Posts Tagged ‘Gunboat’
SORC once again delivers on one of the quickest races in the land, this time, a recordbreaker. From Chris Woolsey (and go here for more great photos from Marco Oquendo and the SORC media team):
Every so often, the weather gods deliver the famous conditions that bring people back to the Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race year after year after year. For starters, winter storms up north usually have folks looking to points south by the time the new year rolls around. South Florida and the warm waters of the Gulfstream always provide a welcome place to thaw out. Couple that with the South Florida winter cold front cycle of a new blast of NE breeze every few days, which allow high speeds on nice waves down and around the bend of the Florida Keys to the Happy Place known as Key West, and you have a recipe for something more fun than shoveling snow and crossing items off of the honey-do list.
So it goes to figure that those blasting conditions would coincide with the race date roughly every other year, delivering racers to Key West overnight as quickly as (I Dream of) Jeannie can fold her arms, blink and say “Pepe’s!” As is sometimes the case, those conditions were a bit overdue, with the last all-out downwind romp coming in 2007. Those who made it for the 2017 running, hosted as always by Lauderdale Yacht Club and Storm Trysail Club, finally got a treat.
As a result, David and Peter Askew, and their all-star crew (including AC legend Marco Constant, Star world champ Phil Trinter, Artie Means, Ralf Steitz, Chris Larson, and half the Alvimedica VOR team) on the Reichel Pugh 74 Wizard romped across the finish line in record time, and pushed Carrera’s 2005 monohull record run to second-best by a few minutes. Jason Carroll’s warhorse Gunboat 62 “Elvis”, with Anderson Reggio navigating, crossed a few minutes later to take the overall quickest time (thanks to a later multihull class start), but never threatened Stars & Stripes record pace of last century. The happy crew revelled in letting the big cat get out and really stretch her legs in the fresh conditions.
The rest of the fleet is still rolling in and we may yet see some surprises in the results. Hook in, hold on and stand by.
January 12th, 2017 by admin
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
If your dream boat was the Wauquiez Pilot Saloon 48, you may wish to steer clear for a bit; the boat at the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis seems to have some legal issues…
In other news, the new Gunboat is rising from the ashes of their bankruptcy on the back of the just-announced Gunboat 68. It’s just vaporware as of today, but with orders already placed, we expect we’ll see this gorgeous creature IRL before too long. and she looks gorgeous. The VPLP design seems to integrate some of the swoopier, sexier lines of the Nigel Irens boats (G55, G60) without losing the look of power and substantialness of the more enduring 48/62/66. With longtime SA’ers running the project, you can of course get firsthand info in the forums. Find Nils and Mer hanging out at the boatshow.
October 8th, 2016 by admin
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.
Racing 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
Join the 1% while paying less than 1% of her original price! Rainmaker has hit the market for a reserve price of just $15,000, with the salvage auction closing in early September.
From Cooper Salvage:
Description: Vessel dismasted during severe weather and was abandoned. Vessel was recovered after being at sea for over a year.
Type of water damage: Salt. No shit.
August 11th, 2016 by admin
That’s what Southern France’s Outremer Catamarans is aiming to do if the Court accepts their $500,000 bid for the North Carolina company’s molds, hulls, marketing lists, trendy swag, and quite possibly the G4 Timbalero. Meanwhile, our old friends and the co-designers of the G4, Schickler Tagliapetra, have already moved on to develop a ‘baby G4′ under the Stiletto name.
Our Senior Editor says Outremer CEO Xavier Desmarest is the real deal. “This guy oozes passion for the sport, has a refreshing and powerful concept of loyalty to his customers,” said Mr. Clean, who spent a couple of hours at the Outremer factory back in 2013. “He seems to understand the ‘business of high performance cruising’ far better than most, which was probably Gunboat’s biggest failing.”
April 13th, 2016 by admin
We learned several hours ago that the Gunboat 55 Rainmaker has indeed been found, and here’s where truth gets stranger than fiction. The long-discussed G55, whose saga is here in all its glory, was spotted by members of Oracle Team USA while they were on a fishing trip off Bermuda! A boat named Tenacious is slowly towing her back to base, and we’ll have more when it’s available. Photo courtesy of Craig McFarlane and thanks to our friends for the heads up – you know who you are.
