Archipelago 47 sea trial review: Brilliant British offshore cat that feels just like home

Looking for a boat that fuses long-range potency with leisure boating luxuries? The imposing new Archipelago 47 should be firmly on your radar...

The Archipelago 47 is a prototype in the most traditional sense of the word. It has been built as a test platform by a fledgling company to help refine the designs of subsequent production models. But as we arrive at Ocean Village, the potency of the boat’s posturing makes it hard to believe this is anything but the finished article.

With its low roofline, wide beam, slender forward hulls and raised bridge deck, its squat muscularity feels deeply satisfying. And it’s made all the more so by the reverse screen, tinted windows, elevated side decks and gunmetal naked aluminium.

This is not a boat that tries to conceal its multihull underpinnings or to mimic the style of a monohull with clever tapers, faux panels or pretty mouldings. This is a tough long-distance power cat that is happy to be known as such, and, as the fleet’s most uncompromising offshore adventure boat, it’s all the better for it.

Designed by Hamble-based commercial specialist, Chartwell Marine, and built on the Isle of Wight, the deck layout of the Archipelago 47 is extremely simple. An open aft cockpit can be tweaked however you like thanks to the inherent custom friendliness of the aluminium build process.

You can have furniture built into the aft end of the pilothouse or the central part of the deck, but in either case, the precipitous back end of this boat is due to be re-engineered with a short swim platform and a set of steps on either side.

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The idea behind that is to provide much better access from pontoon to cockpit, as well as easier access from the water – and that’s a very sage move because as things stand, there’s no obvious way to achieve that.

What we get back here on Boat Number 1 though is a full-height wet locker to port that does a great job of swallowing your foulies, watersports gear and wetsuits. Beneath the steep steps that lead you up onto those elevated side decks, there is also plenty of storage for lines, canvases and fenders.

There are a couple of side gates here too but they’re not yet finished, and even when they are, the deck height will necessitate a set of steps to get down to the pontoon. Down in the cavernous engine rooms, there is a pair of 420hp Iveco N67 diesels on straight shafts – and that leaves loads of space for long-distance adventurers to install watermakers, dive compressors and generators.

It also leaves lots of room for the various water pumps, which (on subsequent boats) will be positioned back here to reduce noise in the internal saloon and cabins. And happily, the MD, Stephen Weatherley, also intends to rework these engine spaces by reducing the scale of the oversized access hatches and factoring in extra storage aft, all compartmentalised into dedicated trays and drawers.

Read Alex’s full review of the Archipelago 47 in the June 2023 issue of MBY, out now.

Archipelago 47 specifications

LOA: 47ft 7in (14.50m)
Beam: 21ft 3in (6.50m)
Displacement: 3,100 kg
Fuel capacity: 2,000 litres
Engines: 2 x Iveco N67 420hp diesel inboards
Top speed on test: 24.9 knots
Fuel consumption: 102lph @ 20 knots / 30lph @ 10.5 knots
Cruising range: 314nm @ 20 knots / 560nm @ 10.5 knots
Noise: 78.5 d(B)A @ 20 knots
RCD category: A for 12 people
Price as tested: £975,000 (ex. VAT)


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