2 x Volvo Penta D6 IPS650
Report by Eric Colby
The Absolute Yachts Navetta 52 is a flying bridge yacht designed for day boating and entertaining. She has gathering areas on three levels and belowdecks, she sleeps seven. She’s powered by twin 480-hp Volvo Penta D-6 IPS650s.
Absolute designed the Navetta 52 to be an owner-operated flying bridge yacht. She has indoor and outer lounge areas for entertaining family and friends and can sleep up to seven people including the crew quarters. Her blunt bow cuts through chop and carrying her beam farther forward creates more space in the bow above and below decks.
Absolute Yachts Navetta 52 Main Features
- Large flying bridge
- Twin Volvo Penta IPS650s
- Joystick piloting
- Available third station
- Transom bar with grill
Absolute Yachts 52 Navetta Features Inspection
The Flying Bridge
Our test model’s aft boat deck on the flying bridge is 10’9” (3.28 m) wide and 5’4” (1.63 m) fore to aft. The owner installed a large deck box on the stern, so expect at least 2’ (.61 m) more of open space on a stock version. Moving forward, to starboard, there’s a J-shaped table around a table that’s supported by two heavy-duty posts that will keep it from wobbling. The outboard lounge is 94” (238.76 cm) long and the aft section is 68” (172.72 cm) wide. Overhead, there’s a hardtop with an opening center section, speakers and courtesy lights. Headroom is 92” (233.68 cm). Our test boat also had the optional Sureshade retractable awning that extends aft over the boat deck.
To port, a bar has open counter space outboard and an ice maker and a refrigerator in the base. When we opened the cover on the forward edge, we found a sink with a fold-up faucet on the inboard side, space that could be occupied by an optional grill and a drop-in cooler.
The upper helm is centrally positioned and starting from the left side of the console, there’s a cup holster, VHF radio, the search light and the panel to scroll through engine functions on the Volvo Penta 10” (25.4 cm) screen. On the vertical top panel, two 14” (35.56 cm) Garmin multifunction displays flank the Quick chain counter for the windlass. The compass is in line with the tilt steering wheel. Accessory switches are to the left of the steering column. To the right of the wheel are the Bennett trim tab buttons with built integrated position indicators, the Volvo Penta digital engine controls and joystick, the Fusion stereo and another cup holder. The height of the center section of the flying bridge windscreen can be adjusted to accommodate a variety of drivers. Lounges on each side let guests keep the captain company and have forward backrests that can be raised to create aft-facing chaise lounges.
Absolute Yachts Navetta 52 Main Deck
We make our way down actual stairs — not a ladder — from the flying bridge to the stern. A stainless-steel-framed plexiglass gate opens and it’s two steps down to the Navetta 52’s swim platform. Our test boat had the hydraulic version that can be lowered into the water to create a private beach. It has stairs built into the stern that make it easy to climb up when the platform is lowered. With the platform raised, it spans the boat’s beam and extends 55” (139.7 cm) aft from the transom. A hatch on top of the transom opens to reveal a bar with a sink, grill and open counter space. In the stairs leading to the aft deck, the freshwater fill and deck wash are clearly labeled and the shorepower cords exit from beneath the second step.
The Aft Deck Three steps lead up to the aft deck that is 12’ (3.66 m) wide and 5’2” (1.63 m) fore to aft. There’s 77” (195.58 cm) of headroom beneath the flying bridge extension. A lounge across the stern is 91” (231.14 cm) long and has a shallow tray to port with the stereo control on the front side. Between the two stainless-steel posts that support the flying bridge, a shade can be lowered to add some privacy. Large stainless-steel chocks and bollard-style cleats are aft on each side. A compartment to port has dual manual bilge pumps. There’s storage in the base of the flying bridge stairs to port and to starboard, our test boat had the optional third docking station. A hatch in the deck provides for quick checks of the engine compartment.
The Bow From the aft deck, it’s a 5” (12.7 cm) step up to the side decks that are 11 ½” (29.21 cm) wide. The bulwarks are 28” (71.12 cm) tall and the rails extend 8” (20.32 cm) higher. The overhang from the flying bridge provides protection and there’s a track on the bottom for installing isinglass to enclose the entire aft deck. When we arrived at the bow, there’s a sofa-style lounge on the front of the pilothouse with a passageway between it and the longer cushions forward on the trunk cabin. The backrests for the forward lounge can be raised to two different heights for chaise-style lounging.
The ground tackle is in the forepeak on a raised pedestal with a Quick windlass deploying an Ultra stainless-steel anchor in a stainless-steel chute. Access to the rode is via an in-deck hatch to starboard and there are bollard-style cleats and chocks on each side.
The Galley Sliding stainless-steel-framed glass doors open to connect the aft deck to the salon. Immediately to port are the refrigerator and freezer with the doors finished to match the interior trim. Just ahead are the Bosch four-burner stove with pot and pan racks and the dishwasher is underneath it with storage alongside. There’s a wastebasket in the outboard corner with a stainless-steel sink in the aft counter. Utensils are in a dedicated drawer just above the Bosch convection-microwave oven.
