Silverton 45 Convertible — By Capt. Patrick Sciacca
— December 2005
Bridging the Gap
With the success of its 42- and 50-foot convertible, this New Jersey builder adds a 45 to ease the transition into big-boat ownership.
I was sitting on my boat at my hometown marina in Freeport, New York, when a voice called out from down the dock, “Hey kid, you gotta see dis” in a distinctly Brooklynese tone. It was the captain of a Silverton 48 Convertible dubbed Caribbean Queen. The boat was spending the summer in my marina, and since Capt. Joe and I had exchanged hellos and shared dock talk over the season, he was inviting me onboard to see his boat. I took him up on the offer, especially knowing that I had an upcoming sea trial on Silverton’s prototype 45 Convertible just a few days later, and this would give me a good opportunity to understand the look, layout, and philosophy behind this New Jersey builder’s bigger boats.
The 2003 48 was impressive. I especially liked the electric panel behind the flat-panel LCD TV, to starboard just as you enter the saloon from the cockpit. I simply flipped up the TV, and there it was. I also liked the galley-up, large dinette to starboard, and L-shape Ultraleather settee to port. In addition, the 715-hp Volvo Penta D12s were housed in an engine room that gave me stand-up headroom (I’m 5'7").
After spending about an hour onboard listening to the captain praise the virtues of this 48, including how he ran her in six-plus-footers from New York City to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, last season without issue, I was ready to see what her new little sister had to offer. That is if you consider this 45-footer, which bridges the size difference between Silverton’s 42- and 50-footer, little.
The minute I spotted her at the docks of New York’s Tobay Beach Boat Show, I was struck by the 45’s lines. Her wraparound windshield allows light to flood into the saloon, narrowing at the sides and accenting the raked flying bridge and curvaceous pilasters, which are equipped with sturdy stainless steel handholds. They not only complement the boat’s lines, but they come in handy when transiting the two 15-inch steps from the cockpit up to the side decks. And there’s another handhold under the flying-bridge overhang, a detail that makes me suspect a well-versed boater had a hand in this vessel’s design. Silverton added more handholds along the flying bridge and a bowrail that was thigh-high on me and starts just forward of the house. Consequently, you’re never left without something to hold onto. Combine this with an aggressive molded-in diamond nonskid, and you get a secure feeling maneuvering around all points.
Her build is just as sturdy, as she’s comprised of a solid-fiberglass hull bottom with balsa coring to add rigidity, and her modified-V hull (12-degree aft deadrise) was well matched to her optional 715-hp D12s. On the flat-calm backwaters behind Tobay Beach, my 45 got up to plane in about 15 seconds and topped out at 39.7 mph at 2360 rpm, according to my radar gun. At this speed she burned 71 gph. When I dropped her down to a comfortable cruise of 2000 rpm, the 45 hit an average speed of 32 mph while burning 46 gph. That’s admirable fuel economy, and if conditions allow, you can cruise at that speed for 382 statute miles.
This article originally appeared in the December 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.