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Innovative Concepts and Designs for Catamarans and Trimarans

McConaghy S49

This handsome fast cruising cat by Jeff Schionning is in build at the McConaghy yard in China. Coming in somewhere between high-end production cats and custom carbon-fiber rides, it’s aimed at the burgeoning performance-cruiser market. Construction is a Corecell foam/vinylester resin composite, and Schionning says displacement is some 30 percent lighter than most comparably sized production cats.

In keeping with the boat’s ocean-crossing capabilities, weight is centralized to minimize pitching, bridgedeck clearance is high and all lines are led aft. The powerful mainsail can be set, reefed and handled from the helm with the aid of electric winches; the two furling headsails can be controlled from the same location. A brace of 50hp diesels with saildrives should ensure that performance under power matches that under sail.

Accommodations are trimmed out in light-finished composite panels. A three-cabin layout is standard; the guest cabins in the port hull share a large head/shower compartment, while the starboard hull is given over to owner’s quarters. McConaghy Boats, mcconaghyboats.com

LOA 49ftBEAM 25ft 10inDRAFT 2ft 2in/8ftDISPLACEMENT 26,546lb (light ship)

Ipanema 58

Fountaine Pajot continues to introduce a new model every year, and its latest offering is a replacement for the Sanya 57. The Ipanema 58 has everything its predecessor had, just more of it. The big cat comes in two versions: the Maestro, with a conventional galley-up layout, and the Lounge, where the galley is consigned to the starboard hull, so all the considerable saloon space can be devoted to, well, lounging areas. The Maestro has a choice of five or six cabins; the Lounge, with part of one hull occupied by the galley, has just four.

Either way, lucky owners will enjoy the vast flybridge cockpit with its grill, tables and bar fridge, and the equally expansive but well-shaded aft cockpit. Even with all cabins occupied, 12 people wouldn’t be a crowd in this boat. Fountaine Pajot, fountaine-pajot.com

LOA 55ft 10inBEAM 29ft 4inDRAFT 4ft 7inDISPLACEMENT 51,100lb (light ship)

Xquisite X5

Xquisite Yachts has risen from the ashes of South Africa’s Dean Catamarans and is aiming to become a force at the smaller end of the luxury cat market. Company owner Tamas Hamor has put some 20,000 miles on a Dean Cat 5000, the boat on which the new X5 is based. He’s also had the boat’s interior redesigned and the hull and deck molds retooled for improved ergonomics, sharper performance and greater load carrying ability, the better to carry a decent-sized cruising payload that includes an extensive standard inventory. Xquisite Yachts, xquisiteyachts.com

LOA 50ft 6inBEAM 26ft 3inDRAFT 4ft 11inDISPLACEMENT 39,683lb (light ship)

Catnano

How small can a cruising catamaran be? These days you don’t see many smaller than the Gemini Legacy 35, yet surely there must be a market for a more compact cat. That’s what German sailor Christian Werstein thought, so he came up with this concept for a 30ft catamaran that could take a couple or a young family on a coastal cruise or perhaps a more ambitious voyage.

The Catnano was designed by well-known German multihull maven Bernd Kohler, and is constructed of plywood sheathed in epoxy resin and fiberglass. It’s a simple but versatile and strong build method that is almost maintenance-free. The Catnano displaces just 7,500lb. The rig is as simple as the build process, with a well-roached mainsail and self-tacking jib.

Volume is at a premium in a boat of this size, but has been allocated wisely. A pair of double berths accessible from the hulls are set athwartships in the forward part of the bridgedeck, and each cabin has its own head. The saloon is compact, with a small galley in the starboard hull. Auxiliary power for this lightweight boat is provided by a pair of 7hp (yes, you read that right) Farymann diesels turning Gori folding propellers. The standard of equipment throughout is high.

This simple boat is cute as a button and could be just the ticket for a couple who want to go cruising on a budget. Catnano, catnano.com

LOA 30ftBEAM 18ft 4inDRAFT 2ft 4inDISPLACEMENT 7,500lb (light ship)

Rapido 60

This new fast cruising trimaran from Morrelli & Melvin looks to be a bit of a weapon. It was commissioned by Rapido Marine, whose principals include Paul Koch, former owner of Corsair Marine, who knows a thing or two about trimarans.

