The Sealine F48 makes a bold design statement with an outstanding, well-built cruising boat whose primary function is to keep you away from the dock.
By Capt. Ken Kreisler
In my world, this is what powerboat cruising is all about. A spectacular day with warm sunshine, flat calm seas, blue skies with only fair weather clouds drifting by and just the notion of a breeze as, with my hand on the wheel, and a quick glance at the instrument panel telling me all is okay, I can sit back in the comfortable chair up on the open bridge and take it all in. And of course, there is a great deal to be said about the boat I am presently on as well: The all new Sealine F48.
In the very competitive cruising market, and right in the sweet spot for a boat like the F48, Sealine has come up with a design that fits hand in glove as it were, for a couple or a family that considers, as their paramount function, the ability to get from here to there and back in comfort, with economy and safety as added perks.
“The thoughts that went into this particular design, as well as in all our boats, including the detailing, are geared towards people who want to be on the go and are active boaters. All the collected data from Sealine owners shows our people are not in the marina,” said Sealine PR rep Sue Hardwick as she hosted me on my day out on the F48, and away from the dock.
My first impressions, as I made my way aboard and boat shoe met deck, was that I had stepped on a very solid platform. There was not even the hint of flexing underfoot no matter where I went both inside and out. And that also included the sturdy construction I discovered on all the cabinetry, drawers, hatches, doors, and those extra beefy rails. “While we are exploring utilizing more infusion procedures going forward, we’re basically a hand-laid boat, using all the latest in materials and techniques to make sure we build a safe, secure, and strong boat,” Hardwick said.
To that end, and according to Richard Crocker, Sealine’s Design Director, the company designs and manufactures all hulls, decks, and overheads to meet the strict ISO regulations concerning, among numerous other recognized international standards, structural integrity, stability, and buoyancy. In addition, all new designs are verified by two independent third-party engineering consultancies for integrity and development before prototype manufacture.
Vinylester and polyester resins are used in the hull construction and all hulls are a mixture of hand and spray layup. The first two layers of each hull are hand laminated using vinylester resin as a skin coat. The bottom shell laminates are a single skin while the topside laminates include a thick balsa core. The hull structure is strengthened by longitudinal stiffeners, which are supported by transverse frames, deep soles, and composite bulkheads.
Topsides, on the flybridge, the deck and structural bulkheads are of foam sandwich panel construction and are fabricated using resin infusion. Carbon fiber is used as reinforcement in strategic locations to stiffen the overhead and hull structures.
While Richard Corbett, Sealine’s media relations person got our F48 ready for sea, it was time for me to have a look around.
Sealine’s F48 offers a contemporary exterior; one that, while pleasing to the eye, not only indicates a rugged, no-nonsense approach to the design but presents something a bit different from the usual lines we are used to seeing. “Sealine has always been known for innovation and with this design, we fell we are once again, out in the forefront,” Hardwick said as we entered the main deck salon area.
Here is where the pleasant surprises begin to materialize and serve to show off the versatility of the Sealine design team’s vision for the F48. The cockpit area features a comfortable aft couch and plenty of room for alfresco dining. Add to that, the convenience of a wet bar and bbq station, and that time on the hook in a special anchorage will be a memory in the making. There is also a large hatch in the sole here for accessing the engine room, a space I found adequate for inspecting any critical maintenance areas as well as being able to check the all-important fluid levels on the mains and genset.
Stepping inside the main deck salon, I was greeted by wide open spaces, finely finished woodwork—dark walnut here, with many types of woods available—plenty of ambient light courtesy of large windows all around, including the glass doors aft, and the kind of interior headroom, averaging almost 6 ½ feet, usually found on larger boats. The lower station is to starboard and as I eased myself down into the comfortable helm seat and immediately, whether seated or standing—no head bumping or leaning over courtesy of the excellent headroom—noted favorable sight lines into the seaway.
Directly opposite the helm is a two-person seat that if desired, can be a dinette area. Aft of that is an entertainment center and opposite, a C-shape seating area. “Because we are flexible on the interior layout, there are options that an owner can genuinely feel will create the kind of elements that are personal to them,” Hardwick added as we discussed the possibilities of changing certain aspects of the interior design.
