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Archive for the ‘Big Pimpin’’ Category

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Big Pimpin’

Our long history with sailing’s premium luxury catamaran brand means we’re pretty stoked to see how quickly Grand Large Yachting has brought Gunboat back from the brink.  While we’ll need to wait a while to see the just-announced, all-new VPLP-designed GB68 hit the water, this shot of the new Gunboat 57 VaiVai sending it hard in Newport last weekend sends a loud and clear message: Gunboat is back, and better than ever.  With VaiVai hitting 17 knots upwind and 26 downwind last week without even letting her off her chain yet, she’s already exceeding expectations.  Compared to the 55, the new boat is 10% lighter – nearly 1.5 tons – all while sporting major upgrades:  An all-carbon interior, a gorgeous, high-modulus rotating Southern Spar, deep daggerboards, and amidships engines.  Throw in air conditioning, a washer/dryer, and a gourmet galley, and you have a full fledged Caribbean dream that just happens to be faster than a new TP52.

A personal note from our editorial staff: We visited with the management of Grand Large several years ago in the south of France, and they are an impressive bunch with a serious passion for yachting. More importantly (given Gunboat’s history), they are a solid business with a strong product line and over 700 boats on the water, and we expect they will be around for a lot longer than you will.

It’s not too late to have VaiVai for yourself this Caribbean race season. But if you want to try her out first or charter for an event, get in touch here.  Want to buy new?  Looking for a job? Want a free puppy? Get in touch with them today.

We expect a ride on one of these, ASAP, and you all can expect a long chat with Erickson and maybe even the designer of the new 68 coming very soon on the SA Podcast.  Got questions for these guys? Post them in the GB68 thread.

NOTE FROM THE EDITORS: Just to set the record straight, as much as are delighted to see Gunboat 57 VaiVai perform to its expectations, this evolution happened before the new management for Gunboat took over, and they don’t want to take any credit for an achievement that is primarily the work of VaiVai’s owner, Nigel Irens, and their team.  Congratulations to them on a beautiful boat and a job well done.

October 20th, 2016 by admin

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While we’re grateful to have support of awesome sponsors throughout the sport, we’re even more grateful when they have real news instead of just press releases!  Just six months after launch, the first in a new line of Morrelli & Melvin designed, high-performance carbon cruising cats proved her racing prowess, with HH-6601 R-Six winning her first regatta! The six-boat fleet gathered at Port Adriano last week for the inaugural Multihull Cup – a new event designed to provide a fun and competitive regatta platform for 50′ and over performance cruising multis. Other participants included three M&M designed Gunboat 66s: Slim, Coco de Mer, and Outnumbered; the Nigel Irens’ custom 78’ Allegra and a 60′ Bañuls’ MC2 Dragon.

Harry Dunning was named the official rating authority by the Multihull Cup organizers; his complex and impartial rating system takes into account weight, waterline and sail area measurements as well as daggerboard and rudder dimensions. The system sees further adjustment each day based on wind conditions and course length as determined by the race committee.

img_7931Racing took place over three gorgeous days, with one race sailed each day. Mostly sunny skies, decent sized wind swell and variable breeze set the tone for an exciting weekend of racing. R-SIX performed strongly each day, finishing third on day one, 12min 34sec behind Allegra and 1min 12sec behind SLIM, third on day two 7min 42sec behind Allegra and 52 sec behind Coco de Mer, and ending the regatta in dominating fashion on day three, taking line honors and finishing 49 sec ahead of Allegra and 5min 55sec ahead of both SLIM and Coco de Mer, who finished within one second of each other. On corrected time, R-SIX placed 1st on day one, 2nd on day two, and 1st on day three.

Aboard were the core crew; the owner and his two permanent crew who’ve been with the boat since it’s arrival in Valencia in June. Four additional crew rounded out the team, including co-designer Gino Morrelli and longtime Anarchist and HH commissioning skipper Chris Bailet. The crew felt their performance throughout the regatta was strong, save for a few tactical and execution errors. Gino surmised that the crew work and tactical calls improved each day, and explained that on day three they seemed to have “found a new gear” and really sailed to their full potential.

The boat itself proved solid, sustaining fewer and less severe breakages than other boats in the fleet. A chafe issue with the Antal line driver on the starboard daggerboard left the board fixed down for much of the race on both day one and day two. Big thanks are owed to rigger Scott, who sailed the regatta as crew on Allegra but worked overtime in the evenings to help address the board issue. Damage reports from the other competitors included a busted hydraulic hose on Allegra, breakages to multiple sails on SLIM, and a busted main halyard on Dragon, among others.

