For former bow rider or cuddy cabin powerboat owners, the transition to a traditional motoryacht is pure pleasure. After all, they're leaving a world of tight quarters and limited amenities for one of wide-open spaces and endless creature comforts. But for a former performance-boat owner, the transition can be agonizing.
Why? It's a performance thing. Compared to an average performance boat, a motoryacht is a lumbering giant. It pokes along, maybe clocking a blistering 40 mph in ideal conditions, and wallows its way through turns. That's enough to send a former performance-boat lover into a coma.
Fortunately for these folks, there is a happy alternative — the 47 Excalibur from Wellcraft. New for 2002, the 47'-long, 12'4"-wide model is, pound for pound (all 17,637 of them) every bit the match for its high-performance Wellcraft Scarab cousins. During Wellcraft's dealer meeting late July in St. Petersburg, Fla. I hopped a ride on the 47-footer and was decidedly impressed.
No question, the 47 Excalibur is fast for a boat of its stature. Top speed, as recorded on my handheld GPS unit, was a tick above 51 mph. According to press material from Wellcraft, the boat has reached 54.1 mph with a pair of 425-hp MerCruiser 496 Mag HO engines under the hatch. Perhaps more impressive was its ability to cruise at 35 mph without straining boat or motor. You could cruise all day at that speed and cover a lot of water — without having to stop at every other marina for fuel.
The 47 Excalibur also is nimble. In low-speed turns, it maintains a relatively flat attitude, much like a traditional motoryacht. But in higher-speed turns, it leans inward, ever so slightly, at a comfortable angle.
Further pleasing to buyers with performance-boat roots will be the 47 Excalibur's Euro-style lines. The boat simply doesn't have any hard angles that would give it a boxy appearance. In fact, its curvaceous deck and hull make it appear lower to the water than it actually is.
On the amenities side of things, the 47 Excalibur approaches decadence. Although there are sleeping accommodation for six people, the stand-out cabin is the master stateroom (naturally) with its queen-sized bed and hanging lockers. The master stateroom also features a private entrance to head, which includes a full-size shower, a mirror and cabinet.
The main salon boasts a complete entertainment center and a U-shaped couch. Galley highlights include cherry wood cabinets, a refrigerator/freezer, a two-burner electric stove, a microwave oven, a Grainicoat molded sink and a coffee maker. For easy clean-up, the galley floor is covered in tough vinyl with a simulated woodgrain finish.
Air conditioning is standard. For tapping electricity at the docks, the 47 Excalibur has two shorepower connections. Additional goodies include a wet bar with an icemaker, a hot/cold shower on the boat's transom, backlit instruments at the helm and full canvas. Several gasoline and diesel engine packages are offered.
Even performance boat owners — some of them anyway; grow up. That often means trading in the 38'-long twin-engine hot rod for something a little less speedy, and a lot more comfortable. But the transition doesn't have to be harsh. The 47 Excalibur is a boat even the most ardent performance fan can grow into, without feeling completely grown up.
Wellcraft 47 Excalibur Specifications
|Dry weight (approx.)||17,637 pounds|
|Maximum horsepower||1,150 hp|
|Fuel capacity||292 gallons|
|Water capacity||81 gallons|
|Holding tank capacity||42 gallons|
|Bridge clearance total (excl. light mast)||12'2"|
|Sleeping capacity||6 persons|
|Retail price||$395,174 with twin MerCruiser 496 Mag HO engines with Bravo Three drives|
For more information
1651 Whitfield Ave.
Sarasota, FL 34243