When a new Jonmeri 48 arrived at the marina near my office, I was advised by a number of friends that I should take a good look at it. I did, and I can tell you that these are fine boats. They show excellence in design along with flawless construction and tooling details. The 48 is a pilothouse sloop designed to combine comfortable cruising amenities with sparkling performance. The designer of this very handsome vessel is Jorma Nyman.

A photograph of the Jonmeri 48 sailboat.

The Jonmeri 48.

There is a difference between a raised saloon layout and a true pilothouse layout. A pilothouse is a raised part of the interior housing inside steering and engine controls, usually with an adjacent navigation center and a convenient sea berths. The windows of the 48 allow for good visibility forward, but there are no large windows aft; so you have to look around rather than through the raised pilothouse structure. In an attempt to compensate for this problem Nyman has moved the outside steering station all the way aft.

The cockpit layout itself almost looks like it belongs on a racing boat. The cockpit well is quite small and separated from the companionway by an extended bridgedeck much in the Swan Nautor style. I have never favored this layout for cruising boats, but it does have the distinct advantage of opening up the area below the bridgedeck for accommodations. It is a compromise. What you get is an aft cockpit with the interior layout advantages of a center cockpit design.

The aft cabin of the 48 features both a double berth to starboard and a single berth to port. It appears that the clearance under the cockpit well is about minimal. This would mean that the most comfortable sleeping spaces in this cabin would be the areas outboard of the cockpit well, and this necessitates the two berth layout. There is an adjacent head.

The main cabin shows a large wrap-around dinette to port and longitudinal galley to starboard. Forward of the main cabin is another spacious stateroom with Pullman-style double berth to port and settee and hanging locker to starboard. The head is tucked into the bow. There are two other forward layouts available. One adds upper and lower berths and encloses the portside double; the other moves the head aft and adds a tight V-berth area forward.

We have grown accustomed to galleys in U shapes and even some that approach a keyhole shape. These, without question, are the best galleys for convenience and safety at sea. However, the longitudinally laid-out galley opens up interior options that the other configurations eliminate. Again, a compromise. The biggest drawback of the galley in this design is that it puts the cook in the traffic pattern for anyone going forward. Neither head has a shower stall.

The hull form of the 48 is very moderate in its proportions. The beam-to-length ratio is 3.28 and the D/L is 252. This is right in the middle of moderate. The stern is not narrow, nor is it overly broad. The BWL is wide, and there is the slightest hint of tumblehome amidships. I have a suspicion that the drawings I saw were prepared by the marketing agency and not the designer, so it is a little hard to assess the sheerline. Something about it makes me think it got out of control. While the actual boat shows very careful design, the drawings on the brochure show less sensitivity to line and proportion.

The rig is a tall masthead sloop with cutter option. The mast is pushed aft leaving room to carry two headsails if you insist. The shrouds are in-line and there is a babystay in addition to the inner forestay. I doubt you would need both at once. The SA/D is 16.33. The brochure shows the 48 sailing along on a day that looks to have about 20 knots of breeze with the genoa rolled up around half way and a full main. It's a fine photo of a great-looking boat.

Pilothouse and raised saloons: we sure hear a lot about them these days. Sometimes I wonder if the market really wants them or if we in the industry are just digging too hard looking for an untapped vein.

Boat Specifications
DraftShoal 5.9', Deep 8.4'
Displacement36,400 lbs.
Ballast15,700 lbs.
Sail Area1,176.3 sq. ft.
Fuel158.5 gals.
Water200 gals.
AuxiliaryVolvo TMD31 94 hp


SAILINGlogo-115This story originally appeared in Sailing Magazine, and is republished here by permission. Subscribe to Sailing.