A first place finish amongst a strong fleet of boats that are optimized for performance and well sailed is an obvious testament to the design and build of the HH66. To read Gino’s full race report from each day, head on over to the HH website here, and if you’d like to join in on the mostly uninformed and typically combative banter regarding the event, hit up the Multihull Cup thread in the SA Forums here.

Jesus Renedo photos.

September 27th, 2016 by admin

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Big Pimpin’

The HH6601 R-SIX stuns in this latest promo video shot in Palma last month. HH Catamarans will make their world debut at the Cannes Yachting Festival - one of the world’s largest boat shows – next week. We imagine the stunning black cat will make quite a splash in Cannes.

Want to see the exciting carbon cat for yourself? Contact [email protected] to secure dedicated time onboard with Paul, Gino and the gang during the show. C’est si bon!


September 4th, 2016 by admin

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Big Pimpin’

We’ve all watched the world of big, high performance cruising cats come alive with a vengeance over the past few years, and Hudson Hakes has become one of the leaders of the continuing revolution.  In association with our friends at Seahorse Mag, here’s more about what HH has in the pipeline.

Hudson Hakes HH66
Large performance multihulls offer the best of all worlds – sailing excitement, comfort and style, both racing and cruising – and are entering their next generation with the recent launching of the HH66 catamaran, built by Hudson Yacht & Marine. This is the latest in a long series of designs from Californiabased Morrelli & Melvin, who have been leaders in not only finding the right balance but also optimising the competing elements of speed, style and reliability into bold new innovative designs. Couple this design refinement with one of the world’s largest integrated production builders in advanced composites and the results are spectacular.

Hudson’s history in building large performance cats goes back several years, with eight 60ft fast luxury multihulls already under their belt. Builder Paul Hakes’s own relationship with Gino Morrelli goes back further with the development of small, fast cats like the SL33, introduced in 2008 for the European lake sailing market. This fast 650kg, 10m design also caught the attention of America’s Cup contenders of the day who were new to the multihull genre, both Luna Rossa and Team New Zealand getting their own boats to play with as they learned more about multihull sailing and design.

Yet Hakes and Morrelli actually go back further still, to Hakes’s days at Cookson Boats during the building of Steve Fossett’s Jules Verne-contender PlayStation, a 100ft monster from the late 1990s designed by Morrelli & Melvin. It was here that Hakes got a taste for the uniquely high static and dynamic loading inherent to big cats and the structures needed to accommodate these loads in an offshore performance context.

In design evolution Hakes says the HH66 differs slightly from its 60ft predecessors – they’re not only larger for size sake, but based on feedback from the 60ft owners. ‘They found that the 60ft design was large enough to accommodate the owners and their guests, but not to comfortably accommodate the minimum two full-time crew needed to manage a boat of this size and complexity,’ said Hakes

‘Many thought that one or at most two crew would be sufficient for boat handling and the maintenance and operation of simple onboard systems, but as these boats became more complex it became apparent that two pros were needed to allow the owner and guests a measure of comfort when making journeys of any significant length.’

Another important element in the new design is the evolution from centreboards to daggerboards. At 6m long and fabricated using 300kg of carbon, the latest boards are curved slightly inboard for efficiency. And this configuration is efficient, giving a 20% boost in lift/drag efficiency and generating up to 3 tons of lift. Fully deployed these boards yield a 4m draft; but when cruising in shallower waters the boat still performs well with them partly raised.

The T-shaped rudders of the HH66 contribute as well, generating 800kg of lift to help dampen pitching, in turn increasing comfort and speed. In total the foils generate nearly 4 tons of lift when the boat is at speed.

With all this load, the boards inevitably have to be robust: the designed static load limit is 8.5 tons and the dynamic load limit much greater. To ensure reliability, HYM fully test each board before installation. The daggerboard is also engineered to take 0.5m deflection at 17 tons of load, with a breaking strength of twice this amount. But it’s important that the engineered maximum load is not too high: if the boat grounds at high speed the foil needs to break and not the boat.

This kind of tailored engineering is possible due to the scale of HYM’s operation; there is complete digital control on the design, tooling and fabrication of parts both large and small. This vertical integration in the design process allowed Morrelli to nearly achieve his ideal design scenario, leaving the hull shapes to be the last element in the design process – because all the other constituent pieces of the boat, their weight and their position help drive the choice of hull shapes needed to maximise performance.

