— By Capt. Bill Pike
— August 2003
|Part 2: The abundance of high-end equipage on hand took me by surprise.|
My tour of the 48’s interior started as soon as we were tied up. Accessed from the cockpit via the same sort of companionway setup you see on most serious convertibles, the engine room was a thing of beauty, both superbly organized and solidly outfitted. Headroom was 5'6", and the overhead was smooth, flawlessly finished with white gelcoat, and because its four-inch-thick, vacuum-bagged composite construction nixed any need for beams and carlines, it’s unencumbered and easy to keep clean. The mains were installed on four structural-steel L-beams, each secured longitudinally between dedicated bulkheads with bolts and backing plates. Such an arrangement improves under-engine access, increases torsional strength, and helps keep sound and vibration from being transmitted to the rest of the boat.
Batteries—plain, lead-acid 8Ds that are easier to replace and service in remote destinations than sealed batteries are, according to Silverton—were secured in flush-deck containers with easily removable fiberglass lids to facilitate maintenance. There were nine overhead lights, each engine had its own, valve-activated emergency bilge suction, and there was a Kidde Mariner handheld fire extinguisher bracketed into a molding on the backside of the companionway door, in addition to the Fireboy automatic fire-extinguishing system in the engine room proper.
Up top, the layout of the 48’s interior was much like the layout of any other galley-up, three-stateroom/two-head convertible. Despite the fact that Silverton says it’s targeting big-leaguers like Viking, Hatteras, and Ocean with the 48, the level of craftsmanship and the abundance of high-end equipage on hand still took me by surprise. Some aspects of craftsmanship that got my attention included drawers constructed with solid cherry fronts, thick wooden sides and bottoms, and Accuglide powder-coated sliders; a dinette table crafted of solid cherry—no veneers; and a set of electrical panels backed up with color-coded, stranded, tinned-copper wiring, all nicely loomed. High-end equipage that impressed me included Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer units in the galley; Corian countertops throughout; VacuFlush MSDs; and an incliner-equipped Flexsteel sofa in the saloon, with seven-foot rod stowage inside. Fish-fighting essentials were mostly standard, by the way, although options from Rupp (outriggers), Lee (rod holders), and other manufacturers had been factory-installed.
As test day drew to a close, I found myself in a wholly positive frame of mind, in part due to one last nifty detail: Thanks to her conservative exterior styling, our test boat actually looked like a boat. Adding this attribute to the top-shelf engineering and detailing I’d seen at the dock and the true-tracking, wave-blasting performance I’d experienced offshore, I was mighty pleased with the new Silverton 48 Convertible. She’s a straight shooter, all the way.
Silverton Phone: (856) 825-4117. www.silverton.com.
This article originally appeared in the July 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.