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Posts Tagged ‘Gunboat’

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Cruising is at its best when it’s about uncovering mysteries and discovering new spots, and when world-famous snowboarder Travis Rice and big-wave surfer Ian Walsh are the ones doing the searching, we’re all in for a treat.  It doesn’t hurt to have former Volvo Ocean Race filmmaker Amory Ross aboard either, and a Gunboat 48 (awesomely named Falcor) ain’t a bad ride to do it in.

The trailer above is for what we expect to be a series about Travis and Ian’s search filmed during their 2500 Tahiti to Hawaii trip.  First real short film drops next Thursday, and we’ll have it right here.  Thanks to Gunboat for letting us know about it, and to ROAM and whatever the hell Gnarbox is for making it happen.

December 2nd, 2017 by admin

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Big Pimpin’

If you wanna race at 20+ knots and still party like a rock star on your racing machine, no one does it quite like Gunboat.  Here’s a muy bonito look at the NYYC Multihull Regatta, with Gunboats making up 6 of the 8 entries in the class (including some newly imported AC talent) and taking 1st and 3rd.  Buy your own over here.

August 14th, 2017 by admin

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Big Pimpin’

Those legendary Gunboat regatta-and-party reports may have disappeared for a couple of years, but with this video about the luxury multihull class at the BVI Spring Regatta (and their takeover of the legendary Willy T for some all-day Gunboat debauchery), it looks like they’re back with a vengeance.  Full race report coming next week, and pics and words over at Facebook.

April 15th, 2017 by admin

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Gunboat Tech/Sales Director Nils Erickson got bored on the plane to the Caribbean and came up with this gem of a Form Guide for the high performance, HNW, hard-partying luxury cat racing class at the BVI.  This is too good a piece for plain old pimpin’, but always consider the source!  

Hot on the heels of the St. Thomas International Regatta, this year’s BVI Spring Regatta may well feature the hottest collection of performance multihulls ever assembled on Virgin Island waters.  This burgeoning market segment is seeing new players in what was once Gunboat’s private playground, and with events not only in the Caribbean but in places like Palma (where last summer’s Multihull Cup attracted 3 Gunboats, an HH-66, MC2-60 and APC78), the future of big multihull sailing looks bright indeed.

Traditionally, Gunboats have made the Heineken Regatta their winter event of choice, but this year the fleet has settled on the BVI Spring Regatta in Tortola. Nanny Cay Marina has been running the event for several years now, and it’s become one of the best events on the calendar. With over 100 new slips open this season and constant improvements to the facility, Nanny Cay and BVI Spring Regatta have become a premier destination and event. This regatta will feature the fastest versions of 4 different platforms (Gunboat 60, Gunboat 62, Gunboat 66, and HH66) which should provide for some compelling action and some great stories.  With that in mind, here’s my shot at an impartial Form Guide for the event, and we encourage you to follow along at Gunboat’s Facebook page here.

Extreme - Sharon GreenExtreme H2O (Gunboat 66): She’s the reigning queen of the West Coast performance cats having won catamaran line honors in almost every race she’s entered (Cabo, Transpac, etc). She’s left the Left Coast in search of stiffer competition and hopefully a new home (she’s for sale). Extreme H2O will face off with her East Coast rivals for the very first time. This Morrelli Melvin designed Gunboat 66 is the most technologically advanced Gunboat out there (hybrid drive system, HUGE C boards, T-rudders, etc) and she’s arguably the fastest Gunboat afloat. Weighing it at a svelte 17 tons, she’s still going to need a bit of breeze to take advantage of her greater righting moment compared to lighter and smaller Elvis. Extreme H2O will be sailed by Team Gunboat, with Vincent (the LP of VPLP), Xavier, and Matthias also from VPLP, as well as some of Gunboat’s French internal design and management team. Hopefully, Extreme H2O project manager Malcolm Park, skipper Hannah Jenner and her core crew can make up for the desk jockeys (myself included) that will be “trying to help”. VI legend/Olympic/America’s Cup/all-around rockstar Peter Holmberg will be joining to offer some local knowledge and expertise as well. He’s recently purchased an Outremer for his own personal enjoyment, so he’s the latest member of Gunboat’s extended “family”. (Photo credit Ultimate Sailing/Sharon Green).

