Contents of Report
Power cats are nothing new. Like sailing cats before them, they are an evolution of market driven demands. Monohull sailors evolved into wanting stable, commodious, fast, and efficient yachts -- enter sailing cats. Power boaters saw similar advantages -- enter power cats. What is new is a pure bred power cat designed as such from inception versus a sailing cat that evolved into a power cat over time -- enter the all-new flagship 48’ (15 m) power cat from Aquila. Aquila Yachts began in 2012 as a collaboration between MarineMax -- the largest boat dealer responding to demand for a pure power cat -- Sino Eagle Group with yacht manufacturing capabilities in the Far East. Further, several industry cat veterans brought hands-on experience to the venture. Together, they created Aquila. Initially conceived for MarineMax’s charter business, the Aquila brand was created to differentiate and scale-up the yachts for private owners.
At 48’ (15 m), the Aquila 48 doesn’t sound as large as she really is. She’s huge! That is in part due to her enormous beam of 23’6” (7.16 m) -- nearly half the length overall. In addition to all the space, it makes for a very stable platform as displacement on cats is distributed far outboard. There are several available layout configurations, including a three-cabin owner’s version and a four-cabin version suited for occasional charter where four equal staterooms are desirable.
In the owner’s version, the entire port hull is dedicated to a palatial owner’s suite, featuring a queen berth aft, a sitting/dressing room mid hull and a full en suite head and large stall shower all the way forward. Abundant light fills the space from large fixed port lights in the hull side, and fresh air enters from three well-placed overhead hatches. Storage is copious, and cabinetry and paneling is built with precision factory fit-and-finish.
The starboard hull in the owner’s version features two identical guest cabins, each with en suite head and shower stall. The berths are forward and aft, respectively, and the heads are mid hull. Both guest suites feature a queen berth, and the after cabin has the added bonus of being able to optionally split the berth into two singles, making the cabin versatile for a couple or two kids.
In the four-cabin layout, the owner’s suite in the port hull is replaced by a mirrored arrangement of the starboard hull, creating four equal stateroom ideally suited to charter.
The main deck is arranged with the galley aft and the salon forward. Again, there are several owner customizable configurations from which to choose. Locating the galley aft opens it up to the aft deck area while placing the salon forward opens up nice forward facing views through wrap-around windows, which will be pleasant on the hook or a mooring.
The salon even extends outdoors with a forward seating cockpit, again taking advantage of wonderful views and cooling breezes. The salon features a large C-shaped settee and dining table to port. A straight settee or an optional indoor forward-facing lower helm station are the two available layout choices to starboard.
The galley is commodious and offers the range of modern amenities. Large dual stainless sinks, two-burner electric stovetop, a microwave oven, countertop grill, and dual under-counter refrigerators, plus counter space for food prep and storage space complete the picture.
Access to the fly bridge from inside the boat is via a wide staircase. Notice we wrote stairs, not ladder. This makes getting to and from the fly bridge much easier and safer.
Once on the fly bride, there are huge dedicated areas for sunning, lounging, dining, grilling, and of course, commanding the Aquila 48.
The helm is separate and spacious with a single seat on the centerline. Sightlines from the fly bridge helm are excellent and unobstructed. We particularly like the port and starboard forward stairs from the fly bridge down to the port and starboard side decks. This makes easy access to the bow of the Aquila and quick passage back to the aft deck area via three stairs on either side.Notice how we keep referencing “stairs.” That is one of the things about this genuine power cat that sets it apart from an evolved sailing cat. Stairs are stairs, wide and easily negotiated with ample handrails to boot. No narrow, flimsy ladders on this yacht!
Enormous Aft Deck and Convertible Beach
The aft cockpit features more lounging space and access to the centerline swim platform (which lowers) and dual boarding platforms on the aft end of each hull.
The hull and deck of the Aquila 48 uses a vinylester resin infusion process, resulting in a light, yet incredibly strong structure. As if a strong laminate weren’t enough, it is interesting to know that the twin boarding platforms extending off each hull are entirely sacrificial. Cats typically encounter docks with their aft ends, and it’s comforting to know that in the event a docking ever goes terribly wrong, the worst that will happen is a sacrificial boarding platform gets damaged. The watertight integrity of the hull will not be compromised. And the concept of keeping water out of the boat doesn’t end there, both bows feature watertight collision bulkheads as well in the event a submerged object is ever struck underway. While damaging a yacht is never a pleasant thought, it is reassuring to remember that such an event isn’t likely to be life-threatening on the Aquila 48 with these thoughtful and important safety features.
Standard propulsion is a pair of Volvo Penta D4-225 diesels coupled to V-drive gear boxes and turning 23”, four-blade props. Optionally, she can be fitted with Volvo Penta D6-330s or D6-370s. At 55,556 lbs. (25,199 kg), fully loaded, the Aquila 48 is no lightweight, but she’s not excessively heavy either. It’s key to remember that she’s meant to be a comfortable cruiser and to that end, mid-range engines such as the 330s might be a good choice as a compromise between, speed, power, and efficiency. With a pair of 330s installed, owners can expect to cruise right around 8.2 knots while consuming about 3.8 gallons per hour combined, we’re told that the boat is capable of 22.2 knots at full throttle, burning 39 gallons per hour.
We like the selection and varied areas on the boat, giving everyone their own space when they need it and comradery when they want it. She’s a boat that works for owners, guests, parents, kids, and charter groups. Everyone has their own spacious and nicely appointed private space along with areas for the whole group to congregate or for smaller groups to relax. We also like the solid construction and thoughtful details throughout the yacht. Attention to detail and safety are important on any vessel and Aquila has not let us down.
Standard and Optional Features
|Dripless Shaft Seals||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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