Having said this, the HH66 hull design is a bit more generous than seen on other similar cats, in part because Morrelli and Hakes agree that when owner specification and cruising gear inevitably tip the scales beyond the original design weight, the effects on hull trim are less pronounced with a less deleterious effect on performance.

There are other practical elements that make the HH66 distinguishable from the previous generation of this genre: for example, rather than install complex and enormously expensive co-generation electrical systems that limit fossil-fuel dependence but historically lead to myriad problems, the HH66 is powered by two old-school but highly efficient 80hp Yanmar marine diesels. Being easily driven, this big cat does not consume much fuel anyway; a calculation made for a client interested in trans-Atlantic crossings found that if the wind stopped completely and it became necessary to proceed under power, at a modest 6kt the boat would have a range of about 1,500 miles… not bad.

If a client does insist on having a carbon-free platform to cruise the world, HYM can accommodate it, having invested on the previousgeneration boats in the development of retractable skegs, lithium battery banks, dualpropulsion/ generation prop systems, solar panels, 280V electric engines and the energymanagement systems to control them all. Not such an easy fix on a remote Pacific isle, though…

Armed with a team of 25 in-house engineers and designers at HYM, Hakes is able to efficiently translate design concepts into reality across an entire project, since these boats are built from strong, stable carbon tooling to optimise longterm cost and production efficiency. This is particularly important, given that HYM now has no fewer than six of these 66-footers in production.

Yet, as Paul points out, ‘production’ is a relative term for these boats, when each of the owners and their project managers have specific requirements in their choices of deck and interior layouts, onboard equipment and the systems needed to support the functionality of each choice.

‘Our in-house engineering and design staff work with our clients to lay out the options,’ says Hakes, ‘This makes the process easy and efficient. We integrate the design and engineering of the tooling and components, then put parameters on the options, so performance is not unreasonably sacrificed and the overall design concept is not compromised. This is important when we go through a fabrication process of several months, while we try to stay within reasonable timelines and deliver the quality the customer expects as well as the reliability to ensure problem-free sailing over the long term.’

An example of how HYM can customise a production boat is in steering station choices. The last generation of luxury performance cats had steering stations located forward in the boat, either fully or partially enclosed within the cabin structure. While certainly secure from the weather, this also limited the helmsman’s ability to have any visceral feel for the boat, an element in sailing that every sailor needs. With the high speeds possible for these big fast cats, Hakes and Morrelli also felt that it would be safer to have weight trimmed further aft in the boat.

To address this and the practical matter of how to dock a boat that is nearly as wide as it is long, HYM’s engineers came up with a clever solution in the helm station, where not only are there seats available to accommodate the helm on each hull, but the steering pedestals themselves rotate to allow greater visibility in close manoeuvres (see photo of HH66, above).

‘This was a complex feature that we were only able to achieve with the help of efficient fabrication based on our digital design tools,’ says Hakes. ‘It would not have been practical without this facility.’

The helm detail is just one of many factors that elevate the HH66 and set her apart from her predecessors and other market offerings. State-of-the-art technical details, cutting-edge design, bestpractice construction and attention to detail combine, setting a new standard in the realm of luxury performance cruising multihulls.

HYM and Morrelli & Melvin have achieved a bold, yet refined, dualpurpose yacht that will undoubtedly propel the brand into the future. The first HH66 is already turning heads in Valencia and is sure to stun when she makes her official debut in Cannes this autumn.

Click here for more information on HH Catamarans  »

August 24th, 2016 by admin

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Team GBR has been at the top of Olympic Sailing since the US unintentionally abdicated its throne, and this video proves they’re not just better on the water, but they crush it in the editing suite and on social media, too.  As huge Guy Ritchie fans, we dig this one hard.  Enjoy, and head over here to check the comments.

July 25th, 2016 by admin

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Clean Report

The first stage of the M32/World Match Racing Tour experiment wraps up today with a shock finale: Only one form guide favorite advancing to the semifinals of the million-dollar, winner-take-all World Championship in Marstrand, Sweden.

Taylor Canfield advances as the favorite, but loses tactician Chris Main to a shoulder injury going into the final day, and with 25 knots forecast, he’l lose weight and strength with GAC Pindar trimmer Garth Ellingham subbing in.

With Iker Martinez, Yann Guichard, and 6-time world champ Ian Williams all knocked out in the quarters, every skipper in the final four matchup is 30 or younger, and Hakan Svensson’s vision of providing a pathway to greatness for young sailors has been fulfilled.

The event itself is quite insane; I’ve never seen more gorgeous women in one place, and the event has set all kids of records for both daily attendance and digital viewership.  We’ll have more on today’s action shortly, right here on the front page – head over to WMRT Facebook for live coverage of the skipper’s meeting and much, much more this morning; we’ll have the finals embedded right here from 1400 CET/0800 ET/0500 PT.  Brian Carlin photography.

Here’s a video summary of yesterday’s insanity, and Nic the Sailor Girl grabbed some strong interviews with Williams after his knockout and his nemesis, young Chris Steele.

July 8th, 2016 by admin

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2016 M24 Worlds boss Petey Crawford is back with Episode 5 of “View from the Chair”, and he’s got a special sponsor prize for competitors who haven’t yet completed their replication; two brand new Velocitek Pro-Starts will be awarded to those who finish their registration (meaning…they pay) before July 14th.  Even if you ain’t coming to Miami this winter, click on Play and let Petey make you laugh.  And even if you don’t win one, you’d better have one on this 100+ boat starting line!


June 26th, 2016 by admin

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Still the most successful inshore/offshore big-boat box rule ever, the TP52 continues to set the standard for owner/driver Grand Prix monohull action, and with new faces and the return of the ever-competitive Ran program, the 2016 season looks as good as its ever been.  This piece brought to you by our partner Seahorse Magazine in association with the TP52 SuperSeries.

Going through the 52 Super Series 2016 scheduling and entry list one might think that not much has changed from the spectacular 2015 series in which we saw nine new builds join the fleet. However, there are two new venues: Scarlino in Tuscany and Mahón in Menorca. Scarlino opens the series in May. The modern Marina di Scarlino provides ample space to get a fleet of this size and standard properly measured and prepared.

Scarlino is followed in late June by the testing conditions on the emerald coast of Porto Cervo. A fine combination of scenic but nerve-racking coastal races and a couple of windward-leeward days will decide the winner of the highly valued Settimana delle Bocche trophy. From Sardinia to the Bay of Palma and Puerto Portals in July provides another contrast in sailing conditions, requiring remoding to both your boat and to your tactician’s mindset.

This year we choose not to race during August as many of our officials and umpires are involved with the Olympics, but the TP52 worlds in September will see 12 TP52s battling it out in beautiful Mahón. One of the largest natural harbours in the world, Mahón has been claimed by many seafaring nations and has seen some epic sea battles. We hope to add one more, albeit more peaceful.

Finally, on 15 October we will know the identity of the 2016 52 Super Series champion… after five final days of racing on the challenging waters of Cascais and a total 45-odd races sailed with no discard allowed. No doubt another worthy winner.

One of 12 strong teams will share the experience this year, with Sorcha owner Peter Harrison and his sailing team directed by Campbell Field as the only newcomer in the fleet. They will join us at Porto Cervo and the TP52 worlds.

A few weeks ago five of our 2016 teams engaged in six days of sailing from the Valencia base of the St Petersburg Yacht Club, an initiative by the owner of Bronenosec, Vladimir Liubomirov. As can be expected after a full season of racing, I witnessed a different level of boat preparation than what we started with last year.

All five had used the long winter recess to evaluate and modify their boats. As a consequence it is equally as exciting to line up for the first time now as it was last year.

This year the TP52s for the first time in the history of the class race below seven tonnes displacement (6,950kg) but, as things go, the loads still go up by popular demand of the trimmers. Most rigs have consequently been beefed up by adding extra laminate to the outside of the tube. But as each team has different ideas on tube stiffness it surely was not the same mod for all.

Many have changed their standing rigging to fine-tune in this department in terms of both strength and drag. Provezza bit the bullet and the owner combined his wish to have a spare mast with a new rig incorporating significant changes in stiffness… as well as fibre optics laminated into the tube to record mast bend.

Retrieving quality data is the basis for proper performance evaluation, the only basis really. The majority of the Vrolijk-designed boats will sport new or re-profiled keel fins, some in combination with a new rudder. Rudders are moving forward as well, in search of higher modes upwind.

The majority of the Botín-designed boats are also on a new rudder track. Sails are never the same; I am not qualified to say anything sensible there. I just make sure we end up within the class limits with the right logos and sail numbers…

The human mind’s appetite for change is hard to contain. In combination with a lack of appetite for reading the rules, we sometimes end up on the wrong side of the fence. But once again I have Pablo Ferrer, now in his 11th year of measuring and checking TP52s. He has not seen it all, but more than most for sure.