Elvis_ChristopheJouanyElvis (Gunboat 62): The King. Jason and the Argonauts. Throw a dart on that boat and you’ll hit a world champ. Their bench is deep with talent. Not only is Jason one of the best owner/drivers out there, he’s one of the best drivers out there, period. When they aren’t sailing on the Gunboat, they are busy in the GC32 circuit. When they aren’t doing that, they are crushing it on the Melges 32, Marstrom 32, Viper, whatever is fast and fun. These guys rarely make a mistake on the course and they are fast into and out of the corners with superb sail-handling. At <15 tons she is powered up early, and these boys stay on the throttle up the wind range (I’m not sure they even know HOW to reef). Combined with a devoted rum tank and a booming stereo system, these guys know how to race hard, play hard.  Photo credit Christophe Jouany.

Flow - Laurens MorelFlow (Gunboat 60): Hustle and Flow. The first Gunboat 60 to be fully optimized, she has redefined what we can expect from the Gunboat 60. There’s been rigorous preparation of the boat by one of the industry’s best skippers, Tony Teale. Rigging Project’s Nick Black has gone through the deck gear, layout, and helped with a new Lorima ultra high mod rig, Jack Slattery has spearheaded a new suit of 3di Sails, and America’s most famous multihull sailor and all around dynamo, Cam Lewis, is their own “Neal Cassidy”.  Coming out of a refit that pulled 2 tons (!) out of the boat, they are sailing at the top of the game. Photo Credit Laurens Morel

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 5.33.13 PMArethusa (Gunboat 60): No one better exemplifies the real benefits of a Gunboat like NYYC Commodore and Gunboat 60 owner Phil Lotz. He and his wife have spent the last several weeks living aboard, doing some racing and some cruising. They are more Corinthian in spirit, making full use of their boat before, during, and after the regattas. There’s nothing like racing at 25 knots, then coming back and cooking a delicious meal and enjoying the sunset from the aft deck of the very same boat. Phil has no shortage of trophies on his mantle, and they are fantastic sailors. They’ve (so far) avoided the arms race, but with Phil’s energy behind the new MultiRule rating rule, there should be more parity among the fleet. Photo credit: Gary Jobson

Momentum - Lucky MikeMomentum (Gunboat 60): Hide your daughters and bring your ear muffs. These Jamaicans WILL have more fun than anyone, guaranteed. The boat has 23 speakers and no shortage of Red Stripes. Legendary skipper Lucky Mike (picture a bald, S. African Captain Ron) and the rest of the crew will be the life of the party.  Photo credit: Lucky Mike

Dominator (Outremer 5x): These guys were the big surprise at this year’s Heineken Regatta, beating larger (and way more expensive) boats on the water. Skippered by Gunboat 62 “Elvis” alum Dave Allen, and owned by the father of an Olympic sailor and Rolex Yachtwomen of the Year, this is a family that knows how to sail and these guys are punching way above their weight class. I expect Gunboat and Outremer owner Xavier Desmarest to be shocked at what you can do with/to an Outremer. Still in its original configuration, these guys are just sailing harder and smarter, and it shows.

IMG_2029Nala (HH66): The lightest, fastest, and most turbo’d HH66, Nala will be one of the fastest boats on the course. Coming off a big win at STIR, expectations are high for the boat. Owner Jim Vos is a fantastic monohull sailor who is taking his first steps into the multihull scene. He did spend the summer training on his A-Cat, though, so he should be comfortable at the helm. With HH designer Gino Morrelli backing him up and Kenny Read in the afterguard, this boat should be a real threat for line honors. Most people think of Kenny as a monohull guy (Puma, Comanche, Stars and Stripes), but don’t forget that he also owned a Marstrom 32 and previously owned my Formula 40, Soma, so multihulls are in his blood. Nala is over 3 tons lighter than her sistership R-Six, so any conclusions drawn about the HH66 based on R-Six’s performance at the C600 or Heineken will have to be reevaluated after BVI Spring. (Full disclosure, I was owner’s rep for the build of Nala for two years before I accepted the job at Gunboat. We pulled 3 tons out of the platform and turbo’d the mast, boom, and longeron. Despite my role with Gunboat I’m still quite proud of what we came up with. Go Nala!).  Photo credit on the shot with thanks to our old pal L for sourcing it.

