on 2 Dec 2021
Absolute Yachts once again pushes the envelope, offering a rich array of standard features that make their newest creation, the 48 Coupe, stand out
When I first encountered the Absolute Yachts flagship in the early 2010s, I was taken aback at the amount of glazing and the size of windows that the builder had installed. It almost seemed overdone. Fast forward to today, and the name of the game in yacht building is floor-to-ceiling windows on every deck.
That kind of aggressive forward-thinking in design has become one of the hallmarks of the Absolute name. Their latest creations, the 48 Coupe and the 60 Fly, both on display at the 2021 Cannes Yachting Festival, did not disappoint.
Stepping onto the 48, you feel the sense of space you expect on an Absolute. But you also appreciate the enhancements. For example, the roof on the Coupe has a skylight fitted with photovoltaic cells, producing up to 2kW of power – enough power to take some of the burden off generators while at anchor.
Amidships bulwarks contain windows that have been artfully added into the sheer line of the 48, yielding a look that is complete and doesn’t feel jagged. To guests in the main deck saloon, the effect is to give even more view of the surrounding sea while on the inside of the yacht. The side windows in the main saloon can be opened electronically, letting in the breeze and adding to the sense that the 48 is a giant terrace on the sea. The main saloon seems a bit compact, as though to make room for a bigger aft cockpit area.
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Absolute has also gone to great lengths to ensure a large, enjoyable aft cockpit. The transom has been removed in favour of a glass partition. This clear transom allows the captain to see from the helm station right through to the bathing platform. It helpfully means that parents can let children play on the bathing platform and still keep a close eye on them.
Furthermore, the bulwarks aft of the glazed areas contain spaces to allow for better views and more airflow to the aft cockpit. The furnishings on the cockpit are flexible, and guests will no doubt spend plenty of time here while at anchor or even when underway.
The fully equipped galley has been placed at the aft end of the saloon. This opens up to the cockpit, almost to the point of becoming part of it. Rather than trying to find space enough for a contained galley, Absolute puts these spaces together in a way that guests will likely find convenient.
But it is when all these factors are taken together, you fully recognise the open feeling on this yacht. Finally, there is the large hydraulic swim platform, which gives space for a small tender.
Down below, Absolute has done its best to ensure enough space and headroom in the cabins so that guests won’t feel cramped. That is a tougher task on smaller yachts, of course, so it is a pleasant surprise to see the headroom in the cabins. That is largely due to the big volumes that have been created at the bow by the reshaping of the hull. At no point do you feel cramped moving around down below, and everything has a fine finish.
The master cabin in the bow has its bed placed at an angle from the centre line of the yacht, allowing more space to move around the bed.
But an open feeling is not the only thing the 48 Coupe has to offer. The helm station offers a fantastic view of the surroundings, which will make owner or operator feel comfortable when piloting the yacht. Further, Absolute now uses Volvo IPS engines as standard on their yachts, giving owners the benefits of added efficiency and manoeuvrability without ramping up the base price.
Absolute has partnered tightly with Volvo Penta on its IPS systems and is among the first builders to use the Volvo Penta Assisted Docking system. I had a chance to test the Assisted Docking system on a trial boat in Cannes, and it was clear why Absolute jumped at the chance to offer it across its entire range. When engaged, owners simply push a throttle to move the boat in a straight line, forward or back and side to side. The engine pods automatically work with a GPS positioning system to counteract tides and wind, ensuring that the pilot can almost single-handedly dock the yacht.
The assisted docking system will make first-time owners feel a lot more comfortable operating a 48-foot yacht. It also means that the owner can easily handle their yacht on their own with the help of a guest, meaning a crew may not be necessary.
The system is remarkable enough. But that Absolute would go a step further and start implementing it on the year of release shows that the Italian yard is once again ready to jump into the vanguard of yacht technology and engineering. The new 48 Coupe offers a lot of technology, clever design, and plenty of space in a complete package.
Technical Specifications – Absolute 48 Coupe
Displacement: 21.2 tonnes
Fuel capacity: 1,600 litres
Water capacity: 530 litres
Test engines: Twin 480hp IPS650
Top speed: 28.5 knots
Cruising speed: 14.8 knots
Fuel consumption: 100l/h
Maximum guest capacity: 14