Pipistrelle – Wauquiez 48ft Pilot Saloon – Hull No. 27 – built 1999 – launched 2000



Wauquiez’s yard is in Lille, northern France, and the company was founded by Henri Wauquiez. It “was committed to build fast seaworthy and safe yachts, of durable quality”.

When we purchased Pipistrelle we knew from marine publications she was a well-built yacht, but we did not realise just how good the manufacture actually is.

We understand the yachts were constructed well until 2003 when Beneteau bought the business, to sell it shortly afterwards to an investment company, which then went bankrupt.  The Wauquiez company started trading again in 2013 with friends of the Wauquiez family at the helm, and we understand the quality of build has reverted to that of around the millennium.

Naval Architect

  • Ed Dubois


  • LOA                              48 ft  (14.9 metres)
  • Beam                            14 ft 9 in (4.5 metres)
  • Draft                             7 ft (2.2 metres)
  • Mast height                 72 ft above water level
  • Displacement             17 Tons
  • Ballast                          5 Tons with a flattened bulb keel
  • Mainsail                       495 sq ft
  • Genoa 160%                936 sq ft
  • Self-tacking Jib           430 sq ft
  • Cruising Chute            TBA
  • Storm trisail                150 sq ft


  • Navtec backstay and boomvang adjuster


  • 60lb Manson Supreme anchor with 60 metres of calibrated chain
  • 2 x Fortress anchors


  • Main Engine – Yanmar 4JH UTE 100HP Turbocharged
  • Generator – Fischer Panda 6.5 KvA powered by Kubota.  We have discarded the mechanically driven impellor, and replaced it with an electric pump, which is far more efficient and reliable.  We replaced the Kubota engine in New Zealand in 2012, after the old one had run for 4,500 hours.
  • Main shaft – 40mm
  • Propellor – 21 inch Max Prop made by PYI (See Notes below)


GRP in sandwich of glass fibre and isophtalic polyester resin enclosing PVC closed cell foam with the bow reinforced with Twaron shield.  Deck made in sandwich of balsa and bonded to provide watertight seal.  Plank teak deck cut and placed piece by piece.


  • Alloy of lead with 3% antimony, and bulb

Accommodation (see also Interior photos)

  • Owner’s forward main cabin with en-suite shower and heads
  • Galley with corian work surfaces, double sink, separate freezer, separate refrigerator with ice compartment.
  • Saloon comprising chart table and navigator’s chair, which rotates for comms suite.  Table to seat 8
  • Walk-in engine room beneath
  • Aft heads and shower
  • Port side double cabin aft
  • Starboard side twin bunk cabin aft, and work table

Deck storage areas

  • Anchor and Sail lockers forward
  • Starboard side deck locker / diving cylinders and fuel containers
  • 2 x deck lazarette lockers
  • 1 x transom locker


  • Diesel tank situated under forward cabin bed.  Alloy construction with access panel. Capacity 525 litres
  • Water tank, alloy construction, situated port side under pilot seat pedestal. Capacity 800 litres.
  • Black water tank, alloy construction, starboard side, engine room.
  • Grey water tank, midships, under propeller shaft.


  • House:              12 x 2 volt Exide Sonnenschein gel batteries.  Replaced 31st December 2010
  • Starter:             Main engine, 2 x 12v 80 ah AGM batteries replaced Nov 2014 / Generator, 1 x 12v 60 ah AGM battery replaced Nov 2014

Battery charging setup

The main engine has two alternators: 1 x 24 volt / 1 x 12 volt

The generator runs at 240 volt and 3.5 KW constant, and powers a Mastervolt 24v Charger, and a Tecsup 12 volt charger.


  • VHF                  Icom M-304
  • SSB                 Icom     IC-M710
  • Satphone          Iridium 9505A
  • AIS A & B installed

Air Conditioning

  • 1 x Mermaid M9 9,000 BTU in Saloon
  • 1 x Mermaid M6 6,500 BTU in Forward Cabin


  • Eberspacher Hydronic 10


  • Telescopic Besenzoni davits for AB dinghy

Instrumentation & Electronics

  • B&G speed, depth, wind, autopilot and GPS
  • Simrad autopilot
  • 2 x Whitlock Lewmar autopilot motors
  • Raymarine C120W HD Radar and chartplotter
  • Navionics, Seapro and Geonav chartplotters, plus paper charts!
  • Open CPN software for Google Earth pilotage


Spectra 380C watermaker produces 50 litres per hour


Max Prop 3 bladed propeller

  • Size                              21 inch
  • Pitch design                20 deg
  • Manufacturer             PYI Inc
  • Engine produces        100 HP at 3,600 rpm

We found shortly after we bought Pipistrelle, that as soon as we increased the engine revs above 2,500, the engine overheated.  We had the engine checked, it was not causing the problem.  Through the Wauquiez Yahoo Group, we learnt that as an engine tires, the pitch of the propeller needs to be reduced.  We contacted PYI in the US, who confirmed that with the Yanmar engine, the pitch should be 20 degrees, but also provided the pitch settings for 18 and 16 degrees.  After discussion with Riccardo in Krabi Boat Lagoon, Thailand, he reset the propeller to 18 degrees.  We then ran the engine at 3,000 rpm, achieved 8 knots, and the engine did not overheat!

PS: Pipistrelle by Wauquiez is not a simple Pilot House (PH), but a superb Pilot Saloon (PS)!