Soma - Mar JaviertoConspicuously absent this year will be defending champ, Soma. She does have front row seats for all the action in the Sir Francis Drake Channel, though. Like Melania Trump, Soma is just a forgotten and unloved trophy wife…Photo credit: Mar Javierto

In the end, though, it’s not about who’s got the tallest mast or the most trophies. It has been (and hopefully will remain) about the people and times. The camaraderie on the dock, the time with friends and family, and the late-night repairs (and other shenanigans) are what make the events memorable and why people come back. We at Gunboat have got some fun events planned for the fleet that will hopefully form the backbone of a new tradition moving forward. VPLP are organizing a party at the Willy T (which should be legendary), BVI Painters and Nanny Cay are hosting a cocktail party in the new marina. Of course, Nanny Cay and the organizers of BVI Spring Regatta are responsible for all of it, so big thanks to Cameron, Miles, Emily, Judy, and everyone else there, too.

Though Gunboat invented this market segment, it’s a big tent and there’s room for everyone.

March 28th, 2017 by admin

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While there will always be ratings complaints whenever two different boats race, it’s excellent to see the high-performance cruising cat fleet playing nice with one another for the always-enjoyable St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.  Here’s one Gunboat 60 sailor’s breakdown of the performance and variables between the Gunboats, HH, Outremer, and the blazing fast and nosey Bieker 53 Fujin, shot above by Lorens Morel with a decent gallery here.  Hit the thread to talk to crews from many of the boats, and thanks to SA’er ‘pyrat’ for the report. DISCLAIMER: SA has ties to every boat in this fleet, with Gunboat (and Outremer, a related company) and HH both advertising here, and Paul Bieker a long time SAer, which is why we’re not giving any opinions, and instead relying on a Gunboat sailors’ report.  Got your own report from a Caribbean regatta? Send it in and see your name on the world famous Front Page.

Fujin is an entirely different beast from the rest of the class. Primarily, she’s about 10 tons lighter than the lightest GB, and something like 18 tons lighter than the HH… Fujin to me is much closer to a true racing multi than ‘what the rest of the world’ considers an offshore/luxury/cruising multi. That said, they cruise and sail that thing offshore and big props to them – very cool boat, very well sailed, and they deserve the trophy and then some – so no hate here at all, just saying, when you get past by that thing upwind (from a GB60) at nearly double your own boat speed, you realize that it would be silly to try and gauge your performance against their mark. I think it is equally as silly to try to handicap that machine with a GB, HH, or Outremer. Its like trying to rate a Swan 60 against an IMOCA 60.

The Outremer is an impressive boat for roughly a third of the price of the larger cats. She stuck on our hip boat-for-boat every race, and corrected out on top of us each time. I will point out that it was a very heavy weather regatta, and she likely benefitted from a smaller rig & sail plan vs the GB’s who required a reef some days, but still, props to them for sailing well and keeping the pressure on us on the water.

The HH was a monster upwind – walking over the entire fleet every windward leg (except Fujin) – but a total dog downwind. Word is that the next one (hull#3) is a different beast from this first one, and that ‘dog’ will not be among the adjectives that describe her on any point of sail. Very curious to see how she goes.

The most interesting matchup of the regatta for me was the two GB60’s. Flow has gone a bit further than Arethusa in the way of turbo’ing the boat (larger & lighter mainsail, primarily), but is still very much a comfortable/luxury cruising cat, and absolutely walked away from Arethusa on every leg. Both boats were well sailed without any major fuckups, slow-downs, or penalties. While it could be argued that Arethusa has fewer miles on the course and is further back along the learning curve with performance multi racing, the gap between the boats was surprising and impressive. Props to Flow for pushing the boat hard and showing everyone what’s capable on a 60 (or any of the NID boats). Hoping to see them, and eventually Arethusa, give the HH’s and faster 62’s a good fight in the future.

As far as ratings go – I think the new attempt is neccessary, well-intended, and properly backed. The leaders of the OA are going about it in the right way and spending the neccessary time, money, and effort on the algorithm. The behind the scenes meeting of the minds was impressive and eye-opening. The idea is to end this old argument (see above!!) about cruising vs racing multis. It is a fair argument to say that it is silly to go ‘so far’ with turboing a boat but not actually go all the way to ‘fully stripped race boat’. Most of the owners know that and agree. BUT they bought a fast boat because fast is fun, and the racing scene is addictive and competitive, and they want to have a chance against the other boats in the class, so an arms race is inevitable. If the new system works as it is supposed to, the owners who wish to live comfortably aboard their cruising boats for regattas (no stripping weight) will be able to compete fairly against the owners who DO go all the way towards full race boat. In that way, you can make the fast/cruising cat class whatever the hell you want to suit your preferences! To the naysayers who grumble that it is absurd to race around with an interior – look the hell around!! How many boats would be on the line at ANY of the Caribbean regattas if only dedicated racers were allowed? And how many sailors would get to experience racing? And learn to sail their boat better/faster? Get real guys!

