2009-launched Gunboat 48 – NOW SOLD


Grabau International is delighted to announce its successful sale of the 2009-launched Gunboat 48 ‘SPIRIT OF AFRICA’.

Arguably the boat that started the current trend for composite performance cruising catamarans. Real-world proof that you can have your cake and eat it. Sculpted in carbon and Kevlar to designs by Morrelli & Melvin and the very last to be launched from a run of 6 built between 2004 & 2009, SPIRIT OF AFRICA has benefitted from just one caring private owner since new.

Much updated over the earlier builds, SPIRIT OF AFRICA represents one of the most effective way to cover ground quickly and in total comfort. With fanatical attention to detail and weight-saving, Gunboat 48’s are easily capable of upwards of 400Nm per day in ideal conditions.

Fitted out for low-carbon footprint effortless long-distance cruising, SPIRIT OF AFRICA boasts many inventory highlights including:-

• Carbon & Kevlar hull construction with epoxy foam sandwich and Nomex aramid honeycomb
• 3-cabin, 3-heads interior layout with fantastic owner’s cabin aft and VIP cabins forward.
• Twin 40hp Lombardini engines
• Integrated twin bowthrusters and stern thruster with joystick boat control
• Carbon daggerboards with 0.60m-2.20m draft
• Retractable carbon fibre rudders
• Twin autopilot systems
• B&G navigation system with plotter, HD radar, AIS and night-vision top-mast camera
• Iridium satellite phone
• SSB radio with HF mail system
• Lewmar Electric winches
• Harken deck gear
• Facnor continuous line jib furler and self-tacking jib system
• Harken low-friction battencars for fully-battened mainsail
• Marstrom carbon spars with Aramid standing rigging for reduced weight aloft
• North 3Di Mainsail and jib
• Furling Code Zero and Spinnakers
• Carbon davits with Zodiac console tender and 20hp outboard
• Solar panel bank with 10 x 160W panels
• Lithium-Ion service batteries
• Empirbus DC switching system
• Victron inverter
• DC watermaker with 80lph output
• Diesel fired heating and DC ventilation fans
• Fridges and freezers
• Electric heads


Built from 2004-2009 and designed for uncrewed, family sabbatical sailing, the GUNBOAT 48 series captivated the sailing dreams of an even broader scope of sailors. The overall design premise for the 48 followed on the heels of the wildly successful Gunboat 62 and called upon designers Morrelli and Melvin to achieve the same dream but in a package built for owner-operators – with simple systems, Gunboat performance, and the usual ease of handling.

The interior and accommodations had to be light and airy, with the salon, helm, and galley located on the main deck within the pilothouse and a spacious, well-protected aft cockpit for dining and lounging on the shaded double daybed. She featured three queen berths, a convertible office/4th berth, and two heads within the hulls.

Highly sought after, only six Gunboat 48’s were built and they rarely change hands. Over the years the 48 has captured the hearts of many sailors who dream of quality world-cruising on their own terms, from the clandestine love of quiet owners who may never part with them to the well-known adventurers who bequeath their ownership to friends. Look closely in the Caribbean, the South Pacific, or the fjords of Norway, and you just may sight one of these mythical two-hulled creatures.


“The Gunboat 48: a classic catamaran. They only built six of them and they rarely come up for sale.

The 48 is the Owner Operator Gunboat set up for short-handed sailing. I think she’s the best-looking Gunboat: she looks like an E-Type Jag on the water with that long bow. An absolute legend that goes like the wind…”

“…The 48 is around the same length as many popular production boats like the Nautitech 46 Open and the Lagoon 46, but she´s quite a bit faster…She is lightning quick. The 48 has to be one of the best-looking cats on the water. That cosy protected helm, a short step away from the mast and all of the lines. The aft cockpit or “back porch” is a great place to hang out if you want a break from all of the action.

For owner-operators, the Gunboat 48 is well set up for short-handed sailing. That’s not something you can say about their larger models, except maybe the 55.”

“Original Gunboat founder Peter Johnstone picked up the phone to Gino Morrelli and Pete Melvin when he was dreaming up the 48. These are all guys who love to sail, and the brief was for a boat that would increase the fun factor while being safe, reliable, and seaworthy for a cruising couple. And being a Gunboat, this catamaran had to be fast!

What they came up with was a powerful, no nonsense catamaran built of the latest, lightest materials, with ample room to sleep and relax that was easy to sail with a short-handed crew. The 48 was the second design off the blocks after the 62 (including Tribe, the original Gunboat). They later extended the 62 into the 66…”

“…The Gunboat 48 starts to shine when you get the sails up and the big difference between this boat and other multihulls is that you will be covering good ground upwind too. The high roach main and self-tacking jib is well set up for shorthanded sailing.

The tacking angle is around 100 degrees going into the wind and you can expect boat speeds of between 7.5 to 9 knots on a close reach in decent conditions.

Head off the wind and you will sail close to wind speed with the right sails up (gennaker, code 0 or jib), tacking downwind again at 90-100 degrees for the best VMG (velocity to waypoint).

When the 48 hits 12 knots, she really starts to fly. In the right conditions sailed properly, you should be seeing speeds in the 20s – OK, you might be getting a helping hand from the waves, but you get my drift – this is a fast catamaran. Even in light winds you should see speeds approaching True Wind Speed.”

“…What do you get for your money? Well, vacuum-bagged, oven-cured hulls and a foam sandwich deck built with epoxy, (biaxial with unidirectional glass) and Kevlar plus carbon fibre, dagger-boards, lifting rudders, stringers, ring frames, and a crossbeam. This yacht couldn´t be further away from a similar sized production cat like the Fountaine Pajot 45 or the Lagoon 46. It´s all in the details. Oh, and you get a slice of catamaran history of course…”

We wish her new owners fair winds and following seas.

For those that missed out, Grabau International has a number of other similar yachts available for sale including:

Ocean Explorer 60 – full details here

Mattia 52 – full details here

Do you have a yacht like this to sell? Grabau International are always looking for new high quality cruising yacht listings both in the UK and internationally. For further information about our tailored brokerage services, please look here or feel free to contact us

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