REVIEW: HUDSON POWERCAT HPC 48

By: JOHN WILLIS, Photography by: JOHN WILLIS, SUPPLIED

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

Big, powerful and accommodating, meet the Hudson Powercat 48 for upmarket liveaboarding and voyaging afar.

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REVIEW: HUDSON POWERCAT HPC 48

HIGHS

• Four separate living areas

• Master stateroom full-cabin width

• Upper and lower stations

• Power

• Layout and flow

LOWS

• Bimini structure (demo boat only)

A large part of the power catamaran world is heading toward the modern trend of square lines and upright trawler-style windscreens, yet one company, Hudson Powercat (part of the Hudson Yacht Group), has rallied with chic curvaceous appeal intertwined with diamond cut design for its exciting, appealing and innovative range – and to be honest, it looks like nautical eye candy to me!

Hudson Powercat is a relative newcomer on the block, with its worldwide launch back in 2010. Yet don’t underestimate its capability and production strength, having produced more than 100 International J/80 sports yachts as well as larger projects such as the Bill Dixon-designed Pearl 75 and Pearl 50 luxury monohull cruisers. Hudson Yacht Group says, "Today HYG offers the full spectrum of seafaring vessels – from day racers to the award-winning HH Catamarans, luxury performance sailing yachts currently dominating the multihull world over in the Caribbean." (The HH55 awarded the Cruising World Boat of the Year – Best Cruising Catamaran 2018, and the HH66 the Sailing World Boat of the Year – Best Multihull and Overall Winner 2018; the recognition well deserved.)

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Hudson Yacht Group was founded in 2006 by successful manufacturer and entrepreneur Hudson Wang, who turned his talents to his nautical passion. Wang quickly forged an ongoing relationship with multi-award-winning yacht designer Bill Dixon and gathered a strong and very experienced management, sales and production team to form the group. The large range of motor and sailing yachts are manufactured in its 300,000ft² factory in Xiamen, China and today boasts more than 200 employees. They are dedicated to premium quality production incorporating skilled trades with state-of-the-art manufacturing and materials to produce a truly innovative range of beautiful craft.

The HPC 48 is the smallest in the Hudson Powercat range, with sisterships including the 52 and 56. They call it the "4x4 of the Sea" obviously due to her steady performance and comfortable cruising experience. In my eyes, she has the essence of stylish design. There’s strong flowing lines softened by sleek curvature and highlighted by an array of imaginative windows and flybridge with targa, yet she still displays a strong stance with confident entry and full sponsons.

The world of cruising cats has never been stronger with some of the world’s leading brands concentrating heavily on development. Take a tour of the Whitsundays or any northern harbour to confirm the obvious popularity, and with great reasons.

The HPC 48 sponsons feature a very proud entry to calm the fray, and large volume to keep the craft high and dry out of the turmoil. You won’t spill your drinks on a cat either; their stability is unquestionable both on the move and at rest.

TRIO OF DELIGHTS

Numerous catamarans are built as displacement cruisers, only having limited top speeds up to around 8 to 10kts. This is quite suitable for cruising reasonably enclosed waters but not for a seafaring yacht. Hence the HPC 48 is fitted with a pair of 370hp Yanmar 8LV‑370 4.46lt V8 diesel engines, allowing a brisk 21.5kts at 3890rpm for that quick dash to safety when the going looks like getting tough. It still provides a good cruising range of 342nm with 10 per cent reserve, however, for far more efficient and comfortable cruising back her off to a far more pleasurable 8.8kts at 1690rpm where you will increase your range dramatically to a distant 1300nm on the standard 1500lt aluminium tanks plus a further two 500lt unit options for a total of 2500lt.

The propulsion features V-drives to stainless steel shafts with dripless seals and four-blade nickel aluminum bronze propellers. The engines are set deep but very neatly in the rear of the sponsons with excellent access and serviceability from large hatches in the cockpit floor. The engine bays are well insulated, sound deadened compartments with excellent access to common service and inspection points. Also in the starboard compartment is a water-cooled Fischer Panda 12kW generator plus shorepower with auto changeover and BMS management to the battery bank of six (four for domestic 24V and two engine dedicated, including the Victron float battery charger/inverter).

FULL-WIDTH CABIN

I really loved the full-width cabin on the saloon deck level! Whilst the cabins on most cats are reasonably comfortable, I often get the feeling of being a little confined by the sponson volume. But not with the three-cabin layout of the Hudson 48. The master stateroom isn’t quite full beam as being on the saloon level it must make room for external walkways, but with 6.83m maximum beam the master stateroom is still approximately 5.6m x approx. 3m deep with a light and airy feel enhanced by three fixed overhead windows from the foredeck, plus a further two opening deck hatches and another pair of upright elongated units with Venetian blinds.

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There’s a large double bed amidships with a large recessed TV and entertainment system, a variety of appropriate mood lighting and an attractive blend of gloss fibreglass head lining, timber and upholstered feature panels with upholstered bedhead and plush fawn carpet. You drop down a small step on the winglets either side of the main bedding area into a dresser to port complete with make-up table, plenty of drawer storage plus a full walk-in wardrobe. To starboard is a further sideboard/cabinet before you step into the long bathroom complete with full-size shower up front, and lovely vanity with raised oval bowl and of course, the Tecma electric marine head and even a 7kg washer/dryer.

