Exciting New Boats from Established and New Builders
Fountaine Pajot Victoria 67
Following on the success of the Sanya 57, the Victoria 67 is the new flagship for the long-established La Rochelle yard. This imposing boat has enough living area to suit the largest of cruising crews; from the vast flybridge with its twin staircases and comfortable seating for a dozen or more, through the sheltered cockpit, bordered by sunbeds, to the long and wide saloon with its C-shaped galley, this is a model of opulent living. The owner’s suite is immense, and even the crew will be happy with its quarters.
Fountaine Pajot, catamarans-fountaine-pajot.com
LOA 67ft // LWL 65ft
BEAM 31ft 2in // DRAFT 5ft 1in
DISPLACEMENT 46,700lb (light ship)
The aggressive axe bows of the new Catana 59, its curved daggerboards reaching higher still, towered above the public walking along the pontoon at the multihull show in La Grand Motte last April. This is a big, beamy boat, built and rigged for fast ocean passages. Catana’s inhouse design team, with help from various naval architects, put this impressive package together. Though the gray-themed, ultra-modern minimalist décor of the show boat looked oddly cheerless, interiors can be customized to suit the purchaser.
LOA 58ft 9in // LWL 58ft 9in
BEAM 31ft 2in // DRAFT 5ft 2in/12ft 3in
DISPLACEMENT 46,200lb (light ship)
Gunboat 55 & 60
The first boat out of Gunboat’s new plant in Wanchese, North Carolina will be the new Nigel Irens-designed 55 (below); and the most recent boat to leave Gunboat’s Chinese facility in Xiamen was the new Nigel Irens-designed 60 (above). Each of these boats has its own identity, despite a family resemblance. The 55 is intended to be sailed by the “owner operator” as Gunboat terms it, i.e., without a pro crew. It is a deceptively simple-looking boat, with its all-carbon rig set up to be handled by one or two people and the cockpit and bridgedeck saloon merged into one space that can be enclosed by screens. The trademark Gunboat forward working cockpit is protected behind an opening door—“You can literally reef in your pajamas,” says Gunboat’s Peter Johnstone. Meanwhile, the equally striking 60 is more in line with the ethos of the bigger Gunboats— capable of being handled by a skilled owner but with room for a paid crew. It’s a sophisticated, tough world cruiser that’ll reel off 300-mile days with ease. Gunboat’s usual “great room” opens onto the working cockpit forward to keep the aft cockpit clear of lines of and winches. Both boats feature carbon-composite construction, carbon fiber rigs and aramid standing rigging.
LOA 55ft // LWL 54ft 9in
BEAM 25ft // DRAFT 2ft/9ft 2in
DISPLACEMENT 20,160lb (light ship)
Eric Bruneel’s extensive ocean racing experience on trimarans, coupled with a long stint in sales at catamaran builders Fountaine Pajot, resulted in the 2010 debut of the radical-looking Neel 50 cruising trimaran, one of the more exciting new boats of the year. That was quickly followed by a 45-foot version, and at the multihull show in La Grand Motte, France, this year, the French company announced plans to build a 60-footer. This Joubert/Nivelt/Mercier design makes a grand statement. With a beam approaching 39 feet, there is space to burn. The drawings show three layouts, with up to six cabins, each with ensuite heads/shower, including crew quarters—and if that’s not enough, extra bunks can be built into the amas. Engine and systems are concentrated down in the “cellar” in the main hull—a feature common to all Neels—and sail handling is managed from the spacious flybridge. Want stowage? There’s no wasted space on this design. Kayaks and paddleboards can be stowed in the amas, and the tender can be hoisted on deck with its own crane. A Neel 45 averaged 10 knots crossing the Atlantic, so the 60’s performance potential should be in no doubt.
