Apreamare 48

The Apreamare 48 combines elegant European styling with impressive handling.

The new Apreamare 48 will shatter a few preconceived notions. The first is that a boat powered with straight-shaft inboards can’t compete in handling with pod-drive applications. The second is that a boat with elegant European styling can’t appeal to American DIY sensibilities.

Let’s start with the handling. The majority of boats I’ve tested longer than 30 feet in the past two years have featured Zeus or IPS drives. In each instance I’ve been amazed by the agility and close-quarters handling afforded by pods. Did I start to drink the Kool-Aid? Maybe, but carving brazen S-curves at 35 mph while at the helm of the Apreamare 48 gave me a healthy dose of reality. Inboard diesels are alive and well, thank you, and also capable of impressive handling. To prove the point, we cranked the wheel hard over at 25 mph and executed tight arcing turns that a 48-footer shouldn’t be able to make. Close quarters? A joystick-controlled thruster does the trick.

The key to the Apreamare’s handling lies in its hull. From the dock, the rounded stern could mislead passersby into thinking it’s a displacement trawler. The boat’s looks are based on the traditional Italian gozzo fishing vessels of the Mediterranean. But below the waterline, the 48 is a pure planing hull constructed of hand-laid fiberglass. A quick look under the rounded transom shows the running surface extends out beyond it and is squared off — creating a planing V that tapers to 12 degrees aft.

About that styling, the Apreamare 48 is finished with oversize hardware, external teak decking, leather interiors and beautifully crafted high-gloss mahogany throughout. But there’s function behind its beauty. Our test boat is part of the “Americas” series, designed to appeal to the different demands of American boaters. Apreamare ditched the boarding passerelle and expanded the cockpit area. The swim platform has been upgraded to a hydraulic lift capable of holding a PWC or 2,000-pound tender. Belowdecks, a working office replaces the third stateroom. And most important, the engine room is wide open and pristine. The results, inside and out, are exceptional.

Comparable model: Sabre 48