Prestige M48 first look: French yard branches out with first ever power catamaran

Prestige Yachts has revealed details of its first ever power catamaran. The French yard insists that the M48 isn’t just another multihull but a uniquely different power cat with the same look and feel as its F-Line flybridge models.

For instance, the maximum beam of 19ft 8in (6.00m), while 5ft wider than a typical 50ft monohull, is still 4ft narrower than a power cat like the Leopard 46PC. It’s taller than most too, with a deep bridge deck that links the two hulls making it feel more like a monohull below decks.

Combined with a sleek side profile and easy handling characteristics, it is hoped this will make it more appealing to existing monohull owners as well as less daunting to first time buyers.

These dimensions still allow for very generous indoor and outdoor spaces, which Prestige’s product marketing manager Rosie Le Gall says are comparable to those of a 60ft monohull.

The flybridge, for example, measures 20 square metres with an optional hard top providing shade, while the aft cockpit is over 5m wide, featuring seats in all four corners for a more sociable vibe and two tables that link up to make one big one for dining.

A central hi-lo platform adds to the real estate, sliding up and down between the two fixed smaller platforms to launch and recover the tender as well sitting flush with them to create an extended swimming/sunbathing area.

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The side decks are another beneficiary of the multihull design, being twice the width of a typical monohull’s with tall guardrails making them safer and easier for guests to move along and access the foredeck bow-lounge with its unusual aft-facing dinette.

A single sliding door gives access from the aft cockpit to the saloon but a window next to it also swings up flush with the flybridge overhang to make it feel more open and create a shared countertop between the galley and cockpit. There’s a single person helm position tucked in the starboard corner too.

The layout below decks on the Prestige M48 is rather more unusual, even by power cat standards, as the extra height of the bridge deck allows the designers to use the full beam of the boat rather than squeezing the cabins into the slender hulls.

Not only does this make all the cabins feel less cramped but it also allows the two stern cabins to feature transverse beds that slide together to make a big double when needed.

The forward area can either be specified as a spectacular full beam owner’s cabin with a large ensuite shower room to port and a separate toilet to starboard or as two more double guest cabins with smaller ensuite bathrooms.

Whichever layout you opt for there’s still room for an optional crew cabin running across the width of the bow with access from the foredeck.

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Twin 320hp Volvo Penta D4s on V-drive shafts are the only engine options, giving the Prestige M48 a maximum speed of around 20 knots. However, the semi-displacement hulls are at their most efficient between eight and 18 knots.

Prestige claims that the reduced wetted surface area of the multihull design makes it around 20% more efficient than a similar-sized monohull, giving an estimated range of 250nm at 18 knots or 600nm at 8 knots from the 1,200-litre tank.

Prices for the Prestige M48 have not yet been announced but the first boat is due to be launched next month with sea trials planned for June.

Prestige’s general manager Erwin Bamps says the move into powercats is a response to market trends for more space, better fuel efficiency and increased stability.

He reckons they are also more likely to appeal to first time buyers, because life aboard is closer to what they are used to in their own homes. We can expect to see a bigger M-Line join the range soon.