48′ Navigator vs Bayliner 4788 or Meridian 490. plus recent comps.


$ 239,500.00
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Back when both the Bayliner and Navigators were still being built, back when my hair was still blonde, it used to be a normal topic of conversation with my clients of which vessel to choose, as both built similar sized models, both built pilothouse boats, both were at the same price point. Both were American built.  IF you would like to have that discussion today, I’m available.

I was fortunate that I had the opportunity to visit the Navigator facility in Perris ( this whole area made Mexican border towns look like resorts by comparison) California to actually see how they were constructed as Navigator themselves were rather tight lipped about everything behind their high gates, and locked doors. They didn’t do brochures, they didn’t do the internet, they refused to hire public relations people, so there was no magazine reviews. Seldom did they let non employees onto the premises. They even provided their employees lunch everyday so nobody was coming or going except at the beginning and ending of the day..  Navigators were a giant unknown in the boating world except there was a rumor (turns out it was true) that their owner was easily irritated, and hated Brokers. You would see Navigators on the West Coast, but few on the East.

Even customers who were having their boat custom built (they would build you a bespoke vessel if you commissioned it) were limited to a certain time on a certain day, for exactly one hour to visit their boat. I visited at the behest of a client dangling the promise of a million dollar plus cashiers check to become a dealer- IF I liked what I saw, so I was given quite the personal tour by the engineer in charge of the whole facility. So I discovered things that few others knew, and I’ll share that information as I review this boat.

Bayliner 4788’s outsold the Navigator 48′  40-1.  Not so much because one was better than the other, but because Brunswick (who owned Bayliner) was a huge corporation that was quite high tech in their construction techniques, built many yachts, and had a huge dealer network where Bayliner’s (and later Meridians) could be easily found. Navigator was literally a mom and pop operation on the edge of the Mohave Desert who had but a couple of expandable moulds they used for their whole series of boats from 42′ -57′, so not many were ever built, and then there was the rather unusual (and unpleasant) relationship the owner of Navigator had with it’s East Coast dealers, which is another story all to it’self.  I’ll give Navigator credit for “hanging on” til 2012, when most all other American builders folded tent by 2009.  I have a rather funny story to share about how little Marshall respected his dealers, and why they came and went. I have my story, I know several ex-dealers have theirs too. Mine at least ended well, only because my client whom I represented, ended up placing said million dollar (plus) cashiers check into the hands of Julie was cut from the same “__ you old school” cloth.

Solid glass construction with no coring.  Rather boxy compared to the sleeker Bayliner 4788.  ALL metal work on a Navigator were built “in house” , and that includes their fuel tanks, doors,window frames, and all railing you see there. The davit is a Marquipt, but not the model with the problematic base that was used on the Bayliner 47’s and Carver 450 Voyagers.   There’s a nice bow flair which shoves water away when running. This makes for a smaller forward stateroom. The master stateroom is amidship and is full width. That’s great for space and quietness, but there’s no escape hatch above your head as on the 4788.  The Navigators have a unique bottom design of which they never bothered to name, but it’s chine gives lift, and allows these boats to run faster with lower horsepower engines than it’s competitors. People could not believe their 57’er could run 20 mph with 370 hp engines, whilst other brands needed 600 plus to do the same thing. It’s the bottom.


If you look closely you will see that there is NO access to the flybridge from the cockpit. The only access in either direction is via the pilothouse. Also note that the overhang does not completely cover the cockpit- you know rain. Note that the “swim platform” is molded in, and is quite the distance higher from the water than most swim platforms..  Care has to be taken with your tender getting stuck under the platform.  That’s a HUGE tender on this boat!

:LOA: 49’02”        Beam: 15′      Draft: 4’05”       Height above WL: 16’09”     Deadrise: 14 degrees     Weight: 39,000lbs
Fuel Tank:
500 gallons – 1 tank(s)
Fresh Water Tank:
130 gallons – 1 tank(s)
Holding Tank:
70 gallons – 1 tank(s

The cockpit is quite large on the Navigators, as the fuel tanks are below them.  The sole is removable in case in the future you ever need to remove the tanks. The hatch there is your engine room access on the 48′.

