But 2012 may become known as the year San Francisco Bay changed all that.
Spurred by the America’s Cup switch to high-speed catamarans, the West Coast’s most prestigious sailboat race, known as the Rolex Big Boat Series, for the first time allowed speedy multihulled boats to enter the racing, which finished Sept. 9.
The move was like allowing turbocharged engines in motor sports. Dyed-in-the-wool sailors call it a move to the dark side.
St. Francis Yacht Club Commodore Peter Stoneberg pushed that move. He raced aboard his ProSail 40 catamaran Shadow and ultimately took first among the multihulls.
“The Rolex Big Boat Series is one of the premier events in the world, and having catamarans included in it for the first time is very exciting for us,” said Stoneberg. “You just can’t beat the thrill and adrenaline of racing them on San Francisco Bay.”
Explore these locations with Jeff & Jean this season:
Belize, Dec 15th – 21st 2012 (only one stateroom left)
Antigua, May 4th – 11th 2013
Bahamas, June 29th – July 6th 2103 (Abaco Sailing Week)
For more information on these catamaran cruising vacations and other educational offerings designed for couples, visit: www.TwoCanSail.com.]]>
Courtesy of www.americascup.com.]]>
It has been a while since I have been able to recommend a big cat builder, the last series build being in Australia around 2002-2005, with a superb product. But, as was the case with the F-33, this had to be ended as the Aussie dollar went too high, which made it just too expensive to build boats in Australia.
However, American Michael Mallory in the Philippines decided to build his own F-44SC catamaran a couple of years ago, and liked it so much he decided to form Multihulls Direct to build them commercially. He has engaged Andrew Johnson (an Australian engineer formerly of Melvest Marine) to supervise all construction, which means a very high standard, as I know Andrew well and have seen his work. The F-44SC is based on the Farrier F-41, but with more room and cruising capability, while Multihulls Direct are building an even more advanced version, specially developed for their series production, with a number of recent improvements. They will be building for the world wide market, and the quality of their first build looks to be outstanding.
The factory is located in Subic Bay (Philippines), where they will also have the room to custom build my trimaran designs such as the F-32, F-32SR and F-85SR (one already started). All operations are being supervised by Andrew, who is very experienced in all aspects of my designs, having already built a number of F-82s, F-22s, and F-32s.
Like the F-41, the F-44SC is a cruising cat that will not disappoint trimaran owners. F-boaters are used to effortless tacking and good all round performance, and moving up to a big cruising cat can be a disappointment, as their performance can be sluggish for a trimaran sailor. But when I opted to design a large cat I decided that it would have to have good ‘trimaran like’ performance, as I could never personally promote or sell just another cruising cat with mediocre performance. So I gave it deep efficient foils, a rotating mast, and hull specifications that allowed it to be built very light, and I was personally delighted with the end result. Read more.]]>
Winds of over 30 knots yesterday had pushed the Vodafone “freight train” towards the outright record in the Evolution Sails Sail Noumea race, but the Orma 60′s progress slowed in confused seas and shifting winds overnight.
The crew reported all was well on board, but their thoughts were with the 18 crew on board Beau Geste, making their way to safety at Norfolk Island after the 80ft monohull suffered serious damage to its hull and decking last night.
“The boys feel gutted for Beau Geste and hope they make Norfolk safely,” the Vodafone crew posted on Facebook.
Beau Geste, with Kiwi match racer Gavin Brady at the helm, is being accompanied by a fishing boat in the rescue mission organized by the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand. The boat issued a distress call around 7pm when conditions on board began deteriorating rapidly in the rough seas.
For the full story, visit stuff.co.nz.]]>
Company founder Richard Ward unveiled the 32-foot cruising cat to gathered media on the opening day of the 24th Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. The Seawind 950 is a bolt together kitset cat that can be shipped around the world in two 40ft containers at a fraction of the cost of piggy-backing a fully assembled catamaran on a yacht transporter.
Ward is confident the concept will open up new markets in Europe and on the Great Lakes in Canada, as well as appealing to charter companies and young families who have previously been priced out of the multihull market.
“Catamaran manufacturers of the world have ignored the bottom end of the market. There is a lot more money at the bigger end and the bigger end appeals to their egos as well,” Ward said. “The Seawind 950 is a boat normal people can afford. It’s a big boat feel, a great family boat capable of coastal cruising , but comes in a box, two boxes in fact.”
Two qualified boat builders could assemble the boat in 1.5 days, Ward said. “Cats are getting bigger and bigger and we’re losing the entry level of the market. If you looking at an entry level cost of $400,000-$500,000, you’re probably in the wrong business.”
The Seawind 950 comes in a three cabin layout as standard with a spacious bathroom to port aft and a full galley down to starboard. Like its bigger sister the Seawind 1000, the saloon table in the 950 also drops down to offer another double berth. A two cabin, two-bathroom option will also be made available for the charter market.
The cat is powered by a fully-battened mainsail and overlapping jib with twin Yamaha 9.9hp high thrust outboards for auxiliary propulsion.
“We think it will charter very well, at the base charter level, for two couples. There is absolutely nothing like this anywhere in the world as far as we know so it’s very exciting,” Ward said.
The Seawind 950 will be available in November 2012. Read the full story.]]>
As North Americans, most of us have one thing in common—we have to watch what we eat to control our weight. It’s just the healthy thing to do. And anyone who has flown coach lately can attest that the battle is often a losing one.
It’s the same thing with our multihulls, particularly the cruising variety. While there are plenty of reasons to sail a multihull, one of the biggest attractions is that multihulls can and often do sail faster than their cruising monohull cousins. Speed is a big part of the deal, or at least it can and should be.
But therein lies the doughnut. Cruisers like stuff—watermakers, gensets, battery banks, kayaks, wine cellars, and so on. We all want to carry a lot of fuel and water and know it is prudent to have spare anchors and rodes. We consume marine electronics, hardware and gear as though they were bacon-wrapped scallops at an all-you-can-eat buffet. And every spring and fall we go back for more.
The upshot is that a cruising cat can get a bit overweight. As it sinks lower in the water, its ability to sprint past monohulls wanes a bit until the inherent multihull design advantage is lost. The sailing performance from staying trim and fit has been lost to belt-loosening binges at the chandlery.But it doesn’t have to be this way. I can hear Richard Simmons now: You can do it! When we choose a multihull, it is only right to ensure that it sails as well as possible—both for the pure pleasure of it and for the safety factor provided by fast passages.
So here’s the multihull diet: Instead of adding a genset, use solar panels and wind gens to keep the batteries topped up. Because you’ll have constant battery charging, you won’t need to add a massive battery bank. You really don’t need a dishwasher, trash compactor, washer-dryer or 60-inch flat screen TV. But you may opt for a watermaker so you don’t have to carry tons of water. Anchors are important, but you can choose lightweight designs that can be disassembled for stowing like the Fortress and Spade. Instead of an all-chain-rode, you can use 20 feet of chain on a springy nylon rode. For your water toys, check out the cool new generation of inflatable paddleboards and kayaks that weigh next to nothing. And when you select a dinghy, think about weight as well as performance; consider aluminum-floor RIBs and Torquedo outboards as lightweight, energy-efficient alternatives.
Keeping trim and fit is important for a healthy life. And, it will make staying that way even more fun if you can sail your fit and trim multihull right past the others in your fleet, leaving the monohulls well and truly in your wake.]]>