Sure, the rocks four feet below my keel have eaten more props than I have sushi, but I'm hauling ass over Thomas Point Shoals in a 44' convertible anyway. You think I'll mangle some Nibral? Not a chance. Cavileer's new 44 Convertible redefines the term shallow draft as applied to an inboard-powered convertible sportfish.
Let's hash out some numbers: Cabo's 43 needs 4'4" to float; Ocean Yachts' 46 SS and Riviera's 42 each take 4'2"; and Post's 47 draws 4'4". Even though the Cavileer 44 is longer and heavier than all of these boats, it draws just 3'3".
How can the 44 Convertible run so much shallower than the competition? The tunnels are the key-Donald Blount and Associates designed the tunnels specifically for the props, reducing tip clearance to 2" or less. With most boats this size, about 4" of clearance is necessary; without it, inconsistent water velocity over the top of the prop causes vibration. And the more tip clearance you need, the bigger the tunnels have to be. The bigger the tunnels are, the less buoyancy your boat has. The less buoyancy, the deeper the boat sinks into the water, increasing draft. So why can't everyone else build with a 2" tip clearance? Blount and Associates has its own analytical design procedure that allows for selection and design around a prop with the least vertical prop-induced vibration. Net result: The 2" tip clearance in relatively small tunnels that would cause the boat to shake apart in most cases is free of excessive vibration, so you can run over shoals and shallows that would leave other 44' convertibles high and dry.
Naturally, the rest of the boat has to live up to your expectations for you to care about that shallow draft in the first place. Cruisers who like the convertible design will find the 44 Convertible full of such top-notch features as book-matched teak cabinetry, a double-sink vanity in the master head, and a Bose entertainment center. Anglers will dwell on the 6'6"-long split-hatch fishbox, flying bridge wing rodholders, and bait freezer with a 10-case ballyhoo capacity-all of which allow the 44 Convertible to shine just as brightly in the deep as it does when it's running over the shallows. Test Results...