Quite the stylish interior. Navigator also built all their seating in-house. If the woodwork has an Asian vibe about it, that’s because their woodworkers were from Laos, and were the highest paid, and longest tenured employees. He treated them well, therefore there was no turn-over with them as there was with the other employees who were considered expendable.

The fit and finish is higher than a Bayliner.

Rather a stupid location for a television. On later models, it was on a lift that popped up from the counter above.

  • Hardwood floors
  • Large open galley with Corian counter tops
  • Microwave Oven
  • Princess 3 Burner electric Stove
  • Full size refrigerator/freezer w/matching cherry wood panels
  • Garbage disposal
  • Large double sink
  • Extra deep sliding glass door storage cabinet behind cooktop
  • Cherry storage cabinets (totaling 12 in galley and salon)
  • 6 storage drawers

The “pilothouse”. Note that there is no port side door on this boat. Most 48’s don’t have them, but a few were ordered with them. The helm seat swivels over to the dining table. I like how on this later model all the electronics are mounted down low, offering excellent visibility. Centerline helm station w/full instrumentation
Sliding door and screen to starboard
Flexsteel power helm chair
Large Dining table with side extensions
Large ‘L’ shaped settee with storage under
Stairs to Flybridge
Separate A/C zone, 18,000 BTU
AC/DC control panel
Storage cabinet

Could it be, that by 2003 Navigator was purchasing Flexsteel seats? Good.


You can drive a Bayliner or a Meridian while standing up. You cannot comfortably do that with a Navigator. They were designed to be driven sitting down. The dash of a Brunswick boat has a chart area. This does not.  Raymarine L1250 Radar/GPS, Glendinning Synchronize,r Air Horn, Rudder angle indicator, Standard Horizon VHF radio, Compass, 12V charger plugs, 3 speed window washer/wipers



  • Queen Size Berth
  • Master TV
  • His/Hers cedar lined closets with auto light
  • Extra large 2′ deep drawer under foot of bed
  • Multiple drawers, cabinets, and closets
  • (2) built in cherry nightstands
  • Built in GE washing machine
  • Built in GE dryer
  • Separate zoned Marine Air reverse cycle AC, 16000 BTU

The master stateroom is quite spacious as it’s full width of the vessel, whereas on the Bayliner and Meridian the master is in the bow. THIS is the quietest part of the vessel as there is no ‘wave slap’ or sounds of dock lines stretching. PROBABLY THE NUMBER ONE REASON why buyers select the 48′ over the 4788 or 490, but on the other hand-there’s no deck access escape hatch either.

You’re not going to be getting fresh air and sunlight into this stateroom. Also in an emergency you have no escape hatch.


The Navigator 48′ offers a separate washer and separate dryer, whereas the 4788’s and 490’s only have a combo unit, that few owners are satisfied with their drying ability.. These units are easily removed or serviced from the engine room.


The master head w/separate shower stall.


Guest Stateroom.

The VIP stateroom forward.

  • Custom size berth
  • Large cedar lined closet with auto light
  • Separate zoned Marine Air reverse cycle AC, 12000 BTU
  • (4) deep drawers at foot of berth and
  • (4) large wall lockers
  • Bowmar hatch with retractable screen and shade (2015)

The 4788 and 490’s have a bathtub in the master head.

One of the quirks of the Navigator, other than no direct access to the cockpit is that the seating is “rather low” compared to other boats. It’s done to keep the boat from looking boxier than it already is. If you have normal sized legs, you will have a view of your knees when sitting.



48′ Navigator 48′  Classic 2001 Ask $229,900 (04/14) Sold:187,500 (10/17) FL, USA

The only documented sale of a Navigator 48′ on the east coast from June 2017 to June 2018.  This boat was in tip top condition when listed in 2014, but was in below average condition when sold. I never saw it ever move in over three years.

