Prestige M48 sea trial review: The smartest multihull on the planet?

Prestige reckons its first ever powercat has all the benefits of a multihull with none of the drawbacks. Does this clever new Prestige M48 deliver on that promise?

Prestige has become justly renowned over the years for its cleverly arranged owners’ cabins, for its ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ approach to powertrains and for its ability to create motor yachts that feel as much like floating homes as boats.

What it hasn’t been known for up to this point is catamarans – and yet in spite of the fact that Prestige is part of the vast Beneteau Group, which also owns Lagoon, the new Preestige M48 has been designed not as an adaptation of a sailing yacht but as a powercat from the ground up.

That certainly means it can afford to be narrower and loftier than most comparable cats, but as Prestige is at pains to stress, this is not so much a cat as a novice-friendly cruiser with acres of deck space, plenty of stability and wallet-friendly running efficiency.

In fact, to help us really grasp the idea, brand director Erwin Bamps explains, through a broad grin, that the Prestige M48 has been created to deliver the space of a Prestige 590, the price of a Prestige 520 and the running efficiency of a 40-footer.

Time to get on board and see how all that theoretical promise translates…

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The aft end of the Prestige M48 is certainly a bit of a triumph. You can elevate the central section of the bathing platform to sit flush with the cockpit, extending the deck space by means of a removable seat in the centre of the aft bench.

And even rigged like this, there is still a pair of good-sized swim platforms at water level on both sides, so the watersports fun can continue unabated.

The lifting aft platform also enables you to deploy a 3.2m tender or to elevate it for safekeeping during a lively passage. And there’s a huge central lazarette with handy internal canvas dividers and easy access from the cockpit when the aft platform is in use.

Read Alex’s full review of the Prestige M48 in the February 2023 issue of MBY, which is out now.

Update: The Prestige M48 is due to appear at the 2023 Cannes Yachting Festival and 2023 Southampton Boat Show.

Prestige M48 specifications

LOA: 48ft 6in (14.79m)
Beam: 19ft 7in (6.00m)
Draft: 3ft 6in (1.08m)
Displacement: 17.5 tonnes
Fuel capacity: 2 x 600 litres
Water capacity: 600 litres
Test engines: Twin 320hp Volvo Penta D4s on V-drives
Top speed on test: 19 knots
Cruising range: 190nm @ 11.9 knots / 710nm @ 5.1 knots
Fuel consumption: 60lph @ 11.9 knots / 6.9lph @ 5.1 knots
Noise: 71.6 d(B)A @ 10 knots
RCD category: B for 12 people
Designer: Garroni Design, Philippe Briand, Valentina Militerno De Romedis
Starting price: £1m (ex. VAT)
Price as tested: £1.3m (ex. VAT)


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