Cavileer 44 Convertible — By Jeffrey Moser
— October 2005
Part 2: She owes her efficiency not only to Caterpillar, but to the Don Blount-designed hull.
We headed out through the Absecon Inlet for a handful of speed runs. As the crew made their way to the bridge, I stayed in the saloon to gauge the sound-deadening capabilities of the Nidacore-insulated sole and got noteworthy results: At idle I took a reading of 60 dB-A (65 dB-A is the level of normal conversation), meaning that the big Cats rumbling below were just a whisper. I repeated the test at 1500 rpm, and my decibel meter peaked at a quiet and impressive 65 dB-A.
The Atlantic Ocean was showing pea-soup fog, so we ran over to Absecon Bay for the speed trials. The Cats spooled up to a WOT of 2325 rpm, and the 44 hit a top end of 38.9 mph. At a cruise speed of 32.3 mph, the 44 burned 45 gph for an estimated 404-nautical-mile range—not bad considering that with a full load of fuel, water, and five passengers and their gear, she weighed in at more than 50,000 pounds.
She owes her efficiency not only to Caterpillar, but to the Don Blount-designed hull. The 44’s solid fiberglass hull features a moderate entry that flattens to 12 degrees of deadrise at the transom and has the similar, inverted bell-shape hull of the Cavileer 48; the pronounced, Carolina-influenced flare bulges again voluptuously between gunwale and waterline. Later at the dock when I traced its shape with my hands, I made the same hourglass-like outline that a 1930’s film gangster would mime when describing the figure of his best girl. This accounts for the 44’s roomy interior. In addition, the 44’s prop pockets reduce shaft angle and create a shallow, 3'3" draft.
The fog burned off in the early afternoon, so we made our way into the Atlantic and were promptly greeted by tightly bunched two- to four-foot seas. I was able to run the 44 at a comfortable 25 knots in a head sea without so much as a slap; she just plowed through the larger sets and sat softly in the troughs. She performed equally well in a quartering and following sea, and her power-assisted Teleflex steering was tight and responsive: The 44 carved tight turns near WOT with no loss in rpm and with considerable agility as I enjoyed unobstructed sightlines from the flying bridge.
In a crowded, competitive 40- to 50-foot sportfisherman market—even if you’re just considering New-Jersey-built production boats—Cavileer’s 44 Convertible stands out for her refined, roomy interior combined with the cockpit space and oceanfaring capabilities of larger sportfishermen. And for that, like General Washington long before me, I salute them.
Cavileer Boatworks ( (609) 965-8650. www.cavileer.com.
This article originally appeared in the November 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.