The latest from Discovery Yachts, this is a bluewater cruiser for those seeking a high-quality, luxurious yacht, but want something more manageable for the UK or Med waters. Toby Hodges reports


It was the Discovery 55 that launched Discovery Yachts 15 years ago. The Marchwood-based yard specialises in bluewater cruisers for couples and, although this 55 was considered a large yacht at the time, subsequent Discovery models have all been larger. Only now has it unveiled plans for its first smaller version, the 48.

But with average yacht sizes continuing to increase, why create the smallest Discovery now? I spoke to Discovery’s new managing director, Andrew Burrows, who explained that the decision was taken for two reasons: firstly because of feedback from previous owners who have returned to the UK after bluewater cruising – “seeking a high-quality, luxurious yacht, but something more manageable for the UK or Med waters,” he says. “And secondly for the purpose of attracting people into the Discovery brand at a lower size and price range.”

The 48 has all the Discovery hallmarks such as a centre cockpit and a large raised saloon and navstation, yet unusually it is available in two variants. The Ocean version has single wheel steering and two luxury en-suite cabins.

The Riviera has twin wheels and a more open cockpit, with a rollbar to keep the mainsheet out of the way. Down below are three double cabins, including the owner’s cabin forward.

D48 interior Saloon (2)

Designers Ron Holland and Bill Dixon are responsible for Discovery’s previous designs, but the 48 is drawn by a new name, Oscar Mayr Design. Mayr is a young and promising naval architect, a recent top graduate from Solent University who worked at Discovery for a year supporting its in-house design team.

“We believe it is good to have a young designer with fresh ideas and styling approach,” Burrows says.

The 48 has a positive sheerline rising to a high stem. The yacht is specifically designed for safe and easy short-handed sailing so comes with Discovery’s tried-and-tested twin headsails (genoa and self-tacking jib) and in-mast furling main as standard.

In fact, the standard price incorporates a full spec including generator, reverse-cycle aircon/heating, bow thruster, electric winches and navigation instruments.

Price ex VAT from £645,000 for the Ocean model.


LOA 14.80m/48ft 0in

Beam 4.83m/15ft 8in

Displacement (half load) 17,500kg/38,500lb

Draught (Std) 2.23m/7ft 3in