48′ Navigator 48′ 2007 Ask $380,000 (05/17) Sold $340,000 (05/18) CA, USA
48′ Navigator 48′ 2003 Ask $349,000 (03/18) Sold $333,000 (05/18) CA, USA
48′ Navigator 48′ Classic 2001 Ask $319,000 (11/17) Sold $278,000 (12/17) CA, USA
48′ Navigator 48 Classic 2001  Ask $299,000 (01/18) Sold $255,000 (04/18) CA, USA
48′ Navigator 48 Classic 2001 ASK $292,500 (10/17) Sold $278,000 (02/18) WA, USA
48′ Navigator 48 2004 Ask $339,000 (10/16) Sold $300,000 (07/17)
48′ Navigator 48 Classic 2003 Ask $329,000 (07/17) Sold $305,000 (09/17)

Nice davit option on this vessel.

Caribe Console Tender with 20hp Honda 4 Stroke Outboard

  • Port helm station w/full instrumentation
  • Bimini Top
  • Triple Flexsteel Helm Chairs
  • Windlass remote control
  • 2 Large ‘L’ shaped lounges with storage
  • Mar Quipt Systems 600 lb.davit
  • Custom tender Chocks

  • Raymarine RL Radar/GPS
  • Horizon VHF radio
  • Compass
  • Bow Thruster control

These boats have rock solid decks and excellent railings.             
Electric windlass, Anchor w/chain & rode
Fresh water washdown at bow
Swim Platform with Ladder
Transom door and storage
Hot and Cold swim platform shower
Large double sliding door lazarette storage locker
Transom Door
Dockside water inlet at transom
Hawse Pipes with Cleats
Lines & Fenders Included


The ENGINE ROOMS are another reason why people choose these boats. They’re HUGE because the fuel tanks are NOT outboard the engines as on 99% of other marques. The tanks are all aft under the cockpit. There’s enough room outboard the mains on a Navigator to lay down and take a nap. The engine rooms of a 4788 and 490 are TIGHT with very low headroom. Of course that’s why they’re a sleeker vessel, and have a lower center of gravity than a Navigator.

  • 2 Volvo Penta 370 HP TAMD 63P Turbo Diesels   1000 hours. (have you ever noticed how many yachts for sale of any size or make always have almost, or even a bit more than 1000 hours?  Ever wondered why?  I think it’s because they don’t wish to pay for the 1000 Hour service their engine makers suggest.
  • The Volvo’s in a Navigator ARE much LOUDER, especially at the exhaust. than the Cummins diesels in a 4788 or a 490.
  • Kohler Generator
  • Side Power Bow Thruster
  • Marine Air reverse cycle air conditioning system
  • Fuel cross over system
  • Fresh water pump
  • Automatic bilge pumps
  • Fresh water outlet in the engine room
  • Hot water heater
  • Battery Charger
  • Expansive Aft Lazarette Storage Area

While most Navigators have Volvo’s, I’ve sold several that had Cummins. ALL the Brunswick built boats have Cummins after 1996.   Note the Aluminum framing and sole supports.

Top Speed: 24.5 mph

MPG @ 20 mph: .8

Range @ 20 mph: 400 miles


This listing is offered as a convenience by this broker/dealer to its clients and unless noted, it is not intended to convey representation of a particular vessel.

Blake Davis Yacht Brokerage Inc., provides the yachts for sale vessel description information contained herein as a convenience to this website user and does not in any manner warrant or otherwise guarantee the accuracy of such information. . Buyer assumes responsibility to verify all speeds, capacities, consumption’s and other measurements contained herein and otherwise provided and agrees to instruct his agent/s to confirm such details prior to purchase. Vessels are subject to prior sale, subject to price and inventory changes and withdrawal from market without notice.

It is very inexpensive (and highly recommended) to hire a surveyor to go do a cursory “pre-survey” inspection of any yacht you are considering, and have him take detailed photos of the areas you wish to see more of before you go to the expense of long distance travel.