The well-appointed accommodation deck below, accessed via a centerline staircase, also defines the imaginative and purposeful Sealine approach to space configuration. Noting, of course, what has become apparent aboard the F48, that being the excellent headroom, there is a dinette to starboard, available as either an office space or, as would be my particular preference by placing the dinette topsides, pick up a third stateroom. The fully equipped galley, with a full size refrigerator freezer unit, lies over to port and forward is the forepeak VIP quarters with an en suite head. And the amidships, full beam master offers a sumptuous, natural well-lit stateroom, en suite head, seating area, and room for a washer/dryer.
Again, and as before, as I examined all the fit and finish throughout, I found painstaking attention to detail and more than ample space for ships stores and clothing and equipment for that extended time away. Sealine uses fine quality hardware and hinges, and there is a sturdy and robust feel when opening and closing stateroom and cabinetry doors, and storage drawers.
With the twin Cummins 480-hp QSB diesels, tied to a pair of Zeus pod drives, now purring along in the dock, my attention turned towards getting this F48 where she belonged: out on the water.
After negotiating a rather extra slow bell from our dock—the joystick-operated Zeus drives turning a close-quarters situation due to a sailboat sticking out a bit too far into the channel into quite the manageable one—we picked up the markers and headed for open water. “The joystick control is so sensitive and responsive, most new boaters, with the proper instruction and practice time, are able to get a comfort level with the vessel’s operation quite quickly,” said Corbett.
The expansive flybridge area, accessed via a molded-in stairway instead of the usual ladder, is also available in two layouts; a large sunpad aft or, in its place, couch seating. Either way, there is plenty of room for entertaining and for you and your family and guests to enjoy, as I did, the time underway.
I found the F48 to be a sensible performer, clocking in almost 20kn at 2800rpm with a total fuel burn of 34.3 gph. And for those of you who find themselves in no hurry, knock her down to 1500rpm and settle into a 9kn turn of speed while sipping on a 7.2gph total fuel burn.
The medium to deep-V hull, with 18.5 degrees deadrise at the transom, transitioning to 21 degrees at the amidships sections, was designed for the pod drives right from the F48’s initial drawings and therefore, avoided any compromise associated with a conversion from a shaft drive. To maximize the experience at high-speed, she has four spray strakes per side with the pods in an aft tunnel. Her steering is quick and responsive, she tracked straight and true, and I got the sense I was driving a big sports car instead of a 48-foot boat across the waters of Long Island Sound.
On several full throttle runs, she achieved her top end in just about 30 seconds, indicating a well-designed running bottom that does not sit in the hole wasting time and energy. In addition, she barely lost her rpm rate when I put her into several hard-over and 360 degree turns.
So, whether you are a European-based cruiser or a Stateside traveler who journeys from Traverse City to Gore Bay, has the time for some extended time along the Great Loop, or, would like to find yourself in warmer climes during the winter season by choosing to visit the Florida Keys or get across the Stream to the Bahamas, having a boat like the Sealine F48 to take you there and back will not only make a world of difference to your boating experience but will set you apart from the rest as well. http://www.sealine.com
Performance: Based on the average of two reciprocal runs. Speeds measured on GPS. Fuel consumption taken from the electronic engine monitoring system. Sound levels gauged at the upper helm. 65 dB(A) is the level of normal conversation. Conditions: calm seas, winds less than 10 kn, ½ fuel, full water, 20’ of water on Long Island Sound. Results are for this particular day under these conditions. Similar results are not warranted and can differ due to load, weather, and other situations that can alter performance.
RPM Kn GPH dB(A)
600 4.5 1.6g 58
800 5.6 2.2g 62
1000 6.8 3.3g 64
1500 9.0 7.2g 74
2000 10.5 16.7g 76
2500 14.7 28.0g 78
2800 19.9 34.3g 79
3000 22.8 39.6g 81
3230 27.4 50.4g 83
Fuel consumption is based on (2) engines at any given RPM. Speed and ranges, if any, are estimates based on engineering calculations. Range is based on 90% fuel capacity. Actual performance will vary and be affected by water and weather conditions, load and conditions of boat, engines, and propellers. Speed will increase as fuel is consumed. All data is illustrative and not warranted.
Length overall: 49’6”
Length overall w/Hi-Lo swim platform: 50’8”
Height above the waterline: 20’6”
Fuel: 396 gal.
Water: 133 gal.
Displacement: 34,763 lbs.
For more information, visit the company Website at http://www.beneteau.com