So what did we see on the water in Valencia? Guillermo Parada, helmsman on Azzurra, noted, ‘All of the boats had improved and every day it is getting harder to gain a speed edge, so this season will be super-tight. Now it’s time to download all the data from this week and make the final choices about equipment and settings for the Super Series itself.’

Talking to Tony Langley and Tom Wilson, owner and manager of Gladiator, there was cautious optimism that with recent improvements the team have now found the legs to be on a par with the others; this was backed up by observations from the other teams. It hardly ever gets more detailed than ‘Gladiator is fast’ but they were not joking. With Mr Ian ‘Abu Dhabi’ Walker, double Olympic medallist, on tactics for the season I feel the orange-red hull shall be visible in quite a few photos of the leading pack. Once they’re confident and up to speed the next goal is consistency, maybe even harder to achieve.

Simon Fry, trimmer on the Vrolijk-designed Provezza, confirmed their search for more improvements upwind and the trade-off that demands: ‘In general now we can live in skinnier [tighter, higher] lanes upwind than we could before and I don’t think we have given away much downwind… So it’s hopeful.’

Amazingly, it is the fifth year already since the demise of the MedCup. Time flies. Also in 2016 the Super Series fleet will be predominantly owner-driver and the outlook for 2017 is no different. Teams joining (like Interlodge) or showing interest in joining in 2017 are so far all owner-driver.

If there ever was any overlap with pro-driver commercial sailing events like the AC, Extreme Sailing Series or the Volvo in the MedCup days, whether in reality or in ambition, I feel this is no longer the case. This is important as it will produce a clearer picture, a clearer product, whether one is looking to join, to enjoy, to work, to support, to sponsor, to watch or to follow online.

As for the boats, they suit that model perfectly. Cutting-edge technology, fast and sometimes even furious without getting into the extreme sport arena, certainly not one-trick ponies and well sought-after secondhand all over the world.

The space for evolution has narrowed after the large steps taken between 2011 and 2014, at least without a major rewrite of the TP52 Rule. Right now present and interested future owners all appreciate and expect rule stability. They will get just that till they indicate otherwise.

With class president Niklas Zennström back on the tiller of Rán Racing for the full series after a semi-sabbatical from racing in 2015, the 52 Super Series and the TP52 Class are ready for 2016. We wish all sailors, wherever their competition takes them, good times, nice winds… and fair competition.

Click here for more information on 52 Super Series »

We invite you to read on and find out for yourself why Seahorse is the most highly-rated source in the world for anyone who is serious about their racing.

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May 17th, 2016 by admin

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Ragtime2Big Pimpin’

Many of our younger readers know J/Boats as the “establishment brand” of asymmetric racer/cruisers typified by the J/70, 80, 88, and 111 that dominate inshore one-design fleets and the 120, 122, 109, and 105 that typically make up somewhere around half of most handicap fleets.  But few of them realize that with the launching of the J/24 Ragtime, the Johnstones were the original Sailing Anarchists of the 70s.  Happy Anniversary to the J/24 – here’s a note from the celebration, with a title shout thanks to Sublime.

rag2Family and friends gathered yesterday in Stonington, CT to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the launching of the 24’ sloop RAGTIME – Rod Johnstone’s garage-born, dream boat built by hand over a 17 month period, and launched on May 15th, 1976.  There were lots of stories shared as most who were gathered had helped either build, launch or sail RAGTIME during the memorable summer of ‘76.  After launching, RAGTIME and her family crew (mostly under the age of 16), would go on to win 15 of 17 races in Eastern Connecticut that summer and inspire enough people to want a sistership, that Rod quit his job, asked Everett Pearson to build them, his brother Bob to sell them, and the J/24 (and J/Boats) was born.

May 17th, 2016 by admin

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Big Pimpin’

Oceanvolt Systems are now being offered on new Elan E3, E4 & E5 models!

“The motor is just amazing, the maneuvering in the harbor, torque, the silence. Better than we ever expected!” – owners of the first electric Elan E4,

Oceanvolt electric motor systems are standard on more than 90 boat models, both monohull & multihull, represented by 45 different boat manufOV2acturers worldwide. In addition to Elan this list includes brands like McConaghy Boats, J/Boats, Dufour Yachts & Alerion Yachts to mention a few. The systems are highly reliable, silent, maintenance free & create energy while sailing. The batteries of the propulsion system can be charged using the hydro generation feature on the motors, solar power, shore power or a small DC generator. Because the systems are 48V they can be installed by anyone without any special electrical certification.

Contact Springline Yacht Sales ([email protected]) in the US to get more information about the different electric motor packages on the Elan models.

May 14th, 2016 by admin

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