LOA 48 ft.
Beam 15 ft. 10 in.
Draft 4 ft.
Displacement 44,005 lbs. (Full Load)
Fuel 600 gals.
Water 130 gals.
Engines Twin Volvo IPS 800 D11, 600 hp each
Base Price $2.175 million
Standard Equipment
Twin Volvo IPS 800 D11 engines, IPS joystick control, Humphrees Interceptors AH500 trim tabs, hydraulic hinged transom tailgate, Furuno black box w/combination radar, GPS, depthfinder and more, 15-inch Nauticomp displays at helm and flybridge, Icom M0604 VHF radio w/hailer, AIS receiver, Maretron display panels at helm and flybridge, and much more. See dealer for full list.
Optional Equipment
Twin Volvo IPS 900 D11 engines, IPS dynamic positioning, underwater lighting, aft deck camera, KVH TV/internet package, dinghy davit supports at transom, teak decking in cockpit and flybridge, barbecue in cockpit or flybridge, combination washer/dryer, ice-maker, Bimini top or full canvas enclosure on flybridge, Sea Recovery water-maker, Fisher Paykel Dishwasher, Broan trash compactor and more. See dealer for full list.
SEA Marine Yacht Service, Port Townsend, Wash.; (360) 385-4000; seamarineco.com
West Coast Dealer
PrimeTime Yachts, Newport Beach, Calif.;
(949) 675-0583; primetimeyachts.com
Salish Sea Yachts, Port Townsend, Wash.;
(360) 385-4000; salishyachts.com

Calibre Yacht Sales, North Vancouver, B.C.;
(888) 877-1720; calibreyachts.com
Calibre Yacht Sales, Nanaimo, B.C.; (866) 370-9130; calibreyachts.com

Salish Sea IS48

Posted: February 1, 2012  |  Boat Type: Motoryacht

A modern version of the classic East Coast boats

By: Roger McAfee

From time to time, new boats by first-time builders are offered for testing before they are really ready. In such situations, I usually suggest to the broker or dealer that we stop the test and reschedule when the boat is ready. We then have a fairly detailed discussion about why the vessel is not ready. That usually involves a comparison between the specifications published by the builder and what is actually found during the attempted test.

This is exactly what happened with the Salish Sea IS48. After a discussion with the Vancouver broker, I left the boat with a promise of a follow-up phone call to reschedule the test. Often in situations like this, the phone call to reschedule never comes, and there is never a completed test. That’s not how it worked out with this new 48-foot classically styled family cruiser.

About three weeks after the first test, the broker phoned with a new test date. At the appointed time, the broker was there with the vessel’s owner (who is part of the builder ownership group) and another one of the builders. A colleague of mine from another magazine, who was on board for the first test, was aboard again. To the builders’ credit, they answered all of our questions frankly and openly, including those related to design and construction details. Such candor is not always forthcoming.

While the builder is located in Port Townsend, Wash., home to one of North America’s premier Wooden Boat Festivals, the designer is well-known Massachusetts-based Doug Zurn. The sleek 48-foot sedan cruiser is a modern version of the classic East Coast boats. The design “modernization” includes a higher flared bow and a broader entry, features that make for a drier ride. The cutwater, about 10 feet back from the bow, has a sharp 30-degree deadrise, allowing the hull to slice smoothly through even a good-size chop. About halfway to the stern, the hull deadrise is reduced to 17 degrees and flattens further to 16 degrees at the stern. The hull bottom is a nice compromise between a standard deep V, which has a transom deadrise of about 22 degrees but requires more power to get the same speed, and a flatter aft-section deadrise of about 12 degrees, which requires even less power to perform but slams down hard in a slight seaway.

This twin-engine vessel uses a modern Volvo IPS 800 D11 pod-drive system, and that means no shafts, struts or rudders.

The hull structure is vacuum infused, using vinylester resin and Core Cell coring. The stringers are made of high-density foam and glassed into place after hull layup. The floors, bulkheads and upperworks are hand-laid and cored. The interior is built by hand.

The IS48 features a hydraulically operated tailgate-type transom, so access to the vessel through the laid-down transom is quick, safe and easy. The nonskid teak-soled cockpit is huge, with plenty of room for deck chairs and fishermen. With the transom down, the ocean is “right at your doorstep,” so to speak, and launching and retrieving a shoreboat is dead easy. There is plenty of storage in side lockers and in the lazarette, which can be accessed through any of three deck hatches. The washer and dryer are located in a locker at the forward end of the cockpit.

Access to the foredeck, anchoring gear and the molded-in seat at the forward end of the trunk cabin is along sidedecks. Substantial rails are installed from the bow to about halfway back along the cabin side. From there, aft handrails on the cabin top provide side­deck security.

The command bridge is reached by a ladder up from the cockpit. As I expected, visibility from up top is excellent. A single-seat helm chair is comfortably positioned for easy control access. The upper station is topped with a stainless radar arch and a partial hardtop.

