suite access to a bathroom with shower on the port side, and a separate toilet compartment to starboard. Prestige claim that as a result of the craft’s unique interior design, the volume of the hulls is optimised to a greater degree than any other catamaran on the market. This layout affords the option of two identical guest cabins boasting queen-size beds, each of which may be converted into two single beds, all facing the sea. Each cabin benefits from access to its own en suite heads compartment. The large panoramic windows in the hull sides, and opening hull ports, provide guests with perfect bed-level views of the sea. Should you need even more sleeping accommodation, there is an alternative four-cabin layout, where the forward master cabin is sacrificed to create two en suite double cabins. Last, and certainly not least, is the ‘crew cabin’, which Prestige label as the ‘skipper’s cabin’. This comprises a deck hatch-accessed sleeping compartment in the forepeak of the port-side hull, and a heads located in the starboard forepeak. Realistically, this would likely make a youngster’s hideaway.
Garroni Design deserve credit for the attention to detail found below decks. In particular, the 22-square metre saloon benefits from an abundance of natural light flooding in from the large expanse of windows. The M48 offers carefully selected finishes, with woodwork in high-gloss walnut. The floorboards are available in brushed light-oak hardwood. The countertops in the galley and the interior table are offered in black marbled ceramic (optional). A wide selection of interior and exterior upholstery options enables you to personalise the interior atmosphere. You even have the option to order custom bed linen in certified ‘organic materials’. Bathrooms feature hazelnut Corian countertops. All exterior furnishings on the boat are constructed in materials that are perfectly adapted to external use at sea.
The galley, positioned to the starboard side of the saloon, services the cockpit through a window that opens flush to the roof. This crucial part of the boat features a generous U-shaped countertop, complemented by substantial storage lockers – important for those longer cruises. The cockpit is perfectly designed for entertainment, with two tables, one of which unfolds to create an immense tabletop that is capable of accommodating up to eight guests. An ice maker and extra storage lockers effectively create a galley extension, all of which sits under the protection of the flybridge overhang. An electric aft platform is set between the twin bathing platforms. When lowered, this platform forms a 6-metre-wide terrace across the stern. Alternatively, it is capable of serving as a tender lift, a waterfront cockpit terrace or a staircase into the sea. Forward of it lies a hatch to a vast storage locker enabling the stowage of a wide selection of water toys.
Super-wide side decks, enclosed in suitably tall guard rails, lead round to an expansive foredeck. A generous forward sundeck accommodates three people. Facing the sundeck, a 5-metre-wide bow lounge sits between the hulls, featuring a large U-shaped sofa with a removable table. This layout is designed to allow easy access to the anchor windlass and fender storage lockers when needed. Needless to say, the flybridge is likely to be the most popular spot on the boat, and sensibly it is served by steps at a gentle 45-degree angle. With a footprint of 20 square metres, this area offers a high degree of creature comfort. A wide bench seat allows the skipper to sit comfortably at the helm station. To starboard, eight people can be seated on U-shaped bench seating around the teak table, while enjoying a fully equipped bar. Aft, a vast sun pad provides the perfect place to soak up the sun. The entire forward area of the flybridge can also be protected by a full-beam hardtop should you choose this option.
Like all catamarans, the M48 is built to accommodate as much as it is built to clock up sea miles. The question is: with the ever-increasing focus on fossil fuel consumption, will we warm to the multihull concept? I hope so.
- This 48-footer exceeds the interior volume of a 60-foot monohull. In particular, its dedicated owner’s cabin offers a huge suite, measuring 5 metres wide, with a total surface area of 18 square metres.
- King-size master bed
- En-Suite bathroom
- Separate WC
- Two identical guest cabins with queen beds, each of which may be converted into two single beds, all facing the sea.
- LOA: 14.79m
- Hull length: 14.37m
- Beam: 6m
- Draught: 1.08m
- Displacement (light): 17.5 tonnes
- Displacement (full load): 23 tonnes
- Engines: 2 x Volvo Penta D4 320hp on V-drives
- Fuel capacity: 1200L
- Water capacity: 600L
- Rating: B for 12
- Performance cruising: 8–18 knots (claimed)
- Max. performance: 20 knots (claimed)
- Range: 250nm at 18 knots; 600nm at 8 knots
- Expected on water price circa £1.2m excl. VAT