ajax loader

Surfari 48 – Jimmy Buffett’s next boat

Principal Dimensions


Length over all: 48.88′ 14.89 m
Length DWL: 44.09′ 13.44 m
Beam max: 14.63′ 4.46 m
Draft – shoal: 6.5′ .63 m
Draft – deep: 8.5′ 2.05 m
Displacement: 34,060 lbs. 15,499 kg
Fuel capacity: 250 gals 950 liters
Fresh water capacity: 250 gals 950 liters
Mainsail: 668 sq. ft. 62.7 sq. m
Genoa: 453 sq. ft. 42.13 sq. m
Code-0: 1250 sq. ft. 116 sq. m

Jimmy Buffett’s delightfully famous lifestyle, infused with copious amounts of “island escapism,” pairs perfectly with the personality of the Surfari 48 that Friendship Yacht Company is presenting in a scaled-back version of its Surfari 54 announced last November. Buffett, who will take delivery next November of Hull number one of the new Surfari 48 designed by naval architect Edward “Ted” Fontaine and built by Pacific Seacraft in North Carolina, anticipates that the new design’s more compact length and personally approved adaptations – including those for short-handed handling – will “simplify” his life on the water as he uses the yacht for a home away from home.

“It’s the perfect extension for living the life he enjoys, whether it’s in Sag Harbor for the summer or the Keys and the Caribbean in the winter,” said Fontaine about Buffett enjoying the Surfari 48’s most intriguing features. “A high performance auxiliary powered sailing yacht, it has as strong an emphasis on speed under sail as it does speed under power, which means…it goes places. And once it’s where it needs to be, it becomes a luxury indoor/outdoor living platform that allows its user to enjoy the destination as much as the journey.”

Fontaine, best known for the romantic classic lines of his Friendship sailboats (in models ranging from 36 -79 feet), is a waterman himself and explained that his love of paddle boarding, surfing and kayaking inspired the Surfari 48’s 39” high and 11 ½ foot wide “tailgate.” (The yacht’s max beam is 14’ 63”.)  The tailgate lowers while the yacht is at rest and integrates with a single-level floor plan that extends from the swim platform through the entire length of the cockpit and on through the deck salon and steering station. “It creates a unique, clutter-free area for storing and launching all sorts of watersports equipment and water craft,” said Fontaine.

Fontaine added that 360 degree visibility from the interior helm station enhances the open-air environment. It is achieved by a large sliding glass companionway bulkhead, sliding side windows and full-width windshield. Electrically powered sail handling gear provides fingertip control of the fully battened mainsail (with Harken Battcar system), roller furling genoa and furling asymmetrical spinnaker, while all lines are led internally to the helm station. Lightweight “grand prix race boat” composite construction, a carbon fiber mast and boom, and twin 75 HP auxiliary engines are further features that differentiate the Surfari 48 from semi-custom and production yachts in the same size range.

“Buffett epitomizes the demographic that would get the most out of the Surfari 48,” said Fontaine, adding that target markets include experienced performance racing yacht owners who have exhausted their appetites for competition and the extensive demands of their campaigns. “Having honed their sailing skills to near-professional levels, these potential owners associate high performance with high technology. They want to go fast and get there in style, and now that they are approaching their retirement years their need for speed is being seasoned with a newly appreciated desire for comfort and versatility afloat.”

S44 - Fwd Quarter -edited

Surfari 48

Surfari-48-2016-Specification and Standard Equipment

Layout Options

Surfari 48 Drawings:

Surfari 48 Construction Gallery:

Surfari 54

Words from the designer – Ted Fontaine

In looking back on the past several years I have seen an increase in the building of very large sailing yachts. While it is interesting to learn of the success of the very top end of the sail boat market, the midsized, higher quality market still seems to be stuck in the doldrums. Perhaps the soft market can be attributed to the fact that nothing we have seen could be called transformational or even unique.  The offerings on the midsized yacht market all look the same and seem to cater to the same demographic groups of buyers. While there are some very refined world cruisers and some progressive racer cruisers I could find nothing that captured my attention for the way I envision most people are utilizing their existing boats.

There have been many performance cruisers and motor sailors designed and built over the years, many with a lot of desirable features, but I have never seen a good looking, good performing, family-oriented, sailing lifestyle platform such as what we have created with the SURFARI 54.

Having witnessed a complete generation of sailors abandoning sail for power, I set out  to design and build a boat that would be an answer to those who share the same needs as I do – be it a day, a week or a month of coastal cruising. I wanted to create a yacht with an emphasis on outdoor living, a living platform for both social and recreational activities, as equally practical as comfortable. I envisioned a roomy living platform when anchored and a comfortable sun-protected space when sailing. And I want it to be ALL ONE LEVEL!

Most importantly I wanted the boat to be fast. Leisure time is short and because the best locations to spend the day are often the most remote, I wanted a vehicle that would move fast under sail or power.

After nearly six years of a soft market, the time has come for something truly unique. The SURFARI 54 may just be the next “picnic boat” of this generation.



\FONTAINESERVERShared FoldersCompany1. K DriveProjects1000

Surfari 54

General Arrangement

Deck Plan And Profile

Conceptual Arrangement

Surfari 54 Mini-Spec

Surfari 54 Drawings: