SAIL's Best Boats 2014: Gunboat - Sail Magazine

SAIL's Best Boats 2014: Gunboat

Gunboat catamarans are known for their sleek lines and speed. Owners take pride in sailing their boats, and the engines are used primarily for maneuvering and intermittent auxiliary propulsion-; they are rarely used for extended motoring.
Author:
Publish date:
Gunboat60-600x

Gunboat catamarans are known for their sleek lines and speed. Owners take pride in sailing their boats, and the engines are used primarily for maneuvering and intermittent auxiliary propulsion-; they are rarely used for extended motoring. The resulting combination of high sailing speeds and limited propulsion time provides the ideal scenario for a serial hybrid propulsion system in which a battery-powered electric motor drives the propellers.

Central to the PowerWave hybrid system aboard the Gunboat 60 is a pair of 20 kilowatt (kW) motors that can push the boat at speeds of up to 9 knots, with the initial energy provided by a 29 kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery pack. In practice, this battery pack will support harbor maneuvering for hours at a time and full speed operation for around 30 minutes, after which one, or both of the boat’s two 20 kW Polar Power DC generators will kick in.

With its hybrid propulsion system, the Gunboat 60 is as smart as it is good looking

With its hybrid propulsion system, the Gunboat 60 is as smart as it is good looking

Touch-screen controls keep the crew well apprised as to energy use and charge levels

Touch-screen controls keep the crew well apprised as to energy use and charge levels

A sophisticated energy management system ensures that engine operation is always at, or close to, peak fuel efficiency, while operators maintain control through a touch screen in the navigation station. A generator is held in reserve for longer passages that the batteries cannot support.

Under sail, any time boatspeed is above 8 knots substantial amounts of energy can be harvested from the freewheeling propellers-—more than enough to run the house systems and recharge the batteries. Then, when the batteries are charged, the propellers are retracted into the hull for maximum sailing speed. Given the typical operating profile of these boats, it is not unreasonable to think that many owners will enjoy an extravagant lifestyle on board without having to crank any kind of an engine for days, or even weeks at a time. gunboat.com

Related

Outremer45

Boat Review: Outremer 45

It’s funny the way things that work right almost inevitably tend to look right as well. Case in point: the Outremer 45, a catamaran that can’t help but turn heads with its large rig, nicely sculpted cabintrunk and narrow, purposeful bows. Better yet, under sail the boat more than ...read more

Sunset-Tyrrel-Bay

Charter: Glorious Grenada

In the wake of the hurricanes that devastated the Virgin Islands last year many charterers ended up going farther south to Grenada and the Grenadines where they found the sailing excellent and the vibe just fine“God must have been a sailor when he created the Caribbean,” a friend ...read more

WaterLinesNov

Waterlines: Tangled Up in Pots

I learned to sail on the Maine coast as a boy, and one of the things my elders taught me was to respect fishing gear. If you got caught up with a lobster pot, you did everything you could to get clear without cutting the pot warp. It represented a family’s livelihood and thus was ...read more

7353

Harken’s Reflex 3 top-down Furler

Furl PowerAre you afraid of flying—spinnakers, that is? Harken’s new Reflex 3 top-down furler will tame A-sails on monohulls from 44-58ft and multis from 39-55ft, and Code 0’s on 39-54ft monos and 36-50ft multis. All you do is heave on the furling line and the sail will roll up ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comDitch the stress Owners of high-freeboard yachts best boarded via the stern sugar-scoop like to back them into a slip, but the process can be fraught on a windy day or when there’s a current running, ...read more