Currently under construction at the Rapido yard in Vietnam, the 60ft tri should exhibit scorching performance on all points of sail while remaining, according to its designers, easily controlled by a small crew. The boat’s generous beam gives it a healthy righting moment, and safety features like watertight bulkheads and crash zones designed to dissipate impacts will foment peace of mind when charging through the black of night at double-digit speeds.

The central hull is nearly 13ft wide, so accommodations are far from cramped. The saloon, galley and nav station are all on the same level, with raised seating for a good view out the portlights. There is a large owner’s suite forward and a smaller double berth aft. The saloon settees can serve as passage berths, and a pair of pilot berths are optional.

The laminate is a composite of carbon, Kevlar and e-glass fibers around a foam core bound by vinylester resin. The rig is carbon fiber, and all interior bulkheads are honeycomb core skinned with carbon fiber. The amas can be demounted to decrease overall beam from 38ft to 16ft for shipping or storage. The boat’s polar diagrams predict 30-plus-knot speeds off the wind and double-digit speeds to windward, so this should be one exciting ride. Rapido Trimarans, rapidotrimarans.com

LOA 59ft 4inBEAM 38ft 5inDRAFT 2ft 6in/11ft 7inDISPLACEMENT 17,000lb (light ship)

Bali 4.3

Bali Catamarans, an offshoot of France’s long-established Catana yard, is coming on strong. Its 45-foot Bali 4.5, an innovative charter/coastal cruising boat launched last year (see page 58 for a full review), met with an encouraging reception and has now been followed by the 43ft Bali 4.3.

Like her big sister, the 4.3 exhibits some fresh thinking in terms of layout. Perhaps the most obvious is the solid foredeck, which has been turned into a huge lounging/sunning/entertaining area, complete with tables, seating and sunbeds. The galley is set forward, and the large window to the foredeck can be rolled down to allow unimpeded passage of beers and snacks.

The saloon and aft cockpit are on one open-plan level, and a “garage door” can be swung down to close off the saloon when you leave the boat or in inclement weather. Among other mod cons on the standard equipment list are a watermaker, dishwasher, trash compactor, washing machine and an espresso machine. The piece de resistance is a full-height refrigerator/freezer with a water dispenser.
Bali Catamarans, bali-catamarans.com

LOA 43ftBEAM 23ft DRAFT 3ft 9inDISPLACEMENT 20,400lb (light ship)

HH55

Hudson Marine teamed up with Morrelli & Melvin for this new entrant into the sport cruising niche that’s currently dominated by Gunboat. Built in China entirely of carbon fiber/epoxy resin composites, the HH55 boasts curved daggerboards and T-foil rudders to enhance performance. Bulkheads and furniture are cored to further reduce weight without compromising strength. The aim is to combine adrenaline-boosting performance with ease of handling, so that a couple could take this boat across an ocean quickly and safely. The generous sailplan can be controlled either from a forward cockpit or optional twin helm stations aft.

Accommodations are arranged on either side of a large single-level saloon/cockpit that can be separated by sliding doors. Standard layouts show the starboard hull has two double berths with ensuites, while the port hull can either hold twin cabins or be given over to owner’s quarters. It’s also possible to fully customize the interior. HH Catamarans, hhcatamarans.com

LOA 54ft 6inBEAM 27ft 3inDRAFT 4ft 11in/10ft 10inDISPLACEMENT 28,660lb (light ship)

Corsair Pulse 600

It seems the name of this new trimaran from Corsair Marine derives from the fact that a mere look at its specifications should get your pulse racing. This featherweight 20ft trailerable folding tri is all about fun afloat. Not only is it an out-and-out speedster, guaranteed to get your adrenaline spiking in most any breeze—especially when its big screecher is unleashed—but it also can be sailed conservatively when the family’s on board.

The boat is constructed from e-glass with a foam core set in polyester resin; weight has been kept down to a mere 816lb by some clever use of carbon fiber, which provides extra structural strength in highly stressed areas that otherwise would be beefed up by heavy layups of e-glass and resin. The rig is simple and easy to set up, and a boat as light as this can easily be towed by a small car. There’s a small cuddy cabin, and a lockable watertight compartment is located forward of the mast. Corsair Marine, corsairmarine.com

LOA 19ft 8inBEAM6ft 11in/14ft 9inDRAFT9in/3ft 11inDISPLACEMENT816lb

For more boat reviews, click here

MHS Summer 2015

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