Neel Trimarans, neel-trimarans.com
LOA 59ft 8in // LWL 55ft 8in
BEAM 38ft 9in // DRAFT 4ft 7in
DISPLACEMENT 41,895lb (light ship)
Corsair Cruze 970
The long-lived and popular Corsair 31 bows out with the introduction of the latest in the line of folding-wing trimarans, the 32-foot Cruze 970. A new hull and deck mold increases volume by 15 percent over the 31; there is now standing headroom inside, along with wider bunks, more stowage and a fully enclosed head. The cockpit layout has been tweaked for more room and greater comfort, and the volume of the amas has also been increased for greater stability.
Corsair Marine International, corsairmarine.com
LOA 31ft 10in // LWL 31ft 10in
BEAM 22ft 7in/8ft 4in (folded)
DRAFT 2ft 7in/9ft 2in
This brand-new design from VPLP for Le Breton Yachts is a sleek, powerful cruiser intended for long-distance shorthanded voyaging. The drawings show a pair of slender, almost needle-nosed hulls, with acres of trampoline space forward and accommodations centered around the large saloon. An owner’s suite occupies the after portion of the starboard hull, with a smaller double cabin with ensuite heads/shower set forward. To port, a pair of cabins share a single large heads/shower; they share the hull with the galley, which is set just below saloon level. The saloon looks exceptionally light and spacious, with several distinct seating/lounging areas. This looks like a very fast, very comfortable ocean-crossing cat. There is also a GT version with an open bridgedeck, similar to the SIG 45.
Le Breton Yachts, lebreton-yachts.com
LOA 60ft // LWL 60ft
BEAM 28ft 4in // DRAFT 5ft 6in
DISPLACEMENT 23,500lb (light ship)
Lagoon 39 and 52
The latest designs for Lagoon by noted architects VPLP borrow heavily from ocean racing concepts and indicate a new direction for cruising cats. Most obvious at a glance is the mast placement, a lot farther aft than in just about any production catamaran—almost harking back to early Prout designs.
Marc van Peteghem explains that bringing the rig aft achieves several desirable goals: centralizing weight reduces pitching; a high-aspect mainsail with its shorter boom is easier to handle; and the bigger foretriangle permits bigger headsails, with a consequent performance boost. Notably, it also permits a self-tacking jib of a decent size, which many cat sailors would welcome. The width of the sheet track allows such a jib to set well off when sailing off the wind. The downside for both boats—if it can be called that—is that the mast intrudes into the saloon, though I suspect this would not bother many people. Visually, the boats are striking; the beveled hull/deck joint, near-plumb bows, emphatically squared-off cabintop, and rectangular hull ports take the established Lagoon “look” a step further. Interior styling is by Nauta Design; owners have a choice of two-, three- or four-cabin layout on the 39, and up to five cabins on the 52.
LOA 52ft // LWL 51ft 2in
BEAM 28ft 3in // DRAFT 4ft 11in
DISPLACEMENT 56,658lb (light ship)
LOA 38ft 6in // LWL 37ft 10in
BEAM 22ft 3in // DRAFT 4ft
DISPLACEMENT 25,732lb (light ship)
Denmark’s Dragonfly trailerable trimarans offer a thrilling ride and versatile sailing. The latest in the line, the 32, fills the gap between the 28 and 35. It can be ordered in either “Touring” form or, with a bigger “Supreme” rig. With its slim central hull you can’t expect the kind of volume you get in a modern mono of the same size, but facilities are entirely adequate for a couple or young family. There are two snug double cabins, and the saloon settees can be converted to a double. With 6ft 4in of standing headroom, the interior feels in no way cramped.
Quorning Boats, trimarans.com
LOA 32ft 2in // BEAM 11ft 8in/26ft 3in
DRAFT 1ft 8in/6ft 4in
The Prout name has done some traveling over the years, and some evolving too. Originally appearing on a line of tough but unexciting small to mid-size cruising catamarans built in England until the late 1990s, the brand now marks a fleet of large luxury cats. The P-63 SF is constructed to high standards using a resin infusion process for lightness and strength. The master cabin runs full beam, and each stateroom—you can have up to six—has its own heads/shower. There’s room on the flybridge for the full complement, who can make full use of the wet bar and grill.
