Absolute Yachts 48 Coupe Review

Absolute Yachts returns to its sport-cruisers roots with the 48 Coupe.
Absolute Yachts 48 Coupe
Acres of glass and cut-down bulwarks create unobstructed views and a streamlined profile. Courtesy Absolute Yachts

Absolute Yachts has spent the past several years focused on its Flybridge and Navetta ranges, but the Italian company started out building sports cruisers. With its 48 Coupe, Absolute comes full circle. This yacht is based on the builder’s 47 Fly platform, and it offers something a little different.

Instead of a conventional transom of opaque composites and perhaps a built-in sofa or sun pad, the 48 Coupe’s aft deck comes bare. There is tinted glass, stainless-steel railing aft for safety, and just one transom gate to starboard. All 102 square feet of “cockpit terrace” is essentially open to owner interpretation, and Absolute offers a range of modular deck furniture for the purpose. (Teak decking is one of the bigger options.)

Like the rest of this Absolute range, this latest model is more stocky than sporty—and that’s a good thing. Long, low and pointy is OK for speed, but not always for comfort. Absolute’s team believes that today’s tastes have moved on to comfortable cruising and quality time aboard.

Note that there’s no sunroof option with this model, principally because Absolute has started to embrace solar technology. The coach roof can carry up to 2.5 kilowatts’ worth of solar cells, part of which are inset into a thermally reflective glass panel that delivers light, but not heat, to the salon below. Half that kilowatt capacity comes standard. The other half is optional. With the full solar set, there should be enough power on a sunny day to run all the usual daytime utilities, save for the air-conditioning system, which needs either the main engines or generator. Then again, there is plenty of fresh air when all the doors are open and the picture windows on each side are lowered halfway down.

Absolute Yachts 48 Coupe
Whether it’s sundowners with friends or family game night, the cockpit has a convivial feeling. Courtesy Absolute Yachts

Absolute is keeping this model as simple as possible from a production standpoint. The contemporary interior layout and most of the decor are fixed. There’s a choice of aft-deck doors; the 48 Coupe I got aboard had the optional triple-section set that opens extra-wide. The main salon is laid out with an aft galley on the same level as the aft deck. Up a step are a lounge and booth-dining area amidships. The single helm seat and bridge are forward. The salon’s sole is a stained oak that’s optional in the staterooms. There’s 7 feet of headroom in the galley and at least 6 feet, 3 inches up by the prime seats.

Accommodations on the lower deck are three staterooms. There is a forepeak master, a location that makes for quiet should owners want to moor stern-to at the marina. The amount of space beneath the foredeck is pretty good because the bow sections are fairly full. The berth is set on a diagonal. There’s a closet to port, and the en suite shower is to starboard. Absolute makes use of sliding, or “pocket,” doors to conserve space.

The yacht’s two other staterooms are amidships. The one to port is a forward-facing, double-berth affair with a vanity desk or a washer/dryer cupboard, as well as a closet inboard that runs across the rest of the beam to starboard. A twin-berth stateroom is forward of that closet to starboard. Both guest staterooms share the portside shower, which doubles as a day head.

Absolute Yachts 48 Coupe
The salon sole is stained oak. Note the 2.5 kilowatts’ worth of solar panels in the sunroof. Courtesy Absolute Yachts

All of Absolute’s models have Volvo Penta IPS diesels. The 48 Coupe comes with twin 480 hp D6 diesels and IPS650 pod drives. Expect about a 28-knot top-end speed at 3,800 rpm, depending on load. This model will be most efficient skipping along at around 25 knots and 3,500 rpm, at which the fuel burn is around 1.6 gallons per mile. Given the fuel capacity of 423 gallons, that’s 10 hours’ worth of cruising time. At 20 knots, the motors will burn around 34 gallons per hour, providing a theoretical range of around 224 nautical miles with a 10 percent reserve. At 10 knots, the range would push out by another 40 nm or so, and at 8 knots, owners could conceivably run for around 500 nm.

Ergonomics at the helm are good whether the skipper is seated or perched on the bolster. Unusual for a boat this size, there’s full standing headroom at the wheel, as well as a side-deck door. Thanks to all that glass—and the absence of a tall fridge/freezer in the galley—the views from the wheel are virtually 360 degrees.

I ran Hull No. 1 off Varazze, Italy, which lies 20 miles west of Genoa. It’s a confidence-inspiring, stable yacht to pilot. To turn more sharply, disengage the coordinated turn function in Volvo Penta’s Active Ride Control system. Doing so will automatically limit any leaning through turns.

Absolute’s return to its roots seems to be successful. The 48 Coupe offers the comfort and luxury of the Flybridge and Navetta lines, but with a look and feel that sports-cruiser enthusiasts can embrace.

Absolute Yachts 48 Coupe
The hydraulic swim platform’s capacity is 500 pounds, enough to accommodate a Williams MiniJet 280. Courtesy Absolute Yachts

Docking Help

The first 48 Coupe has Volvo Penta’s Assisted Docking system. The IPS joystick not only vectors thrusts from the pods and a Sleipner proportional bow thruster, but it also references those with dynamic-positioning capability. The boat can go just about anywhere, including perfectly sideways. When I took my hand off the joystick, the boat held the same position and attitude—a great comfort to even the most experienced captains.

Safe and Secure

Raymarine’s DockSense technology helps prevent collisions by overriding steering and throttle commands. The system has three camera boxes, one on each side and one aft-facing. Their views appear together on one of the helm’s monitors, with a schematic radar view that references the gaps between the boat and any surface objects. Green, amber and red colors combined with audible beeps warn the skipper as the gaps narrow.

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