Opposite the galley to starboard, the main distribution panel has the 124-volt AC breakers up top and those for the 24-volt DC panel down low. Moving forward, there’s a counter with open storage above and dedicated drawers for the stemware and dishes below.
The Salon Two 6” (15.24 cm) steps lead up to the Navetta 52’s salon that has a J-shaped lounge that wraps around a table to port. The table has folding leaves that expand it to 57” (144.78 cm) long by 29.5” (74.93 cm) wide. Just across is a smaller sofa-style lounge. A Samsung 44” (111.76 cm) TV raises out of the back of this lounge on one of the faster racks we’ve seen.
The Lower Helm
The forward port counter in the salon has space for charts and is finished in a dark-colored upholstery. Alongside is a convenient glovebox because even on a 52’ (15.85 m) yacht, it’s nice to have a place to toss the car keys.
The lower helm is to starboard with two 18” (45.72 cm) Garmin chartplotters and the compass is in line with the tilt steering wheel. Accessory switches are just below the displays. To the left side are an air conditioning duct, the windshield-washer and wiper controls, the Quick chain counter, Volvo Penta engine start-stops and the Bennett trim tab panel. Beneath the steering wheel are a 12-volt plug and the slots for navigation cards. To the right are more accessory switches, the Volvo Penta engine controls, joystick and engine screen, Seakeeper panel and search-light. We always appreciate a door to the side deck adjacent to the helm. The captain can step outside to get a better view and still reach the joystick.
The helm seat is doublewide, but has a single folding bolster so the companion will need to go along with the captain’s preference when it comes to standing or sitting. Additionally, the steering wheel is basically positioned ahead of the center of the seat. If it was positioned more to the left or right, it would be more comfortable for a guest to join the captain during a cruise. The base of the helm seat houses a wine chiller.
Absolute Yachts Navetta 52 Accommodations Deck
Stairs adjacent to the helm lead down to the accommodations deck. Absolute used an atrium-style approach to the lower salon, leaving it open so that natural light from the windshield extends to the lower level.
The VIP Stateroom Absolute carries the Navetta 52’s beam as far forward as possible, giving designers the opportunity to position the berth with the head on the port side and having it extend out into the cabin. This makes the area more usable, in our opinion. The berth measures 78” (198.12 cm) x 62” (157.48 cm) and max headroom in this cabin is 82” (208.28 cm). There’s a TV at the foot of the berth and the hanging locker offers good storage capacity.
The VIP head is aft to port and has a vessel sink on a stone countertop, a porcelain toilet, ample storage and a separate shower stall.
The Guest Cabin Working our way aft, to port, passengers in the guest cabin will share the VIP head with the folks in the bow. The guest quarters have two single berths measuring 77” (195.58 cm) long by 26” (66.04 cm) wide and headroom is 82” (208.28 cm). There’s a hanging locker for storage and an opening port.
The Master Stateroom A companionway leads aft to the master stateroom. The 80” x 61” (203.2 cm x 154.94 cm) berth is on the centerline. Standing headroom is 75” (190.5 cm) and above the berth, it’s 47” (119.38 cm). There’s a desk with an ottoman to starboard and a small refrigerator is recessed into the forward bulkhead beneath a 32” (81.28 cm) TV. Storage is provided on each side of the cabin in a variety of drawers and cabinets and in a hanging locker opposite the foot of the berth. A sliding pocket door opens the master head that also has a vessel sink on a stone counter, an opening port outboard of the toilet and a separate shower.
Crew quarters are accessed via a watertight door on the Navetta 52’s transom. The area is open and finished with appointments that would appeal to most any guest in the absence of a crew member. The owner of our test boat told us his teenage daughter has commandeered this area as her own. It has a single berth with a TV and a private wet head.
Engine Room Another watertight door at the front of the crew cabin opens to the Navetta 52’s engine room. A smaller hatch in the aft deck is good for quick checks. There’s good ease of movement between and around the twin Volvo Penta D6-IPS650s and the pod drives linked directly to them. The Dometic air conditioning system is outboard of the port engine and the fuel-water separators are conveniently located at the front of the compartment for servicing. The water heater is outboard to starboard and we appreciated that all the plumbing lines were clearly labeled. The shorepower cord reels are in the aft corner.
Absolute Navetta 52 Performance
The Numbers The Navetta 52 measures 52’2” (15.9 m) long with a 15’3” (4.65 m) beam and she draws 4’1” (1.2 m). As we’ve found with most IPS-powered boats, the Navetta 52 didn’t make super-tight turns, but she did carve smoothly through maneuvers in each direction, leaning into them at a comfortable angle. At no-wake speeds, the Navetta felt docile and responded well to the helm. The Volvo Penta joystick make shore work of backing into the slip.
That easy-handling feel should make the Absolute Navetta 52 attractive to a family stepping up to its first flying bridge yacht. So should the boat’s spacious and plentiful gathering areas. From the flying bridge to the large sunpad on the bow to the aft deck, she’s laid out to entertain the kids and grandkids and have the accommodations for everyone to spend the weekend on the hook.