Along with the burgeoning popularity of catamarans comes the realization that there are nowhere near as many entry-level cruising cats as there are monohulls. If I want to buy a new 30- to 33-foot monohull for some unambitious, uncomplicated coastal sailing, then all of the major production builders have at least one model that would suit me. If I want a cruising catamaran of the same length, well then I can choose between the Gemini 105MC and the TomCat 9.7 and the Maine Cat 30—and, er, that’s about it. Fine boats all, but what if I want something a bit different?
Australia’s Seawind Catamarans, whose boats have a fine reputation among American multihull cognoscenti, has just unveiled this cute little 30-footer. The Seawind 950 packs an amazing amount of accommodation into its hulls and bridgedeck. The standard layout has two large double cabins plus a slightly smaller bunk of the type that used to be called a “honeymoon” double, along with a fourth child-sized bunk, a generous head/shower and plenty of stowage. You can also specify a two-cabin/two-heads charter layout. As in the larger Seawinds, the saloon and cockpit are open-plan, and the dinette converts into yet another double.
So far, so impressive, but it’s the engineering that’s most intriguing. The boat can be broken down for transport in a pair of 40ft shipping containers; the yard says its modular construction locks together like some giant kit, and the boat can be assembled in a couple of days by just two people. Although the standard boat comes with a pair of fixed stub keels, performance-oriented owners can order a racing version with a centerboard.
The fractional rig carries a full-battened mainsail and a self-tacking jib. A pair of 9.9hp Yamaha outboards provides auxiliary propulsion. Hopefully, we’ll see one of these innovative cruisers at one of the fall boat shows in the United States.
Polish company Bond Yachts has entered the folding-tri market with its new TNT34. The amas retract for trailering or docking on a novel sliding/folding mechanism that allows for greater maximum beam than its competitors (the Dragonfly 35, Corsair 37 or Farrier F36) and that, says designer Jerzy Kostanski, means greater sail-carrying power—up to 20 percent more than its rivals. With a displacement of 4,200 pounds and a main hull designed to plane at 8 knots, this boat should be a lot of fun.
Twin retracting rudders and a bulkhead-mounted wheel for steering under power are unusual features on a boat of this type. If that doesn’t get you enough curious stares, you can have hydrofoils fitted to the amas. Belowdecks there’s a V-berth forward and a convertible dinette in the saloon, with standing headroom under the main hatch. There’s a Canadian importer but no word yet on representation in the United States.
Top and bottom photos courtesy of Bond Yachts