As if it weren’t hard enough to choose a boat, Absolute just gave you two excellent choices that might drive you crazy. The 48 Navetta set a pretty high bar even by Absolute standards. So what can we say about the new 47 Fly? A lot.
First, Absolute has been around since 2002. They have a serious commitment to quality as well as design. The look of their boats from the smallest to largest are arguably unique. You either love them or, well, you know.
Philosophically, the company is committed to solid engineering, creative, Italian style, and impressively, respect for the environment. While lofty goals for any builder, the company consistently strives to deliver on all counts. From what I have seen, they do a pretty consistent job.
Navetta has gained global recognition for its bold design. Reviews have praised every aspect of the boats. The 48 was ground-breaking and now the new 68 blows the standards off the charts. (That will get its own devoted article.) But that doesn’t take anything away from its smaller cousin, the 48 Navetta.
Now that brings us to the new 47 Fly. While their flybridge lineup has been exceptional, Absolute has been competing in a “me-to” world against Princess, Sunseeker in the like. The 47 Fly is a game-changer. It doesn’t break the mold – it blows it up.
It doesn’t matter whether you like the look or not – you can’t argue that the design is extreme and unapologetic about it. For the record, I think it’s stunning. While I’m more of a Ferrari or Aston Martin sort of guy – this Lamborghini-esque design will convert even the most conservative taste.
So with that, let’s take a look at these boats.
The 48 Navetta carries forth the look that we’ve grown to expect. And with every iteration of the line, there are subtle improvements with each new model. There’s a symmetry that’s undeniable. The flybridge with swept-back windshield and radar arch integrate about as well as it gets. The trim along the top edge of the windshield finishes caps it off whereas lesser boats don’t add one just to meet a price-point.
One of the other signature elements is the vertical helm windshield. This carries throughout the Navetta line and with its brow is not only looks great, but is extremely practical making visibility better in all weather, and in keeping the air conditioners from working so hard.
The hull side windows on the Navettas are unique. I don’t think they got it quite right on the Navetta 48. The new 68 is the first to achieve this ‘bold’ design concept and make it work perfectly. But that is a matter of personal taste.
The new 47 Fly may appear to have stolen some of the molds from the Navetta 48, but that’s just an illusion. Check the specs. The lengths are different. The Navetta has a nearly vertical bow entry while the Fly is swept back. That aside, there are a number of shared components.
The flybridge shares the radar arch and sleek, swept design. It integrates beautifully. On the fly version, the windscreen is swept back. Unlike many boats in class, it isn’t too tall looking out of scale, or too short in profile leaving seating and bars protruding about the boats silhouette.
Both are available with a hardtop. It is very well designed. The supports not only look good, they are beefy and well-engineered. Don’t hate yourself later. It’s a no brainer option. (Navetta 48 left. 47 Fly right.)
Now there are two major differences between the Navetta and Fly. The first is the expanse of glass on the 47 Fly. It is dramatic and bold. Don’t worry about the temperature in the salon, though. The salon is very similar to the Navetta 48. A lot of that glass is just for looks – but I don’t mind, I think it looks great.
The other difference is the hull side windows. In my opinion, the design on the 47 is executed far better than on the 48. It’s as if the Navetta wasn’t sure about being too bold whereas the 47 just says ‘here I am’!
The swim platforms are the same for the most part, both being functional and well integrated. The side decks are wide enough to navigate safely, even under way. Both boats have a side door at the helm. Kudos to Absolute for carrying that over on the flybridge model. A lot of companies don’t do that.
There is a major difference on the foredeck however. On the Navetta (right), there is a traditional sunpad. Now the backrest can be mounted forward for sofa seating, or aft at the windscreen to lay out. On the 47 Fly (left), there is a U-shaped seating area with a hi-lo table.
The table can be raised or lowered depending on your mood. Cocktails? Up. Sunning? Down. A nice feature leaves the glass hatch above the master stateroom uncovered. Thank you, Absolute!