Cheery Interior

The interior of our test IS48, even though the weather was dark, cloudy and raining, was bright and cheerful, thanks to large windows all around and a light wood interior. Our test boat has Douglas fir, both solid and veneer, for the basic interior. Pacific yew and yellow cedar are used as edging and other trim. The fir, while beautifully grained, is a soft wood and has to be “handled with care.” It also expands and shrinks, depending on moisture. However, there is no doubt a fir interior, as installed in the IS48, is a striking sight.

The galley, installed in the aft port quarter of the deckhouse, includes a freezer, a propane stove with an oven, a double stainless sink, a dishwasher and a trash compactor. The galley’s location ensures the cook is not isolated from the activity in the deckhouse or on the aft deck. To starboard, across from the galley, is a countertop/bar area with a refrigerator underneath. There is plenty of drawer storage in both the galley and the bar area.

Forward of the galley is a raised L-shaped settee with comfortable seating for at least four. To starboard, forward of the bar area, directly across from the port-side settee, is a second raised settee, and the helm station is forward of that. The double seat at the helm station can be reversed to add to the settee seating space. The window behind each settee can be lowered electrically, as can the aft window in the galley.

The helm station itself provides digital engine readouts, electronic throttles/shifters, the Dynamic Positioning System and the IPS joystick. All controls fall easily to hand, and all of the gauges are easy to see. Included in the cost of the vessel is a $25,000 allowance for a full electronics package. 

The accommodation area is down a couple of steps forward of the deckhouse, and the space is cleverly designed. There are three very comfortable staterooms, two heads, each with a separate shower stall, and plenty of drawer, cupboard and hanging-locker space. The designer has carried the feeling of openness from the deckhouse to the accommodation area — a difficult feat. The master stateroom is forward in the bow, with an island queen bed. Aft and to port is a double, and aft to starboard is a twin single stateroom.

Power & Performance

The engine space is located through a hatch in the salon sole. The engines, twin 661-cubic-inch Volvo IPS 800s, put out 600 hp each and are coupled to the pod drives by a 6-foot jack shaft. Traditionally, pod drives are coupled directly to the engine, in what would be the lazarette. However, this vessel’s owner wanted to keep the cockpit floor low and have the hydraulically operated transom; therefore, there was no room for the engines to be directly coupled. They were moved forward under the salon, but that’s not a problem. A jack-shaft system, if properly done, in no way detracts from the features boaters want in pod drives.

We fired up the engines and, using the joystick, moved easily out of a very tight slip in North Vancouver’s Mosquito Creek Marina and into Vancouver Harbor. As we moved the throttles up, we climbed onto plane at about 13 knots. We continued to run up to 27 knots and then threw the vessel into a series of lock-to-lock turns (three and a half turns lock to lock). The IS48 carved the turns like a gold medal-winning Olympic slalom skier, with no shudder, skip, skid or cavitation.

We ran right up to WOT, 2390 rpm, where we reached 33.5 knots with a total fuel burn of 57 gph. Easing back on the throttle to 2000 rpm, we made 26 knots and burned a total of 37.5 gph. We knocked off another 500 rpm and made 15 knots while burning 24.5 gph. We found a number of large tug wakes and bashed through them at top speed without fuss or muss. During the entire sea trial, we found none of the rattles or squeaks you might expect on a new vessel.

The Salish Sea IS48 is a powerful, traditionally designed, sophisticated yacht, and at a price of $2.175 million, it is entering the top end of the market segment. Our test boat is the personal boat of one of the builder’s owners, and it reflects his personal tastes and requirements. Other boaters with different requirements can easily be accommodated, according to the builder. Many boaters may install handrails running all the way aft to the cockpit. Others may prefer hardwood interiors. Still others may dispense with electrically operated windows. Pacific Northwest boaters may want more covered cockpit space.

No matter your personal preferences for materials and accessories, the spaces in the vessel are well laid out, visibility is excellent all around, and the cockpit is large and will make an excellent fishing or entertainment platform. There’s plenty of storage throughout the vessel, and the three staterooms are inviting and comfortable. The boat handles well at all speeds, and the IPS pod drives make moving around in crowded marinas safe and easy. If a boater is looking for a vessel of this type and style, the Salish Sea IS48 is worth a look.

Posted By: Steve Cooper On: 6/1/2012

Title: Modern?

Interesting boat, but one with several serious issues:
- Very heavy for an infused boat; 4 tons heavier than the infused Sabre of the same size and about the same as the conventionally-laid up Grand Banks.
- Uses jack shafts between the engines and pods (so, yes it does have shafts). So one advantage of pods (space saving) is lost. One might assume that it started out as a conventional inboard and then they switched to pods and chose to not redesign the hull. Both the Sabre and GB were designed from the ground up for pods (Zeus); both are directly coupled and have significantly more usable space as a result.
- The fir interior doesn't work. I've seen the boat several times and it looks like a kit or do it yourself interior. Certainly does not look like a $2.3M boat. The Sabre and GB are in the $1.1 range - much better values and very nice boats.
And it hasn't sold at all - they've built exactly 1; Sabre is sold out for the next year. Someone spent mucho money and has little to show for it.

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