Adrenaline Powerboats Slays with New 47 Reaper

The Georgia builder is moving into the center-console market in a big way.  

By PRA’s Gregg Mansfield

Long before Adrenaline Powerboats was known for its stunning performance boats, owner Michael Layton built center-console boats before switching gears. Now Layton is returning to his roots with the new 47 Reaper, the first performance center-console for the company.

The 47 Reaper was nearly three years in the making and part of the Lincolnton, Ga., builder’s expansion into the popular center-console market. 

“We built some fishing boats and go-fast (center consoles) back in the day,” said Layton, who founded Adrenaline Powerboats with his wife, Elizabeth, in 2000. “It’s a very comfortable space for us to come back to. Obviously, it’s a lot more complex on the design and a much bigger platform.”

The 47 Reaper is available with quint Mercury Racing 450R outboards.
Adrenaline Powerboats builds the 47 Reaper’s hardtop in-house.

To produce the 47 Reaper, Layton added 70,000 feet of manufacturing space to the facility. The center console will be Adrenaline Powerboats’ first production boat, a break for the custom performance-boat builder. The company went to Miami Prestige Interiors for the cabin and cockpit, and Doug Harrell Design in DeLand, Fla., to paint the 47 Reapers.

By outsourcing the paint and interior, Layton said the goal is to ramp up production and offer a shorter wait time for customers. The company’s commitment to quality won’t change.

“The biggest thing underneath the sexy surface is the way that we build them, the whole boat is epoxy infused, the string grid is epoxy infused,” he said. “We just go to the next level of how we build and engineer our boats. That’s never going to change.”

When styling the center console, Layton created a flared bow and an angular transom like a superyacht. A cool feature are the side-entry doors to  port and starboard, which come standard. The builder notched the boat so when the dive door is open it tucks away into a corner.

Checking in at 47 feet with a 12-foot beam, Layton had plenty of real estate to work with in the center-console boat. The helm featured dual row helm seating for six people with full wraparound coaming bolsters. Adrenaline Powerboats included a refrigerated cool box behind the rear bolsters.

The dash includes three Garmin screens and buyers can add an overhead Garmin at the helm and a 22-inch screen in the bow.

Upgrades available include a Seakeeper gyro stabilizer, generator, Mercury Skyhook Digital Anchor and a Garmin autopilot. Buyers can add radar, sonar or even bait wells for an occasional fishing excursion. With the richly appointed interior, owners might be reluctant to haul fish onboard, but the boat does come with freshwater and raw water washdowns.

“It would be a good boat for a guy who probably wants to fish two times out of 10 times he takes his boat out,” Layton said.

The 47 Reaper offers performance and style.

Protecting the electronics is a large hardtop, which is built in-house from engineered carbon. With no metal tubes or substructure, the hardtop is still strong and doesn’t rattle even in offshore conditions.

Access to the cabin is from the port side with a large door opening on a billet pantograph hinge. The 47 Reaper features a separate head from the main cabin, which buyers come to expect on larger center-console models.

The cabin features a queen size bed and small galley area for overnighting. The head offers a rain shower, VacuFlush toilet and wash sink with heated water. Tinted windows at the top of the console let in plenty of fresh light and to keep the cabin cool on warm days, the build includes a 12,000 BTU air conditioner as standard equipment.

“I found that to be one of the most challenging spaces to design, but what we ended up with is very usable,” he said.

Base power for the 47 Reaper is quad Mercury Racing 450R outboard or buyers can upgrade to quint Mercury Racing 450R. Layton said of the first eight boats in production, only one buyer has opted for four outboards on the transom. The package delivers a mid-80-mph top-end speed, he said.

“I believe that if a guy wanted us to really focus on speed, we could get him to the upper 80s or 90 mph, but we’re setting up the boats to take on rough water,” Layton said.

Layton sees buyers using the 47 Reaper to go to the Bahamas, tooling around South Florida and rough-water lakes including Lake of the Ozarks and the Great Lakes. “We’re getting interest from all over,” he said.

While the 47 Reaper is the company’s first “production” boat, Layton said the workmanship is as good as any custom performance boat that comes rolling out of the Georgia plant. After making its public debut at the Palm Beach International Boat Show in March, Adrenaline ramped up production to stay ahead of demand.

“Up until the Reaper, we had literally painted every boat we’ve ever built, and it was tough for me to let go of,” Layton said. “There’s a lot of man-hours in a boat like this and it’s a big, big job. With others handling the painting, we can focus on completing more and more boats.”

Adrenaline Powerboats, 706-359-6899,

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