March 14th, 2016 by admin
2-time Melges 32 World Champ Jason Carroll doesn’t do things by halves, and he poured a small fortune in upgrades into the well-worn Gunboat 62 Elvis over the winter in preparation for an active 2016. Ryan Breymaier took the Navigator’s award last week guiding the big cat from Lauderdale to Key West. Here’s RMB’s first (of many) high-speed reports from 2016:
The forecast was for northerly 15 knots at the start and easterly at the finish, which would have meant short-gybing all the way from Lauderdale in order to avoid the worst of the Gulf Stream current; not the forecast we were looking for, considering that Elvis has been modified with 4 meters more rig, a longer boom and a longer bowsprit in order to power the boat up and fix persistent lee helm.
The end result of the mods is that the boat has 50% more mainsail and 55% more downwind sail, with a roller-furled, tight-luff gennaker replacing a spinnaker in a sock. We were afraid that we would not have quite enough power in the VMG conditions with a tight-luff sail and would have bad gybing angles resulting in about a thousand gybes down the course.
The boat also has bigger winches to deal with the sailplan, a real traveller and hydraulic mainsheet (instead of a bridle mainsheet to the transom corners), and the secret weapon; tillers which allow steering from outside instead of the wheel inside just aft of the mast – which is ideal for communications and comfort, but not at all for feel.
Start day dawned exactly as predicted with a nice northerly. We happily got our favored pin end and headed offshore on port with the big A3 pulling nicely. We even lifted a hull as we crossed the line! Regardless of the adverse stream, there was more wind offshore and we wanted to avoid the wind shadow that is often found near the Miami skyline. This was an immediate split from our main competition, the newly launched Arethusa, 60 feet of Nigel Irens-designed Gunboat. They outweigh Elvis by around 8000 pounds, but have a big mast and the soft luffed full-size kite which we feared would be our undoing.
As Arethusa (and most of the fleet) headed inshore, we made a couple of short gybes and stayed in the pressure offshore, especially in light of the approaching transition zone which we could see in the cloudline ahead. Sure enough, we ran into the clouds and were rewarded with an earlier than expected easterly shift and pressure. We started to soak, but not too much in order to keep the speed advantage given by luffing slightly with our tight luffed sail. Elvis loves this; we were sailing between 2 and 5 knots faster than the breeze at 130 TWA.
After a little while the northerly tried to reassert itself so we went back inshore to consolidate and cemented about a 4 mile lead.
We had been watching the radar further down the course, where there was plenty of squall and rain activity. This is classic KW race behavior, with the northerly on the north side of the keys fighting against the easterly breeze offshore. As the squall line showed itself to be just South of the lower keys, tactician Anthony Kotoun and I agreed to gybe back inshore in order to get into it as late as possible.
We were rewarded with a huge northerly shift as we got to the beach with the TWD going from 75 to 350 in the space of about 5 minutes. We were on starboard so we just bore away and found ourselves headed SW in the perfect direction down the rhumb line, but directly into the squalls.
As we came into the first rain the breeze came up quickly and we eased sheets to stay on course and peeled to our Screecher/FRO, and one of those spectacular runs you hope for came together; 30 knots of boatspeed at the peak, with about an hour around 25. Awesome crew work from the Elvis crew through 3 headsail changes and reef in and out allowed us to stay at full speed, putting a further 8 miles on our competition. That’s when we decided to do some monohull hunting, looking for Wizard and Spookie, who had started half an hour ahead of us.
As we finished the last 25 miles of the race we realized that Wizard had the VMG edge on us (to be expected as they are 70 feet or so and very well-sailed) and that we were just slightly faster than Spookie who we passed in the channel heading up to Key Weird.
Unfortunately for the more awake amongst the crew, we arrived a couple hours after last call and so had to content ourselves with a big lunch and even bigger evening the next day.
I am definitely looking forward to getting to the Heineken regatta where there promises to be a big Gunboat fleet to line up against, as well as the awesome dock parties which I am confident we can also win, especially given all the training the boat’s built-in rum pump has given us all! The Elvis team are a great crew; sailing regularly with the same core team shows in the quality of teamwork on the water. It’s also been a lot of fun for me to reunite with some guys I haven’t sailed with since college 13 years ago – a great way to start the 2016 racing year.
January 18th, 2016 by admin
The G4 flip in St. Barts last winter cost Gunboat more than a hundred grand and potentially millions in lost sales.
