BOAT REVIEW Sessa Yacht Line C47

March 2024 Launch Reviews
Words by John Eichelsheim. Photography & video by Roger Mills.
Build Quality
MODEL Sessa Yacht Line C47
DESIGNER Sessa Marine
BUILDER Sessa Marine
LOA 14.27M
LENGTH (Waterline) 12.54M
BEAM 4.39M
ENGINE 2 x Volvo Penta D6 IPS650 480hp
Maximum Speed 36 knots
Cruise Speed 25-27 knots
ACCOMMODATION Up to eight in three cabins, plus saloon
  • Quiet at any speed
  • IPS manoeuvrability
  • Striking looks, stylish interior
  • Upgraded engines ensure sparkling performance and enhance driving pleasure
  • Well-appointed, with many factory extras

There’s no way you’d mistake the Sessa C47 for a boat designed and built in New Zealand – or Australia, the USA or Asia. It’s dynamic, sporty lines are clearly European. And of all the European nations, it’s arguably the Italians who are the most stylish, which explains why this boat exhibits such Ferrari-like vibes.

Because the Sessa C47 is indeed Italian, built by a company with a respectable boatbuilding history and a background in composites – Sessa was the first company in Italy to manufacture resins, in 1958. It has since expanded and merged, producing several thousand boats along the way.
Sessa currently builds three distinct families of motor yachts, from 38 to 68 feet in length: Cruiser Line, Flybridge Line and Yacht Line. It also manufactures a range of outboard and inboard powered centre-console sportboats under the Key Largo brand.


The Sessa C47 is new to these shores, and also to the company’s Yacht Line range. The New Zealand agents have also imported a Sessa C44 (see box), but the C47 is the more conventional of the two boats with its family-oriented, three-cabin, galley-up cruising layout.

Italian style
While the layout is relatively conventional, the styling is anything but, with sweeping, sporty lines, big windows, and a range of available colours – ours was a very classy, metallized grey, but you can choose metallized silver, metallized gold, white (gelcoat) or one of two shades of blue. Our boat also featured white antifouling, applied at the factory, which accentuates the way the painted sides swoop towards the waterline amidships.

The C47 manages to combine curves and angles in a harmonious but visually striking way. The sedan hardtop is a good example, with its curving roofline sweeping back over the cockpit but defined by sharp angles and creases. The vessel’s, geometric, zig-zagging side windows contrast with the gentle curves of the moulded toe rails and the overall impression of sleekness – this boat looks fast sitting still.
That sleekness continues inside. The electro-hydraulic swim platform is wide enough for fishing or storing a tender and lowers 50cm into the water. There’s useful storage in outboard transom lockers and underwater lights are also fitted, controlled from a console in the cockpit. Access to the cockpit is on the port side.
Sessa has used lots of teak for this vessel, which was ordered with numerous factory options – Sessa is happy to tailor boats to individual tastes, with a range of options and extras available.

The cockpit is very social with a comfortable sofa across the transom (storage underneath), a folding teak table (which drops down to create a lounger with the addition of extra cushions) and folding chairs. Indoor-outdoor flow is excellent, thanks to the large bi-fold doors and electric cavity window between the cockpit and saloon. Social spaces are well shaded by the hardtop, there’s a freshwater cockpit shower to rinse off salt water after enjoying a swim, a saltwater washdown, shore power connection, stereo speakers, and LED lighting for night use. Access to the engine room is via a hatch just inside the saloon door.
Across the rear bulkhead under the cavity window is a food prep area with a small sink, generous under-bench storage in lockers with teak doors and an in-bench plancha-style electric grill for alfresco cooking. The boat is fully electric – no LPG.

Light and air
The air-conditioned saloon is open, light, and bright – especially with the massive crystal-glass electric sunroof open. Side windows are also electric, as is the pop-up LED TV just aft of the forward bulkhead. White and grey leather upholstery looks sharp and the teak sole, the planks laid across the saloon rather than lengthways, make the saloon feel wider.

The saloon layout is simple and uncluttered: a wraparound settee, a telescopic, extendable table, and a sleek L-shaped galley to starboard.
The galley sports an engineered stone countertop, Miele induction hob, Miele combi-oven with microwave and a refrigerator concealed behind timber veneer cabinet doors. There’s good storage in overhead cabinets, which cleverly don’t obstruct the low-waisted side windows. There’s even an extractor hood for the cooktop and a temperature-controlled wine cooler.

The saloon colour palette is nicely neutral, leaning towards whites and greys and offset by natural wood finishes – very much modern city apartment. LED lighting is inconspicuous, and blinds and curtains are neatly stowed out of sight when not in use.

