Boat Review Date: March 2019
Author: Mike Brown
The buyer of this Caribbean 49 is a dedicated game fisherman and he wanted maximum cockpit space for his sport. Caribbeans are known for their big cockpits in proportion to overall size, and the 49’s is big indeed; made effectively even bigger by a distinct lack of clutter.
Another thing big in Caribbeans is the bed size, and here is another feature that appealed to the owner who does not just chase fish. He also likes the Rotto lifestyle and a spacious sleep is welcome after a social day. There are two double cabins and one twin, sharing two bathrooms.
The cockpit has all the modern amenities but, disposed around the edges, they make no intrusion. Aft lives a family-plus-friends sized barbecue, forward is top feed fridge-freezer and a sink, drawers and locker unit. Under deck is more volume than only exceptional pack rats could fill, leaving room for tables and chairs. The solid awning has been cantilevered to minimize the obstacles for anglers.
A ladder, if something so grand deserves the name, saves the space a set of stairs would have consumed. It leads to a large bridge that has been enclosed, with glass below the hardtop replacing the standard plastic clears. Panels of it open for ventilation. The control position is right aft in the bridge, allowing social contact between driver and passengers. Also assisting the social side is a bar fridge.
Propulsion is by a pair of traditional shaft drive diesels. Some people love pod drives for their simplified manoeuvring and for the space they gain below deck. Others prefer this simplicity and durability and quickly pick up the appropriate skills – especially with the bow thruster fitted in the 49. With practice you can make the combination of thruster and propellers move both ends of the hull sideways.
Appropriate for Rottnest and for long cruises, a desalinator is installed. At 180 litres per hour, keeping the main 900 litre tank full needs little running time. There is no doubt that water rationing on a long trip – the Abrolhos say, wipes the edge off the fun. Inadequate air conditioning can dim the delight too. The 49’s tropical strength machinery could cope with summer in the Red Sea.
The tender and its davit have been mounted on the foredeck, which makes much sense; other than berthing little use is normally made of the space. Another tender or similar can be carried aft on the swim platform. This hydraulically powered device is rated to 800 kilos, so is well up to hoisting a jet ski.
The cockpit and saloon are well linked by wide doors to become virtual extensions of each other. The galley is mounted right forward rather than at the trendy aft bulkhead position. Much to be said for the latter, but the 49’s uses the available space rather better and accepts the truth: 90 percent of cooking will be done on the mooring or at anchor, and it will be done on the barbecue. The galley tends to be the maker of coffee and snacks, and for this is abundantly equipped.
As is the saloon for passive entertainment, although drinking is possibly considered active and there is an excellent wet bar. The couch potatoes (leather couches) have TV, stereo and all other types of electronics.
The whole of the interior, despite its attractive finish, is pretty low maintenance and mostly cleanable with a wipe or a sweep. There is no fun in a boat that requires you to work during your play time.
The housekeeping and sitting around are all very well, but serious fishing is clearly in this boat’s blood, and it shows. A pair of game poles is permanently mounted, there is a bank of 12 rod sockets at the rear of the bridge backing those in the rail, and the bridge console has extremely sophisticated fish detection devices. Enough here to excite Mike Roenfeldt.
Fuel capacity 3,200L
Fresh water 900L
Motors fitted 2x Cummins diesels