by Des Ryan
If you want a boat that's excellent for short-handed sailing but is a great performer as well, last month, Morris Yachts announced the introduction of its new Ocean Series 48 GT, a contemporary redesign of its classic Ocean Series 48 RS.
The New Morris 48GT
Cockpit area is backed by open entry transom and swim board
The Morris Yachts Ocean Series line of high-end performance cruisers are all optimized for short-handed sailing with rigorous standards for safety and seaworthiness - good boats to trust for a long voyage.
Each Ocean Series yacht combines powerful performance with a lightweight, beautifully appointed interior – which makes for a welcome retreat at the end of the day (or at the end of the dog watch).
Morris are proud that thei hulls are engineered for extreme strength, longevity and impact resistance. They back their claim with a 10-year hull and deck warranty, and also say that their modern underbody ensures the performance and comfort at sea true sailors demand.
Morris 48GT saloon
The new interior on the Morris 48GT is the creation of an in-house design, engineering and marketing team headed by Doug Metchick, Morris’s new CEO. To come up with the new design, Morris Marketing Director Sarah Fawle said, the team 'reached out to owners to see what they would want,' as well as to people who looked at the 48 RS but decided not to buy one.
'This really pushes the bar for Morris,' Fawle said. 'It’s quite contemporary and what people want.'
From the exterior, the differences between the old and new boats are quite subtle. Morris has retained the proven, Chuck Paine-designed hull and its principal dimensions and displacement are unchanged.
'We looked at revamping the hull,' Fawle said, 'but owners of the RS said it performed too well to change.'
The most obvious change is the rig. The GT’s carbon fibre mast is 6.25 feet taller, giving the boat an additional 106 square feet of working sail including a new, self-tacking jib.
Morris 48GT main cabin
The cockpit has been slightly revised to make sail handling easier for a short-handed crew, Fawle said, but the big change is to include a molded swim platform in the transom with a pass through directly from the cockpit.
There are also quite a few changes to the interior.
In the main salon, the cabin sole has been raised 1 inch and the seats 3 inches to provide a panoramic view through the pilothouse’s large windows.
The head compartment for the owner’s stateroom now features a large, circular shower reminiscent of a mega-yacht.
'The rounded shower is very safe,' Fawle said. There are no sharp edges in the head or elsewhere throughout the interior.
The other major change is the redesign of the portside galley that makes it a more secure workspace at sea and the replacement of the starboard pilot berth with a 'utility station' that, Fawle said, can be utilized to expand the galley or 'customized to the owner’s preference' as an office or otherwise.
Morris 48GT lounge and eating area
That change really reflects the design concept of 'giving owners the ability to customize everything,' including a wider array of fabrics and finishes, below while retaining the proven Ocean 48 hull.
According to Fawle, creating the 48 GT 'transformed the way Morris designs its boats.'
Now that's quite a claim. To learn more about the Morris 48GT, go to the manufacturer's http://www.morrisyachts.com!website.