The flybridges are similar too. Unlike other boats in class, they are not chopped up into zones where you always find yourself bumping into other guests. The aft lounge is huge. The BBQ area is spacious and finished better than most galleys. It comes down to the helm station.
On the Navetta (left), the helm is centrally mounted with a single seat. The dash is commanding with large displays flanking the helm position. This is ship-like. Whomever sits in this seat will be confident with an appropriate boost of ego – in a good way. There are seating areas for guests port and starboard that are very nice – not an after-thought. A generous sunpad is forward.
The 47 Fly (right) has a sporty starboard helm with dual seating. Unlike the Navetta, there is a single large display. While it is in no way a negative, if you compare the two boats side-by-side, you’ll sigh a bit. There is dedicated seating to port along with the sunpad as well. Both flybridges are excellent.
Main Deck Living
If you look at the deck layouts, both boats share the same aft deck. The stairs, not ladder, make for a safe transition to the flybridge – always a welcome design! The entry to the salon is different on both boats however.
Both are full width glass that open for a seamless integration between outdoors and indoors. The 47 fly, however shares a design element that’s similar to other boats. To port, the glass drops down like a power window in a car. It creates a bar and social area that, I feel, integrates the aft deck better as part of the social zone.
Entering the galley, there are a few significant differences that are functionally practical as well. The 47 Fly (right) has a U-shaped galley whereas the 48 Navetta (left) is L-shaped. Why should you care? Here’s why.
The U-shaped galley offers some security to brace against underway. That’s the first reason. The second is practical for meal prep. The “U” is also sideways and that breaks a trend. This still keeps the space very open without the return cutting the entry in half. Great job!
Many Absolutes, including the 48 Navetta, use the L-Shape with angled stove. The new 48 Fly, with its “U” shape has a more usable counter. There is room to either side of the stove and sink as well. If you have been in a boat or RV with a sink at the counter edge you’ll appreciate the layout on the 47 Fly. You have counter space that makes food prep and clean up a lot easier. Is this a big deal? Trust me, yes!
Both boats offer the full-size convection/microwave. There’s more than better functionality and space for cooking in play here. The standard microwave with mounting plate that is also common on competitors boats is crap. I mean, come on. Whether $750K or $1.5M, this isn’t a college dorm room. Harsh? Yes. Sorry. All that aside, the smaller microwave and bracket rattle to the point where you may want to beat it to death with a hammer. You’ve been warned. This option by Absolute is a must.
From a cosmetic perspective, the storage above the fridge to starboard has been eliminated on the 47 Fly. While practical on the 48 Navetta, its absence on the 47 Fly opens up the interior space a lot. That’s a personal choice. But there should be another choice – and that’s the fridge.
One of my pet peeves is the refrigerators that boat manufacturers install. I understand that a price point has to be met. That’s fine. But give me an option. On a boat of this caliber I’d at least like the ability to choose a stainless drawer-door or similar instead of the same fridge you would find in an RV.
Forward the salon is the same on both boats. It’s a great layout with an expandable hi-lo table. The television is starboard on a lift and easily viewed without craning your neck. I think boats with a bad design for this should pay your deductible when you have to see a chiropractor! (The new Navetta 68 is so well done you’ll sell your house even if you weren’t considering a liveaboard. That’s how well-designed the living spaces are!)
A lot of people buy houses, boats and RVs based on floor plans. Builders know this. That said, boats like the Prestige 460 and new Monte Carlo MC52 have very livable main salons. While both good boats, the Absolute is in a different class – but those livable spaces can really make the decision process frustrating. It’s tough for me too. I eat on the bridge and aft deck. I feel the inside dinette is redundant – I prefer a proper sofa while I watch TV at anchor.
To port, opposite the helm under a glass door are the AC and DC panels. This is a very clean and practical solution. For new boat owners, you may think it’s ugly. Do some research and ask some questions. For seasoned boat owners, it’s a welcome ergonomic design. Everything is right where you need it.
