48 Atlantique — By George L. Petrie — August 2000
|Part 2: The best was yet to come...|
After said launch, we proceeded directly to a nearby marina to take on a half-load of diesel, since the boat had been shipped with minimal fuel. We were joined there by a Volvo Penta technician who performed a thorough inspection of the twin 480-hp TAMD-74P diesels and set up the fuel-flow gear we would use in our performance tests.
The combination of twin screws and a bow thruster made for easy maneuvering, even in close quarters with gusting winds on the beam. The lower helm was comfortable and well designed, with instrumentation and controls in plain sight and easy reach and clear sight lines all around. Even the electrical panel is within easy view of the helm, behind a Plexiglas door under the dashboard.
We ran our performance trials in Government Cut where a fresh breeze kicked up only about a six-inch chop. Wide open, our top speed was a tad over 35 mph and we measured 85 dB-A
at the helm (65 is the level of normal conversation). Throughout the range of rpm, visibility from the lower helm was good, with little bow rise evident.
The trials were informative, but the best was yet to come, because this 48 was due for delivery to Pompano, Florida, later that day. We dropped the Volvo Penta technician back at the marina, shot out through the inlet, and headed north. Thankfully, forecasted eight- to 10-foot seas failed to develop, though we ran into four- to five-foot waves relentlessly coming in on the starboard bow, with the occasional six- to eight-footer thrown in for good measure. In a lesser sea boat, the trip may have been a test of endurance, but the Cranchi 48 made it a pleasure. With the throttles set at 2100 rpm (automatically synchronized) and our course dialed in on the autopilot, we sat back on the flying bridge and soaked up the warm Florida sunshine all the way to Lighthouse Point. Making better than 20 knots in those seas, the boat was solid as a rock, with very little roll and no pounding or slamming.
The generous deadrise in her deep-V hull is one reason for her superb handling in a seaway. Equally important, though, a low center of gravity provides a stable ride. To keep the weight low and reduce rolling motion, Cranchi places the 48's engines deep into the hull and builds her superstructure and flying bridge of lightweight laminates that include DuPont Kevlar and carbon fiber.
Just as apparent were the quality touches that lend comfort and enhance appearance. Buttery soft leather, fine silk, and cotton combine with brilliant cherry and teak finishes throughout the interior. All three staterooms are roomy and bright, with opening side ports offering natural ventilation. Both heads are well proportioned, with separate shower enclosures, large mirrors, ample counter space, and nicely sized cabinets.
The engine space is equally well laid out, with two large hatches providing easy access to all equipment. Unusual for a boat this size, there's plenty of room to get at all sides and the top of both engines. And the Fisher Panda genset is even more accessible, located directly beneath the aft engine room hatch. Also notable, the air conditioning system is a three-zone, 48,000-BTU Marine Air system. To cut the start-up load on the genset, the system uses a pair of 24,000-BTU chillers that are located inside the engine room to reduce noise in the accommodation space.
Europeans are famous for crafting finely fitted yachts, but only the best builders take extra steps to ensure those vessels arrive in the United States in exactly the same condition that they left the factory. That's why you can tell a lot about a builder by how it protects its vessel aboard freighters. In fact, you could say that in this case, you can judge a boat by her cover.
Cranchi, U.S. Office Phone: (305) 867-4355. Fax: (305) 867-4350.
George L. Petrie is a professor of naval architecture at the University of New Orleans and provides maritime consulting services. His Web site is www.maritimeanalysis.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.