New Boats: Foiled Again

Author:
Publish date:
Updated on
FoiledBlue

As soon as I opened the e-mail bearing news of the Eagle Class 53, this sporty cat leapt straight to the top of my Boats-I-Want-to-Sail list. The performance multihull niche has grown like wildfire in the last decade, and this outrageously potent-looking foiling cat takes another leap into the outer limits of design.

Created by a top-notch design and build team with deep America’s Cup roots for a client who originally wanted to convert his Gunboat 90 to a foiler—which would have been quite something to see—the Eagle Class 53 brings together the talents of designers Paul Bieker, Eric Jolly and Andres Suar and boatbuilder Wolfgang Chamberlain. They took full advantage of the open design brief to come up with a boat that will foil on either C- or T-foils and is powered by a new “Hybrid Wing,” a cross between a hard and soft wingsail with a self-tacking jib.

Controlled by specially developed “Flight Control” software, the T-foil configuration creates a “stable autonomous foiling platform,” according to Suar. Other features include seatbelts for the crew when in foiling mode, full carbon fiber composite construction yielding a dry weight of six tons, and comfortable cruising accommodations from which the lucky owners can watch the world whizz by at up to 35 knots.

HH-OC50--3.1327

Designed by Morrelli & Melvin, another design team with plenty of America’s Cup chops, HH Catamarans’ lineup was perfectly positioned to fill the void left by the temporary demise of Gunboat. Its HH66 and HH55 carbon fiber flyers provide fast cruising and electrifying racing, and there are more models on the way. Realizing however that not everyone wants to go zipping around the oceans at breakneck speed, HH is now offering a more restrained line of pure cruising cats.

First in the new Oceans Series is the OC50, another M&M design that shares the same aesthetics as the carbon-fiber boats but is built in conventional e-glass and foam composites rather than exotic materials. It has fixed keels instead of daggerboards and an aluminum rig, but shares many of the design features of the carbon boats along with comfortable accommodations. It’s good to see another contender enter the sport-cruising arena occupied by the likes of Outremer and Catana.

Vision-444-profile-(2)

New from that hotbed of multihull building, South Africa, the Vision 444 is a perky-looking cruiser that has the attributes of a good performer under sail. Designed by James Turner and featuring e-glass/foam sandwich construction, the boat has a conventional aluminum rig carrying a square-headed mainsail, a roomy cockpit and a clean deck plan. The cockpit layout looks to be very good. The bridgedeck saloon features galley and nav station aft and a dining table forward, while an owner’s suite takes up the starboard hull and there are two spacious guest cabins to port. 

CONTACTS

Eagle Class 53 fastforwardcomposites.com

OC50 hhcatamarans.com

Vision 444 sailawaycatamarans.com

October 2018

Related

sailingabove-2

Swan Flyer: A Hot New One-design

In a racing scene that’s bristling with innovation, legacy builder Nautor’s Swan refuses to be left behind in its quest to dominate the champagne end of one-design sailing. Arriving hard on the heels of the radical Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed ClubSwan 50, the ClubSwan 36 offers a ...read more

Maiden sets out for Uruguay during the 1989-90 Whitbread race

Making Maiden and the 1989-90 Whitbread Race

As recently as the late 1980s, the idea of an all-female sailing team in the Whitbread Round the World Race (the predecessor to the Volvo Ocean Race) seemed laughable to many. How could women handle the competition? They weren’t strong enough. They wouldn’t be able to take the ...read more

01-LEAD-J99

Four Very Different New Boat Designs

Following up on the J/121, which won a SAIL Best Boats award in 2018, the new J/99 represents a similar concept in a smaller package. Specifically, the new 32-footer’s deck layout and rig have been optimized for smaller and even doublehanded crews, with an eye toward meeting the ...read more

Dinghy Suggested CROP

Ask Sail: Dinghy Dilemma

DINGHY DILEMMA Q: We are in the throes of choosing a dinghy, and I would like to ask if you would recommend buying a RIB with a double-skinned hull rather than a single-skinned hull. Which provides better handling or stays drier? Also, aside from the heavier weight of a ...read more

Groupe Beneteau charging its boats in NEOLINE vessel

Transporting Sailboats Under Sail

Transporting sailboats under sail? That sounds like a cool concept, and it’s one that looks set to become reality in 2021 when shipping company Neoline brings its sailing cargo ships into service. Groupe Beneteau has committed to transporting boats between Europe and the United ...read more

01_vor120612_ross_0644

Sailing Master Ken Read

Images trigger memory. Preparing to interview the golden boy of American sailing, I thought I would find a picture that would show Ken Read at the peak of his sailing career, his heyday, to share and have a warm and fuzzy start to our conversation. It was a commanding image from ...read more

New-engine-being-lifted-over-stern

Know how: Replacing the Auxiliary Power System

One of the most complex tasks undertaken during Passion’s refit was the complete replacement of her auxiliary power system—engine, V-drive and fuel tanks. I needed more horsepower, which drove the need for more fuel capacity and a larger V-drive to handle the higher engine ...read more