Unfortunately, the normally idyllic Fort Lauderdale, Florida, weather took a turn toward dreadful the moment I stepped aboard for our sea trial, but the tight docking arrangement and strong winds at the Hilton Marina quickly proved the worth of my test boat’s IPS600 pod drives. Volvo Penta and Sealine spent seven years perfecting the vessel’s V-shape form to accommodate this power configuration. With the simple application of a finger or two to the joystick, Sealine’s Capt. Richard Corbett effortlessly slid and spun the 48 out of the harbor.
Pod drives also reduce vibration throughout the boat, which results in a relatively quiet ride, especially when you add in a healthy measure of sound-attenuation technology. While my test boat idled past the 17th Street Causeway, I measured a respectable 71 A-weighted decibels at the helm. This was despite the howling wind and rain outside.
We poked the bow of our C48 out past the Port Everglades breakwater in blinding horizontal rain and winds gusting to 30 knots with the throttles pinned. At maximum rpm (3,100), the GPS showed 22.3 knots and I recorded a decibel reading of 87, but it must be emphasized that these were also extreme test conditions. On a good-weather day, this should be a 28- to 30-knot boat at wide-open throttle (3,500 rpm), and Sealine’s own tests reflect this fact.
Although we had to hold on tight, one thing was clear: This vessel’s deep-V hull form (18.5 degrees at the transom) and fine entry let her easily handle rough weather. The design and seakeeping abilities of the C48 reflect the area in which Sealine’s factory sea trials take place, the Solent — an unforgiving patch of water due to the steady flow of low-pressure systems sweeping across the North Atlantic.
After numerous speed runs up and down the Port Everglades Channel, it was time for me to have a turn at the helm in the calmer waters of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). As anyone who has piloted a pod-drive boat knows, the benefits of IPS over a conventional shaft installation are immediately obvious. Its 360 degrees of total control gives confidence to the greenest of yachtsmen.
The C48 simplifies it further, with a second control station for docking located on the port side aft. Corbett says that even seasoned boat handlers who experience the IPS system are amazed at how effortless it makes docking. Sealine also offers its Sealine Sea School, a complete learning platform for owners and families to develop their skills with IPS and gain a more thorough knowledge of their yachts.
Sealine’s C48 announces that the British are coming, and this time, it’s all good.