Dave Reed at the helm of a Sailing World RIB wrecking the same G4 in October’s Boat of the Year competition cost Gunboat around a hundred grand in cash and potentially millions in lost sales.
Alleged fraud from Hudson Marine (China) cost Gunboat millions.
The Rainmaker debacle and subsequent handling of existing orders definitely cost millions.
Add ‘em all up and whaddya get? A bargain, possibly. Who wants some?
UPDATE: Peter Johnstone certainly doesn’t. The iconic Gunboat founder resigned all duties as of Friday.
Gunboat International, a manufacturer of luxury carbon fiber sailing catamarans, is headed to auction.
The motion in bankruptcy court comes after owner and founder Peter Johnstone, who is from a family of sailboat builders, filed for Chapter 11 restructuring in November.
Gunboat can entertain what is called a “stalking horse bidder,” according to court documents — a viable initial bid on the business that would seek to avoid low bids by other interested parties.
“The debtor seeks to sell the assets free and clear of all liens, claims, encumbrances, interests and any other rights,” said court documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of North Carolina, where Gunboat is based.
January 18th, 2016 by admin
The conclusion to Jen Edney’s G4 delivery story. Part 1 is here.
The best watches were typically sitting on 14-22 knots. Shannon would perch up at the helm with various gourmet snacks, euro-techno blaring, and hitting speeds at up to 25 knots. A two time winner of the America’s Cup, he has an almost incessant need to push. We all had tremendous confidence in his ability to multi-task while foiling at 25 knots, even in the dark.
The most challenging night was beam-on seas and breeze with gusts into the 30’s. We sailed with two reefs in the main and a reefed solent. The G4 handled brilliantly, albeit a bit wet. When cells of breeze rolled through, we’d simply bear off 20-30 degrees and let her unleash into the high teens. It was a wet and somewhat rough evening.
By the end of the passage, we all felt calm and at home sitting on speeds in the high teens. Eating, sleeping, walking around at this speed became normal. We had two days where we clocked between 350 and 400 miles – in cruising mode. “These are seriously big numbers,” Peter said to me. “This really may be the ultimate coastal cruiser for the performance set, easily sailed by 1-2 people.”
“There’s an inherent thing about speed and adrenaline and when you add it into an uncontrollable environment like the ocean, says Shannon. “All that foiling does is make you want to go sailing! Life has gotten so fast paced that people want to go cruising at 5 knots, but to have the option to up the ante to 25 on the G4 is something special.”
Peter is, as usual, full of vision. “The goal has always been to develop a coastal cruiser/racer that people like us, who get their performance fix from multihulls, kiteboards, racing yachts, or other waterborne activities, can handle with our families,” he told me. “We wanted Formula 40 speed with shorthanding ability, and during the development process, it became clear that foiling and flying would definitely be possible and an added benefit for our target audience. With hindsight, the foiling is absolutely brilliant.”
Peter said that the G4 can be pushed so much harder than any forty-foot performance cat, and the numbers bear it out: A F40 would top out at 23 knots, the original AC45 would top out at 27 knots, and beyond that, a pitchpole. The G4 has already been over 31 knots, and has plenty more to offer in speed. In summary, the foils take the G4 concept to a another level.
Shannon thought the concept worked best in the sense that you have something that can smoke so many things on a performance level yet you can really cruise it. “For me this is a weekend sailor, but it opens up your range for that weekend with the miles that it can eat up,” he said. “Like the original Gunboat, the G4 opens up a new door to how cruising can be perceived.”
“It’s not just about the boat, it’s about the concept of foiling in general, explains Shannon. “When people experience it, you don’t have to convince them of anything.” As a guy with a big family and hundreds of young local island fans, he’s clearly excited about what it means for the future. He preached to me: “Everything that’s happening in our sport will make it more accessible, kids will have more fun sailing than opti-training, and sailors who appreciate progression will rekindle their passion for sailing. People who have sailed their whole life will be blown away by it and people who have never sailed before will say ‘holy shit why has it taken so long?!’”
I’ve said “Holy Shit!” numerous times over the past couple of months – from going bow down into a wave while foiling on a GC32, nearly getting sliced in half by Moths while shooting under water, and helming a foiling cat offshore, and I hope I never have to stop saying it. And with the wave of exciting developments in innovation and design – and in how those innovations are being shared with the young people who are the future of the sport by folks embracing and nurturing their passions – It’s hard not to be excited.
August 25th, 2015 by admin