Prout International, proutinternational.com
LOA 63ft // LWL 57ft 5in
BEAM 32ft 5in DRAFT 4ft 11in
DISPLACEMENT 55,000lbs (light ship)
Nautitech Open 40
This is the second design by Marc Lombard for Nautitech, following the 54 introduced last year. A compact fast cruiser with a tall, skinny mainsail and self-tacking jib, the Open 40’s main selling point is its clever integration of saloon and cockpit into a large one-level living area, with a number of options to suit owner preferences. This configuration would not be possible with the helm station on the bridgedeck, but Nautitech’s tradition of placing twin helm stations outboard on the hulls has allowed Lombard to achieve his intention to “redefine the use of space in a cruising catamaran.”
LOA 39ft 4in // LOA 39ft 4in
BEAM 21ft 4in // DRAFT 4ft 5in
DISPLACEMENT 15,432lb (light ship)
Aeroyacht Alpha 42
The first of these new cruising designs left the Long Island, New York yard in July and was delivered to German owners. Created by multihull broker and author Gregor Tarjan in conjunction with naval architect Marc Anassis, the Alpha 42 is a distinctive and versatile cat that looks thoroughly modern with its wave–piercing bows and chined hulls. Construction, too, is sophisticated, with cored furniture to keep weight down, and the hull and deck a vinylester resin/Divinycell foam sandwich. The Alpha can be ordered in pure cruiser trim with fixed keels and aluminum spars, or gingered up with daggerboards and a rotating carbon fiber mast. It will also be offered equipped with the optional Scabboard, a patented retractable daggerboard system.
LOA 42ft 1in // LWL 42ft
BEAM 23ft 10in
DRAFT 3ft 6in (fixed keel)
DISPLACEMENT 20,240lb (light ship)
Conceived by longtime multihull broker and sailor Phil Berman, designed by Kiwi Roger Hill and built in China, the Balance 421 is a truly multinational effort. Berman says the name comes from the elusive balance of performance and comfort that all builders aspire to, yet is so difficult to achieve to everyone’s satisfaction. The 421 is aimed squarely at liveaboard voyagers—capable of being sailed singlehanded, sturdily built, safe and quick. Particular attention has been paid to the details that become important when you live aboard a boat—stowage, ventilation and ease of maintenance.
Balance Catamarans, balancecatamarans.com
Replacing the long-lived and popular Outremer 45, this new boat from the French performance-cat builder shares the design aesthetic of the 51 and 5x models in a compact and more easily handled package. As with its big sisters, the 45 places less emphasis on interior volume and load-carrying ability than on a sporty ride and excellent seakeeping, while remaining a viable cruiser for families willing to live within its parameters. Christophe Barreau designed the boat; Franck Darnet and Patrick Le Quement did the styling.
LOA 45ft // LWL 45ft
BEAM 24ft // DRAFT 3ft 3in/9ft
In the past, motorsailer-style cats tended to sail like dogs and not be that inspiring under power either. Indikon BoatWorks, however, aims to change that perception with this interesting Morrelli & Melvin design. At 44 feet long, the K4 is in no way a powercat with a stick on it. It’s a slender cat that looks like it will move well enough under sail—as it should, given its design pedigree—but is intended to be sailed with engine assistance to keep average speed up. The indikon folks call this “blended propulsion,” and they’ve come up with a software coaching tool called “Isis” to help owners get sails and engines working together optimally. They predict cruising speeds in the 15-knot range. Three-level accommodations include a large bridgedeck and a choice of layouts to suit just about any cruising intentions.
Indikon BoatWorks, indikonboatworks.com
LOA 44ft // LWL 44ft
BEAM 20ft // DRAFT 3ft 7in
DISPLACEMENT 20,000lb (light ship)