On board the all-new ocean-crossing powercat
MBY’s Alex Smith reports from the 2022 Southampton Boat Show and takes us on a full tour of the Archipelago 47 as it made its global debut…
Designed in association with commercial specialists Chartwell Marine, this UK-built long-range aluminum Motorkat is the first in the company’s much-anticipated Explorer range and is refreshing for a number of reasons.
First of all, the pronounced elevation of these fuselage sides creates two very practical advantages. First, it drops the relative profile of the wheelhouse, giving the Archipelago 47 a strong military aesthetic that makes the most of the raked roofline and inverted screen.
And second, it creates excellent interior space, both in terms of the stowage compartments at the aft ends of those side decks and the headroom for the cabins in those hulls.
The aluminum construction is also very practical for a boat of this type. Not only does it keep weight down, improve shock resistance and allow for much easier repairs, but it also makes custom upgrades much easier.
From the large aft deck to the central saloon and cabins, everything can be customized to suit your needs – as can the large, expansive roof.
Whilst the showboat uses a huge rack for your toys as well as extra space that looks ideal for solar panels or a tender and crane, there is also a flybridge version of the Archipelago 47 in development which should prove exciting news when seating outdoors a key are priority.
However, the existing layout feels great. With its wide open space and light, naturally textured oak interior, the main deck saloon is a thoroughly welcoming part of the boat.
All-round visibility is great thanks to the use of sailboat-style guardrails instead of solid bulwarks. And the galley is a delight too, thanks to raised work surfaces that allow you to stand rather than stoop while preparing food and drinks.
Below, Archipelago have limited accommodation solely to the hulls, avoiding a deep-chested bridge deck that could compromise the boat’s running efficiency and handling smoothness.
But even on boat number 1, the caliber of these berths can be seen very clearly. There is an outrageously generous master cabin to the port hull and there will be two guest cabins separated by a central starboard head, although they were not completed in time for the Southampton Boat Show.
You can also fit her with four cabins if required, but either way the huge hull windows and high side decks make this fascinating new cat a seriously attractive proposition for serious cruisers.
The new Archipelago 47 is capable of cruising at speeds of up to 30 knots, accommodating up to eight people in four separate cabins and cruising more than 3,000 nautical miles continuously. The new Archipelago 47 is about expanding your horizons.
While hybrid and electric boat options are likely to prove popular on production models, the first Archipelago 47 will be powered by two 420hp Iveco diesel engines on straight shafts running in semi-tunnels.
The Archipelago’s aluminum construction not only helps to keep weight down, improve shock resistance and reduce development costs. It also makes creating custom models a lot easier and making on-the-fly repairs during remote off-grid adventures a lot easier.
Company founder, owner and CEO Dr. Steven Weatherley is a cybersecurity specialist with a PhD in astrophysics and an experienced powerboat owner.
After searching to no avail for a fast, go-anywhere Motorkat to replace the family’s Mitchell 31, he decided to commission and build his own. He was so pleased with the concept art that he decided to start a business out of it.
A second Archipelago 47 is already under construction and plans for 38ft and 56ft models are also being developed.
In the short term, Weatherley plans to use his new boat for day trips and weekends in the Solent with his wife and four young children, but ultimately has ambitions for more adventurous blue water cruising – hence the range requirements.
“The march of the multihulls seems to be picking up pace with each passing month, but this one really does it for me,” says MBY editor Hugo Andreae. “Small and fast enough for day trips, but also tough and efficient enough to cross oceans, it really seems to offer the best of both worlds.”
Archipelago 47 specifications
LOA: 47 ft 7 in (14.50 m)
Beam: 21 ft 3 in (6.50 m)
Engines: Two 420 hp Iveco diesel engines
Top speed: 30 knots
Starting price: £1,100,000 (incl. VAT)