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:
Updated:
Original:
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

2020-06-01_13-53-06

A New Era for Sailing Program Safety

As states begin to lift restrictions on gathering and marinas open back up, many sailing programs are still wary, especially since sailors from different households will necessarily be in close quarters, whether on their boat, in a launch or at a yacht club. Most will not be ...read more

MTcyNTIwMzc1NDYzMTkyNDkw

Zipwake

Zipwake Series S, the world's first inexpensive dynamic trim-control system, incorporates a state-of-the-art family of durable, fast-acting interceptors. The system is fully automatic, and is designed to significantly enhance performance, fuel economy, comfort and safety when ...read more

CCA-story-2048x

Safety Culture Starts with the Skipper

Sailing might not be the first pastime that comes to mind when you think of extreme sports, but that’s not to say risks don’t abound. The Cruising Club of America tackles many of them head-on in their newly released guide for skippers, Creating a Culture of Safety: The Skipper’s ...read more

GMR19_F53_0539

Boat Review: Beneteau First Yacht 53

Luxury performance-cruising isn’t entirely new. You can go fast and still be comfortable. You can even race if you make the right tradeoffs—or so says Beneteau, which recently launched its First Yacht 53, in the process also reinventing the company’s “First” brand. Design & ...read more

BirdonBoard

Cruising: Birds of a Feather

One of the neatest things about sailing offshore is the other lifeforms we encounter. We smile when we see flying fish skimming over the surface of the sea. We cheer when dolphins leap and dance in our bow waves. We are duly reverent when mighty whales sound and spout, and ...read more

pirate-marlin-logo

Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament

This Spring has felt a bit like a slow day of fishing but it’s almost time to time to Bait…and Switch. The Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournaments offer something for every member of your crew. Exceptional fishing, fun times with family, old friends and new. Our run is short, our ...read more

Tusk.00_00_16_21.Still001

Tusk by Spyderco

Spyderco's Tusk knife combines a blade and marlinspike to create a multitool perfect for marine use. Made with corrosion resistant materials like titanium and LC200N steel, a nitrogen alloyed steel, and Spyderco-exclusive locking mechanisms, this knife is one of the toughest ...read more

IY11.98_fTaccola©DJI_0200

Italia 11.98 Performance-cruiser

This past winter, SAIL principal editor, Adam Cort, checked out the new Italia Yachts’ new 11.98 performance-cruiser at the boot Dusseldorf show in German, and says he can attest to the fact it’s a boat more than worthy of the attention of North American sailors. Available in ...read more