LOA 49 ft., 2 in. w/ optional swim platform
Beam 16 ft., 5 in.
Draft 3 ft., 9 in.
Fuel 800 gals.
Water 132 gals.
Engines Twin CAT C18-E diesels, 1,015 hp each
Base Price Contact Dealer
Hull is solid fiberglass up to the waterline, and the first four layers are done in vinylester resin.
Standard Equipment
Twin CAT C12 diesels, 700 hp each, Onan generator, ZF engine control, 27,000 Btu reverse-cycle AC/heat, Glendinning Cablemaster w/50-amp shore power, Headhunter jet-pump head, 2 8D AGM battery house bank, 4 8D AGM battery engine/generator start bank and much more.
Optional Equipment
Twin CAT C18-E diesels, 1,015 hp each, Wesmar bow thruster, additional 16,000 Btu helm-area AC/heat, 3-sided enclosed bridge and more.
McKinna Yachts, Newport Beach, Calif.; mckinnayachts.com
West Coast Dealer
McKinna Yachts, Newport Beach, Calif.; (949) 673-4879; mckinnayachts.com

McKinna Yachts, San Diego; (619) 230-8989; mckinnayachts.com

McKinna 48 Express Sportfisher

Posted: April 1, 2013  |  Boat Type: Sportfisher

You don’t have to fish to like this sportfisher

By: Mike Werling

We were backing down on a fish that didn’t exist. Or maybe it did, but we didn’t have a line in the water, so we weren’t hooked up to it. We were backing down in the waters off Corona del Mar because I wanted to see how well the McKinna 48 Express Sportfisher performed the task — and how quickly it got rid of any water in the cockpit.

McKinna Yachts’ Garret Martin obliged, with the caveat that the scuppers didn’t have their flaps attached, so a lot of water was going to come in. Sure enough, the cockpit filled with a few inches of water through those unflapped scuppers — it was a good test — and in about five seconds all the water was gone, out of those same scuppers. Not bad, I thought, especially considering that once the scupper flaps are installed there’s no way that much water will get in.

The test was important, because the 48XSF will be looked at by serious fishermen, and they are going to be chasing big ones in reverse — often, if they’re any good. They want to know the cockpit is going to drain and that the boat can maneuver going backward. Check, and check. Martin worked the controls to move us straight back, to port and starboard and in sweeping arcs. We might have looked a bit funny to the passing boater, given that we had no fighting chair, no tower and no lines in the water, but we had our reasons.

A fisherman who wants a vessel he can stalk some fish in is going to be happy with what he finds, and so will his family, because they won’t have to make the sacrifices some other sportfishers require when it comes to comfort and entertaining. McKinna built the 48XSF for people who love to fish but know they need a family friendly boat, too.

“It’s a good way for a guy to get what he wants and still get the family aboard,” Martin said.

Come Aboard

The Donald Blount-designed hull has a flared bow — the widest part of the boat is about a quarter of the way aft of the point of the bow — that is higher than the transom. The shear sweeps back gently to a thigh-high cockpit transom. A stainless steel railing begins about one-third of the way forward on both sides and meets at the bow.

Access to the 48 is through a starboard-side transom door and into the lower cockpit, which has everything a fisherman on the prowl needs. On the transom is a livewell/bait tank, which can be optioned as a barbecue grill or a bar. Built into the forward bulkhead of the lower cockpit is a console that includes a bait prep area with a nozzle and a drain, a custom freezer and lots of storage for tackle. A separate unit to starboard houses a sink. In the center of the cockpit sole is a base for a fighting chair (owner’s choice of brand/model) and/or a dining table. You can use the chair to catch dinner and eat it at the table. Six rod/cupholders are built into the gunwale, for cockpit-wide angling action. Our test boat doesn’t have a fishing tower, but owners can choose one and have it added, or they can get the upper cockpit/bridge enclosed on three sides.

Up three steps is the bridge area, which has a center helm with a captain’s chair, another captain’s chair to starboard, a side aft-facing seat to port, an L-shaped lounge along the aft and port bulkhead, and a two-person bench settee behind the second captain’s chair. All in all, there is room for about 10 people to sit comfortably. You can add a table at the L-lounge. A curved, sloping windshield wraps around three sides of the bridge, providing protection from the breeze during 30-plus-knot runs to the next fishing spot. The helm itself has a Garmin GPSmap 7215 chartplotter front and center, a GPSmap 5208, a Simrad AP28 autopilot, an Icom VHF radio, CAT engine displays and a bow-thruster control. The engine controls are to either side of thesteering wheel, ready to accommodate the classic aft-facing backing-the-boat-down pose.

Between the captain’s chairs is belowdecks access to two staterooms, one head, a salon and the galley. At the bottom of the four-step stairway is a companionway that leads to the starboard galley, the port salon and the forward master. The sole is African cherry and holly, and the rest of the interior is African cherry with a stain finish, giving the accommodations a rich, cruising-yacht look you might not expect on a sportfisher.

The master has a queen island berth, two hanging lockers, a TV and an opening hatch above for light and air. The guest stateroom — immediately to port at the bottom of the steps — has a single top bunk and a double bottom bunk, to sleep three.

The salon settee is L shaped, and the long side has a frame that pulls out (when the high-low table is lowered) to create a double berth, so the boat can sleep seven. In the galley, you’ll find a microwave/convection oven, a coffeemaker, a stove, a stainless sink, storage above and below, and a refrigerator/freezer with a TV above it for viewing from the salon. The head — Headhunter water-jet toilet, standup shower, sink and storage — is immediately to starboard at the base of the steps. There is headroom throughout, even in the shower.

Giddy Up

At about 30 knots with the wheel turned hard left, the 48XSF leaned into the turn slightly and bit in, barely bleeding off any speed as we pulled a full circle. It made the transition from hard left to hard right easily in the middle of a figure 8. Anyone who likes speed and agility will enjoy the boat. After turning hard and driving through our own wake a few times, the windshield and cockpit were dry.

Even though the boat is open, it isn’t too loud. The windshield keeps the wind from blasting through the bridge area, and the insulated engine room — home to twin CAT C18-E diesels that crank out 1,015 hp each — eats up the noise. The highest decibel-meter reading I took was 84 at WOT, while we were traveling 35 knots (and burning about 99 gph). At 1500 rpm, the boat was moving 18 knots and burning 38 gph. The noise level was barely above that of a normal conversation at 75 dbA. We cruised along at 29.5 knots and burned 72 gph at 2050 rpm, while recording 80 dbA, a portion of which could be attributed to the wind.

Belowdecks, the decibel readings were 3 to 5 dbA less. At 1000 rpm, we were making 9.5 knots and burning 16 gph, while 1200 rpm garnered 10.7 knots and 22 gph. The boat can easily get you to Ensenada, where a refuel will carry you through the northern Mexican fishing grounds.

Tech geeks will like McKinna Control, which provides owners with control of their yacht’s onboard systems remotely — from any mobile device anywhere in the world with a Wi-Fi connection. Actually, as simple as the system is, everyone will like it. McKinna Control will monitor systems and alert you if something is wrong, giving you the opportunity to turn something on or off from halfway around the globe. Whether it’s security, power, tanks, pumps or other systems, McKinna Control can keep an eye on things and keep you informed. If you have security cameras hooked up, you can control them remotely and watch what’s going on aboard your boat. Email and text alerts keep you connected to your boat virtually in real time. You won’t be able to drive the boat from afar, but why would you want to — you’d miss out on all the fun.

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