Air-conditioned comfort
Downstairs through the companionway are three cabins and two bathrooms. The main cabin in the bow features a generous island berth with side windows (opening ports) and a skylight hatch admitting light and air. Like the saloon, the cabins are air-conditioned for comfort summer or winter.

The bow cabin has a pair of hanging lockers with mirrored doors, useful side shelves, under-bed drawers, USB and 240V outlets and an ensuite bathroom. The bathroom has a wooden vanity with a lacquered top, a separate toilet/shower compartment with a teak shower seat and teak grate, plus a luxurious rainfall shower head in the ceiling. Its party trick is the array of LED lights surrounding the showerhead, the colours selectable to suit your mood!

The VIP cabin has two single beds that convert to a double, a bedside table, headboard with mirror, hanging locker (also with mirror), LED lights and side window with port. The guest cabin has twin single berths, bedside table, mirrored headboard and hanging locker and side window, also with opening port.

Both cabins share the guest bathroom, which is semi-ensuite for the VIP cabin. Similarly laid out to the ensuite but with a conventional shower head, this bathroom is the vessel’s day head.

Volvo Penta power
IPS with joystick control made leaving and returning from the marina berth a straight-forward process. We took a run with both boats – the C44 was our luxurious photography platform and lunch venue – seeking out somewhere scenic for external and internal photography.

This Sessa C47 has the top of the range D6 IPS650 engines, each giving 480hp, which is quite an upgrade on the IPS500 –380hp standard package. The well-lit engine room under the saloon is nicely laid out with good access to the engines, the Cummins genset, and all the boats other systems. It’s a hands and knees space, but the engineers at Ovlov, who did the sign off on the boat’s engines, gave the engineering a big thumbs up.

With plenty of horsepower on tap the C47 pushes on to 36 knots and we cruised comfortably at a fast 27 knots while making our way to Motuihe Island. Sea conditions were benign, but we crossed a few wakes here and there – largely without even noticing them. The boat’s Zipwake trim system, set on Auto, did a nice job of keeping the boat at optimum trim.

As helm stations go, the Sessa C47’s upholstered console is on point for boats of this type. There’s only one helm station though, so the ability to lean out the electric side window is appreciated at docking time, as is the rear-view camera, but the joystick allows excellent control at low speed, so skippers can take their time.

From the bench-style helm seat, which has ample room for two, vision through the wide, deeply raked windscreens is excellent. Wipers with washers are fitted, but we didn’t need them. The console itself accommodates the joystick, an array of push-button switches, two Garmin 12-inch GPS Map 8412 MFDs, Volvo Penta digital displays, anchor, autopilot, trim and fire suppression controls (engine room), as well as USB sockets. The Garmin MFDs can also display feeds from the cockpit and engine room cameras. The VHF radio and Fusion stereo head units are mounted below, with Volvo’s electronic throttle controls to the side.

Easy driver
This is an easy boat to drive, benefitting from plenty of power, which gives it lively throttle response, and a light helm, which tempts the driver to throw the boat into the turns. No worries – it goes exactly where it’s pointed and the Zipwakes control the heel nicely. Engine noise is muted, while noise generally is very low when the boat’s underway, particularly with doors and windows closed – we left the roof open the whole time.

Safely anchored with dozens of other vessels enjoying a summer’s day behind Motuihe, we tried the expansive sundeck in the bows, raising the backrests to better enjoy the ever-changing vista of boats and dinghies coming and going and folk enjoying the warm water of the bay. Wide side decks and well-placed grab rails make accessing the foredeck easy, while wrap-around bow rails and raised toe kicks keep you safe.

Seaworthiness is not always top of the list for European builders, however Sessa vessels have a CE CLASS B rating – certified offshore to 200 miles, for winds up to force 8, and waves up to up to four metres high. Very capable, therefore.

The steel plough anchor looks sturdy enough, but its 50 metres of 10mm galvanised steel chain is about to be replaced with as much chain as the generous chain locker will hold, for Kiwi-style cruising. In addition, the boat features a stainless-steel fairlead, also aft, a sturdy stainless-steel pulpit, and large stainless-steel cleats all round.

More time please
The Sessa C47 was a thoroughly pleasant place to be on a sunny day on the Hauraki Gulf. The ability to open it up to the light and air is great, but so is the shade from the hardtop, and on such a hot day the air-conditioning was appreciated too.

Stylish and well appointed, this vessel offers Kiwi boaters a fresh approach to a familiar boating lifestyle. It’s great as a day boat – fast, comfortable and easy to dock – but also could accommodate a family or two couples on an extended cruise in considerable luxury and style. With all the comforts of home to complement the ever-changing maritime vista that cruising affords, the idea of a few days spent aboard the Sessa C47 holds plenty of appeal for this writer.