Aquila 484By Capt. Bill Pike
CONDITIONS DURING BOAT TESTAir temperature: 78°F; humidity: 80%; seas: gentle swell: wind: 5-10 knots
LOAD DURING BOAT TEST520 gal. fuel (includes 220 gal. in drums), 206 gal. water, 3 persons, 2,600 lb. gear (includes 2 RIBs).
TEST BOAT SPECIFICATIONS
Test Engine: 2/330-mhp Volvo Penta D6 diesels
Transmission/Ratio: Volvo Penta HS80IVE-Bs w/2.49:1 ratio
Props: 23 x 23 4-blade BT Marine brass
Price as Tested: $980,000
|MarineMax 484 - Final Boat Test Numbers:|
|Speeds are two-way averages measured with Raymarine GPS. GPH taken from Volvo Penta display. Range based on 90% of advertised fuel capacity. Sound levels were taken at helm. 65 dB(A) is the level of normal conversation.|
The MarineMax 484 Power Catamaran is a superb cruiser. She’s economical (i.e., charter-friendly) in slo-mo mode—fuel burn at 6.9 knots, for example, was just 3.8 gallons per hour! Her running attitudes are optimum and therefore indicative of perfect, performance-enhancing balance—trim angles (without tabs) never exceed 3.5 degrees. She’s as seaworthy as a dolphin—the V-shaped, pod-like “central hull” molded into the underside of the web near the bow kept head seas from slamming and, parenthetically, produced enough interior space for an optional generator. And finally, she’s safety built—I found that rails and handholds totally circumscribed her weather deck, facilitating movement in sporty weather or at night.
Our expansive, four-stateroom interior was tops in practicality as well. Instead of centralized heads without proper ventilation (like you’ll find on some other power cats in this size range), the 484’s heads are outboard, with opening hatches and hullside windows. Moreover, my stateroom was lofty (headroom was near 7 feet), comfy (superb LED reading lights), and quiet despite its proximity to the port engine room—even at 15 knots, I recorded just 81 decibels near the aft bulkhead.
The engine rooms? Each was gratefully basic—with a centerpiece V-drive diesel, various plumbing and electrics features, and, on the port side, a fuel-transfer pump that facilitated moving fuel amongst our three aluminum fuel tanks, two saddles, and another forward which fed either the mains or the optional genset. The simplicity of it all is a tribute to Chinese builder Sino Eagle and designer, J&J Yacht Designs.
And chartering? The 484 was purpose-built for charter, although MarineMax will debut a retail version at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show later this year with either a 3-stateroom (with a giant master) or a 4-stateroom layout. Bareboaters will pay between $10,000 and $14,000 per week (7 nights onboard) in the BVI, depending on the season. MarineMax’s base in Tortola offers provisioning services. Otherwise, a 14-foot RIB with outboard is included, along with linens, cooking, and snorkling gear. Skippered charters (add $175/day) are available as well.
MarineMax Vacations, 888-461-5497; www.marinemaxvacations.com
This article originally appeared in the June 2013 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.