The Navetta 48 easily accommodated a crew of ten journalists from around the world, though I’ll admit, the number of people speaking different languages made for an interesting test. I had to sidestep an Italian journalist who was measuring every aspect of the yacht like a professionally trained tailor. He moved with ease as he measured the depth, width and length of the sink, giving a quick nod of approval before moving on to the drawers.
A Chinese journalist was hanging on to a beefy cockpit handrail with white knuckles. Seasickness happens, but I’ve never seen it before leaving the dock. An Eastern European journalist seemed as if he wouldn’t be satisfied unless he got to test his physical prowess on every door, switch and control he could get his hands on.
The melee seemed to calm down as the seas kicked up. The 48 found her way to open water and nice 3- to 6-foot rollers. Taking the helm, I brought the boat onto plane at a surprisingly modest 11 knots; this proven semi-displacement hull of the Navetta line was ready to shine. She tracked like an arrow and hit a respectable 27 knots thanks to a pair of Volvo Penta IPS600s. Really, what sets this boat apart is how comfortable and sturdy she feels through the rpm range. Running fast is always fun, but when you’re trying to keep tabs on the other guests aboard, bringing her down to 12 knots and staying on plane was a pleasant option. I reluctantly handed the helm over to my Eastern European compatriot and took to touring the rest of the boat before he decided to show us how tough he was again, this time by pushing the pins all the way down.
The star of the accommodations was the forward master with a cantilevered king berth and a pair of windows that allow light to pour in. Space and light—I think they’ve hit the mark with both. Windows in the side-by-side VIP and guest stateroom were generous too. The single crew quarter aft, not so much. Americans will likely only use it for storage. One thing I really liked in the salon was the AC vents hidden in the ceiling. “Air is never blasting on your skin. The boat is evenly cooled throughout,” said Cesare Mastroianni, president of Absolute Americas. That’s a cool detail.
I enjoyed visiting Absolute’s high-tech factory and getting to spend time aboard its newest model. But if I’m honest, what I found most interesting was how all the journalists interacted during the event. Here was a group with countless differences: age, language, culture, religion—indeed, we were a strange sight and garnered stares everywhere we went. Then something remarkable happened. Those differences seemed to melt away under the Mediterranean sun and what we had in common rose to the surface: a love for boats and being on the water. Despite language barriers, the group finally settled in, and through hand gestures and expressions, communicated universal truths about the boat we were there to test.
I couldn’t help but wonder what the world would be like if we could talk through our differences on a boat ride. —Daniel Harding Jr.
Absolute USA, +39 0523 354011; absoluteyachts.com
DISPL: 52,000 lbs.
FUEL: 475 gal.
WATER: 530 gal.
POWER: 2/435-hp Volvo Penta IPS 600s
Top Speed: 27 knots