Marine Technology Inc 44 Pleasure Series Boats
MARINE TECHNOLOGY INC.’S 48 SERIES IS A HEALTHY ADRENALINE RUSH.
When riding in a catamaran traveling better than 160 mph in the middle of a bay, it can be tough to judge the speed of the boat. High-rise buildings quickly come into view and fade out, and fishermen can barely look up fast enough to catch a glimpse of the boat.
Calculations put the catamaran’s rate of speed at 239 feet per second. To put that in perspective, the boat—in this case a new 48-footer from Marine Technology Inc.—covers a football field every 1.25 seconds. And when it comes to running those speeds, the 48 Series from MTI is ideally suited.
The pleasure version of the 48-foot catamaran, which debuted at the 2009 Miami International Boat Show, is based on the same bottom as the race boat. For power, our test boat had two Mercury Racing DualFuel 1200SCi engines with No. 6 dry-sump drives.
The engines provide the option of running 89-octane fuel and producing 1,025 horsepower or switching the Propulsion Control Module (PCM) and using race fuel to reach 1,200 hp. Our test boat was set up for the latter, and with the drives spinning 38"-pitch Hering propellers, the builder wisely went for overall performance rather than a little faster top-end number.
Still, Powerboat test drivers Bob Teague and John Tomlinson coaxed a 163.9-mph top speed at 6,300 rpm from the catamaran on Biscayne Bay in Miami. The speed run took place on an unusually calm bay while the town was in the midst of a recordbreaking 88-degree day in December.
The GPS recall showed the boat hitting a top speed of 170 mph and we have no doubt it’s been there. “We don’t think they got a pickup (truck) to tow it that fast,” quipped Teague.
The catamaran gently came on plane in 6.2 seconds with excellent forward visibility. With Teague handling the Latham Marine sticks, the boat was quickly running 107 mph with the Mercury Racing engines turning a tame 4,500 rpm. Increased another 1,000 rpm, the 48-footer showed 136 mph on the GPS.
It ran smoothly across the bay, and when slowing down to turn, the boat had a nice gentle lean to the inside. Because of its size, we didn’t expect a lot when it came to the acceleration tests. From stopped in the water, the MTI was running 40 mph in 10 seconds and hit 74 mph in 20 seconds. Going from 40 to 70 mph took 11.5 seconds. Teague said he wouldn’t change the boat’s setup, which featured a 1.29:1 gear ratio and the Hering five-blade propellers turning out. “You could probably get it a little faster with more propeller but you’d sacrifice a lot of the characteristics that are important,” he said.
With a boat capable of these speeds, it’s essential that everyone in the cockpit feel comfortable and secure. MTI made sure the four passengers sitting in the sculpted rear buckets had grab handles in between the seats.
A large acrylic windshield manufactured by Aero Marine did an excellent job protecting everyone in the cockpit from the wind. Even passengers seated on the outer seats weren’t wind-blasted.
The catamaran can be run solo or twoman thanks to the throttles and shifters in the center-console. Our throttleman liked that he could control the boat’s trim in the throttles rather than having to take his hand off the sticks to make adjustments.
MTI opted for a digital helm that was free of mechanical gauges. All of the boat’s vital functions—such as speed, rpm and fuel/water pressure—could be found on the Mercury SmartCraft VesselView screen or the Garmin GPS units. VesselView screens were ahead of both the driver and co-pilot, while the 15-inch Garmin GPSMAP 5215 was centered on the dash and the smaller, 8.4-inch Garmin GPSMAP 5208 was mounted to the left.
Our Test Team had mixed reviews about the all-digital setup, preferring a few mechanical gauges for easy viewing while at speed.
Although the boat didn’t have a cabin, MTI created plenty of spots to stow items. Our favorite was the locker aft of the rear bucket seats. Not only was it good for holding life jackets and fenders, it offered easy access to the fire extinguisher. Along with lockers in front of the cockpit for holding towels or jackets, there were small locking glove boxes next to the front seats.
The in-house rigging crew at MTI put on a clinic in the engine compartment of the 48 Series. Our inspectors, who have rigged their share of boats, were particularly impressed with the attention to detail. Runs of lines and hoses were long and straight, properly supported with stainless addles.
To contrast the smooth red bilge, the battery boxes and dry-sump tanks were powder-coated metallic gray. The Mercury Racing engines with BAM Marine Super Cyborg transmissions were installed with equal precision, and color-matched fiberglass covers protected the drivelines.
It’s the little things that set the rigging apart. Take the engine compartment side vents. The crew attached deflector shields to make sure water, especially saltwater, doesn’t splash on the engines. Air also was fed to the engine compartment by a vent in the center of the deck. That air could be used to cool the cockpit as well.
Studying the boat’s long hullsides in the water, we couldn’t find any blemishes in the gelcoat or the red and white paint job.
The 48 Series is for the elite buyer who is not only looking for excellent performance but also wants the best in workmanship and styling. MTI delivers that and more in its new catamaran.
Bruce Bullock Marine: MTI Marine Technology Inc Powerboat Authorized Dealer
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