The helms on both boats are exceptional. The helm seat is well done with bolster to accommodate seated or standing positions. The side door is great for an ocean breeze, but more importantly docking and communication with crew.
The dash is a bit different between the two boats. Both are very nice. It feels as if the 47 Fly is a bit more polished in design and function.
There are 3 staterooms and 2 full heads with separate showers, the master is en suite. The lower atrium is open and bathed in light from above. No space is wasted with hallways. Every square foot is dedicated toward usable space.
This is where the higher profile hull and large windows come into play. First, the headroom below is voluminous by any boat standard. (I’m claustrophobic and dare you to feel closed-in.) Let’s begin with the “small” guest stateroom.
Aft to starboard, the guest stateroom features twin beds, a closet and nightstand. That’s pretty standard fare with one exception. Remember I said the windows were large? Yeah – this stateroom is bathed in light with views that rival the full-beam masters on competitors boats. And it just gets better from here.
To port is the ‘guest’ stateroom. This stateroom is larger than most masters. And if you look at other yachts in this length and class, you’re going to think Harry Potter put a charm on the below deck area. It doesn’t seem possible that all this should fit below!
The guest has a large double or small queen – however you want to look at it. There is an optional make-up table and a large TV. But there’s yet another surprise. Yes, a walk-in closet. Now, your guests may not need this – but it sure will be handy for overflow of the owner.
The leaves an en suite master in the bow. This is an unusual and unexpected design. Instead of the traditional centerline berth, the bed is at an angle. The amount of impact on useable space has to be seen in person. The result is a full walk around bed.
Now, one caveat and this depends on you. You might want to take a nap in this stateroom. There is a difference in the bow, at an angle, as opposed to the traditional amidships centerline berth.
Both baths are well appointed and upscale. The floors, shower walls, door and fixtures, sink, lighting, an in general everything is about as nicely done as you could desire.
Let’s be clear about this. I’ve been in a lot of mechanical spaces going way back. I recall a 60 foot Pacemaker in the late 1970’s where the ‘craftsmen’ had carved their initials into the bulkheads! Times, they have changed.
So we’ve seen bad installations where cables and hoses are poor and the inner hull is nothing but chopped fiberglass. If you’ve been lucky to have been on a world-class yacht like a Hatteras, you might be happy to die in their mechanical spaces. Boats like that set a standard.
That leaves a few categories in the middle. The first is expected. That includes a logical space with room for maintenance, a reasonable layout, and double-clamped hoses etc. There might also be some sloppiness with insulation fitting less than perfect, or labeling leaving something to be desired.
The other is unexpected – and that’s where Absolute comes in. The mechanical spaces in the Navetta 48 and 47 Fly are just that. The engine room is laid out extremely well. Access for all maintenance is excellent. All labeling is exceptional – REALLY exceptional. Plumbing connections and electrical wiring are engineered nicely. The entire installation is more like a Hatteras than a boat in this price range.
Now that’s important. I’ve been in a lot of ‘good looking’ boats. Then you open a hatch to see a bilge area and it’s a disaster. If you want a dockside condo – that’s okay – but at sea – no way. (I’ve been on a brand new 90’, $10M semi-custom yacht from a company you would all know that I would never, ever buy!)
Solid hull and mechanicals. Excellent fit and finish. The Navetta 48 has a great ride and reports on the 47 Fly suggest the same. If you can consider around $1.5 M a value – I can tell you these boats are worth it. (AND you can usually get a deal at a show.)
Both boats are great and you can’t make a wrong decision in choosing either one. There are some differences that you should consider in your final pick. I feel these are more based on personal preference.
Absolute has an exceptional track record as a builder. The Navetta 48 has proven itself in sea trials and sea kindliness. Early reports are positive from Italy on the 47 Fly as expected given its lineage – but we’ll have to see for ourselves. I look foward to that opportunity at the upcoming FLIBs show.
For more information visit the Absolute Yachts website.
Extensive Gallery and Specs Below…
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Specs and Layouts
Navetta 48 Gallery
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Specs and Layouts
48 Fly Gallery
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