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The third major delight is having a full helm station in the saloon. Many competitors only allow upper-station controls. Sure it’s nice to be upstairs when the weather allows but this "4x4 of the Sea" is capable of far more serious adventures, hence the lower fully enclosed station is a terrific advantage. We would always like to think that the weather will be fine for our boating pleasure but the reality is that afternoon sea breezes can absolutely rip through you even in the tropics, let alone in more southern climates.

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The lower station features a pair of beautifully upholstered helmsman’s chairs on a multipurpose base with folding footrests in front and storage behind. It’s a very sporty and well-trimmed dashboard with a spoked and leather steering wheel, twin-lever electronic engine controls, a custom Hudson systems control panel, Raymarine navigation, radar and sounder, a full set of toggle switches plus analogue gauges, VHF, AIS and autopilot. The vision through the windscreen isn’t exactly panoramic but I’m not complaining, that’s what the radar and GPS/plotter are for and of course, there’s the fully equipped flybridge drive station with panoramic vision!

TRUE TEMPTATION

The HPC 48 is a comfortable, inviting and mighty alluring temptress, with beautifully presented and inviting living spaces that lull you into total relaxation. Hudson says she is "a luxury apartment on the sea with three distinct dining spaces, the perfect venue for entertaining friends". I concur!

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The rear teak-lined deck has a moulded U-shaped dinette suitable for seating six guests without pulling up a few folding deck chairs. There are large swimplatforms stepped either side that create terrific launching pads for water sports and tenders.

Whilst I’m often in awe of my surroundings when I step into the saloon of most luxury craft, to be quite honest they can sometimes seem unhomely. But not so with the Hudson 48. The décor is certainly modern but not overwhelming, comfortable but not opulent, attractive but not imposing, stylish but not gaudy and simplistic but not minimalistic. Practicality and comfort are certainly not predisposed to style, and there is a fresh feeling of space and imaginative design backed with sensible and attractive finishes and textures. There’s plenty of space for entertaining but intimate enough for an enchanting weekend escape.

The rear doors open wide revealing open-plan al fresco living with the U-shaped galley immediately to the left. It’s a practical affair with sensible bench space and storage, plus overhead cabinetry, twin sink, a dishwasher drawer, twin fridge drawers plus a bar fridge, combination microwave/convection oven with electric grill and hob, wine racks and concealed lighting. It is placed well to serve the whole party without restricting the flow.

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There’s a large and very comfortable dinette on starboard and a further lounge to port with a pop-up TV placed appropriately behind. You could live quite comfortably in this Hudson apartment-on-water in both hot and cold climates with the encompassing facilities including reverse-cycle air-conditioning.

The guests and kids haven’t been forgotten either. Downstairs to port is a lovely stateroom with full-length singles and a compact en suite. The starboard side has a lovely double berth fit for royalty with a separate wardrobe and corner make-up table with well-lit mirror. This suite has a very attractive and beautifully appointed en suite with full-size shower, vanity, head and plenty of wood-grained cabinetry.

UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS

The flybridge is an entertainer’s delight. It is most certainly the place to be on a glorious sun-filled day. The entertainment space is expansive with plenty of room to move plus a large dinette with expandable teak table providing seating for up to 12 guests. There’s a large sun lounge on port and an inclusive helm to starboard featuring Raymarine electronics for sounding and navigation, plus a full set of piloting equipment for the twin Yanmar’s with autopilot. The vista is terrific for all, including the skipper who can cruise with all of his guests in the elevated platform with the stability of the twin hulls.

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This inclusive extended flybridge also offers a wetbar with grill, sink and icebox, plus the optional stainless steel barbecue fitted to our demo unit. Out back is an attractive targa and our demo unit had a locally fitted bimini, but whilst practical it was a little cumbersome and will be changed.

When it comes to outdoor living there’s yet another day lounge on the big, wide bow where I can see the bubbly flowing and the wind in your hair. Life’s good on this Hudson 48, and she is a real head turner! 

SPECIFICATIONS

PRICED FROM

$1.629 Million

OPTIONS FITTED

$199,000 worth of optional extras

PRICE AS TESTED

$1,429,783 (demonstrator model)

GENERAL

Material FRP

Type Power catamaran

Length 14.47m

Beam 6.9m

Weight 21.5t (light load)

CAPACITIES

People Night 6

Fuel 2500lt

Water 500lt

ENGINE

Make/Model 2 x Yanmar 8LV-370

Type V8 diesel

Rated hp 370 (each)

Displacement 4.46lt (each)

Gear Ratio 2.47:1

Props Four-blade

SUPPLIED BY

Catamaran Company

Building A1/a, The Boat Works,

1 Boatworks Drive, Coomera, QLD, 4209

PHONE +61 (07) 5502 3124

EMAIL sales@catamarancompany.com.au

Check out the full review in issue #503 of Trade-a-Boat magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest boat news, reviews and travel inspiration.

 


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