France’s Garcia Yachts, which teamed up with bluewater legend Jimmy Cornell in 2013 to create the Exploration 45—a concept that has since been extended to a 52-footer and even a 60-footer—has now launched its first catamaran.
The Explocat 52 is to be constructed in aluminum, the same as its monohull cousins, and like Garcia’s other boats is being billed as fit to explore the world’s most remote and demanding bodies of water. (Among other things, Cornell used his 45-footer to transit the Northwest Passage in 2015 in his second attempt.)
A collaboration between naval architect Pierre Delion, designer Franck Darnet and Garcia Yachts, the Explocat 52 will be available with either three or four cabins and will feature “optimal crew protection” underway in the form of a sheltered sailhandling area alongside a single outside raised helm station to starboard. A twin-headsail Solent-style rig will undoubtedly also prove handy in heavier weather.
More than just a survival pod, though, the boat features contemporary lines, complete with tumblehome bows, a purposeful but still elegant-looking cabintrunk profile, a spacious saloon and even a forward lounging area, à la the most comfortable of charter cats. In other words, there will be no reason to feel out of place in the tropics either.
Meanwhile, for those adventurers still wedded to the idea of a monohull, iconic builder Amel recently announced it is also coming out with a new design, the Amel 60—a truly magnificent-looking bluewater voyager the company is describing as a “big sister” to the Amel 50, launched a couple of years ago.
Unveiled at January’s Boot Düsseldorf and set to debut at the Cannes Yachting Festival in September, the Amel 60 also carries an eminently practical Solent rig with a short sprit for flying an A-sail. Interestingly, in addition to a pilothouse-like fixed dodger, the hull also features a hint of reverse sheer, which will serve both to increase interior volume belowdecks and put that much more distance between waves and the cockpit. The “pilothouse” includes a commander’s-chair style helm station to port that will make watch-standing a joy even on the darkest and stormiest night. The primary and secondary winches are immediately aft, where they can be tended in relative safety from the weather, and are also well clear of the cockpit’s substantial lounging area.
Belowdecks, the owner’s cabin looks to be nothing less than spectacular, with a true double bed, a comfy lounge and small desk to port, a substantial hanging locker to starboard and a large shower/head area. The two guest cabins forward ain’t bad looking either, and the saloon is huge. An in-line galley is positioned to starboard outboard of the large engine compartment.
The standard mast is carbon, and the boat is equipped with twin rudders, a good idea given that the Amel carries its beam well aft. You’ve got to wonder whether a bit of overhang in the bow might not have been a good idea for keeping the hook away from the stem when anchoring. Then again, the fixed sprit/anchor roller is pretty substantial and should serve to keep the pick well clear—and that plum bow sure does look sexy, as befitting what can only be described as a spectacular yacht in the truest sense of the word.
Finally, from Sweden comes the latest from Hallberg-Rassy, the Hallberg-Rassy 57, launched this past fall. Designed by the renowned Germán Frers office, the HR57 is a bluewater cruiser very much in keeping with the look and feel of a traditional Hallberg-Rassy—think cockpit, traditional lines and rock-solid build quality. However, it also incorporates a number of more contemporary features, like a modern hull form with a fairly vertical bow and transom, an integrated bow sprit/anchor roller, twin rudders and, perhaps most importantly, twin rudders, the same as with the company’s HR 44 and 340. The boat also incorporates the company’s “push button sailing” concept, whereby such options as hydraulic in-mast furling, a powered jib furler and winches, and an optional stern thruster for docking make running the boat a snap for smaller crews.
Garcia Yachts garciayachts.com