We had the opportunity to fish the new 48 equipped with optional twin CAT 3196s with electronic controls pushing out 660 hp each. (Standard power is a twin Detroit 6V-92TA package at 625 hp each.) All indications say this package will be very fuel-efficient. Nineteen-hundred rpm gives 27 knots for a quite reasonable cruising speed, and she maxed out at 2,335 rpm giving a 32.5-knot top speed. One thousand rpm means 11.5 knots. In fact, this hull is efficient enough to get up on plane and run at 18 knots on just one engine turning 2,000 rpm.
Certainly the 48 Express' speed is acceptable for today's market. But where she really stood out was in cruising performance. With a north wind blowing at 10 to 15 knots against the Gulf Stream coming from the south, seas were 6-foot ocean swells topped off by a 1- to 2-foot chop. By all rights, we should have been taking spray on the windshield with every wave. But at speed, this may be the driest express boat I've ever run. Spray, on every point of sea, blew out and down. At slow trolling speed, the spray occasionally blows up onto the windscreen with the wind just off the bow.
The 48 Express drifts beam to the wind and seas with a comfortable roll moment, while down-sea it tracked straight as an arrow at every speed with no lugging up the backs of waves. Whether fishing or docking, you'll find that this express spins and turns beautifully. In fact, docking with either low or normal idle is excellent with inch-by-inch control and fluid reactions from the Mathers MicroCommander electronic gear/throttle controls.