 

March 10th, 2017 by admin

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This week’s Sailing Anarchy Podcast features two sailors who’ve fallen in love with sailing fast, and when they say fast, they don’t mean 15 knots!  First we grabbed forty minutes with male pin-up model, VOR/AC veteran, and 24-hr monohull recordholder (aboard Comanche) Shannon Falcone, picking his brain about testing and delivering the F4 foiling cat, who he sees as favorites for the America’s Cup, and whether he’s even interested in it anymore.   Follow Shannon here.

Then we sat down with a guy who sees 50 knots as the speed for the kids boat; it’s multiple iceboat world champion Ron Sherry, and on an icy day in Detroit, he talks with Mr. Clean for an hour about Obsessive Runner Disorder, raising your kids while racing, crazy rigs, and sailing in Siberia.  Learn more about Ron and iceboating at the web’s most comprehensive iceboat racing site here.

Follow the SA Podcast on iTunes here or Stitcher here.

February 15th, 2017 by admin

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Clean Report

The Gunboat G4’s famous flip in St. Barth’s a couple of years ago didn’t do wonders for the marketing plan behind that ‘cruising’ foiler, but the dedicated racers developing the DNA F4 one-design spinoff of the G4 have been following a different, more logical path.  Two-time America’s Cup winner Shannon Falcone (who sailed the G4 extensively) and the team at DNA have been working up the 30-knot-plus machine in Antigua to find her limits before going into full production, and they found those limits a few weeks ago while testing the boat on a squally day off the West Coast of the island.    We spoke to the guys in Holland to get the story (and if you want to see the F4 being built in the DNA factory, click here for the full tour we did back in November.)  Here’s a photo from under the boat, and here’s a look at the F4 at 30 knots on a more typical daysail.  In a bit of bad news for race fans everywhere, the golden F4 won’t make the start of yet another record-setting fleet in the Caribbean 600.  Anyway, here’s the official statement:

Thanks for your inquiry, Clean.  Although everyone knows cats can flip, we would wished it wouldn’t have happened on a sunny day in the Caribbean after they’d already survived rough weather and storms from NY to Bermuda and then another thousand-mile trip to Antigua without issue!  But hey, it happened – so let’s learn from it.  That’s why Shannon has been working so hard to learn the boat.

While we hope you get the story straight from Shannon [it’s coming sooner than you realize] we learned from him that he was sailing inside the jib, heading towards the harbour while his crew were on the bow getting the furled FRO down on the tramp.  A squall and a big shift caught them with the jib on the winch, and even with the main blown off completely, the pressure on the jib slowly carried them over.

In association with Andrew “Macca” Macpherson, we’ve been working for some time on a system that’s essential for these kinds of boats, and this incident reinforced its need. While winged AC boats and sealed-mast cats lay on their sides in a capsize, boats with more conventional masts turtle almost immediately, making recovery complicated and causing damage to electronics.  That’s why we’re excited about the mast-mounted inflatable balloon system we’ve been engineering for the TF-10 trimaran and G4 and F4 foiling cats; in the rare case that one of these boats goes over, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to be righted quickly and easily.

We’ll have more news on the system later, and while we get the boat back in racing shape, feel free to check out this video of the F4 sailing in BDA and Antigua.  She’s a dream!

February 15th, 2017 by admin

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Big Pimpin’

After a complicated 2016, Gunboat is back with a vengeance, and they open up 2017 with a Caribbean get-together of Gunboats that includes a head-to-head war between two of the most turboed luxury cats ever splashed!

In the above video you’ll see the beastly and beautiful Extreme H2O, the queen of West Coast Gunboats and the fastest multihull in the Transpac.  The last (and by far, the quickest) of the Gunboat 66 line, the burgundy and green mile muncher is transiting Panama tomorrow from Pacific enroute St. Maarten for some relaxing sailing and prepping at the Heineken before the battle of the BVI begins.

Double Melges 32 World Champion Jason Carroll’s all-conquering Gunboat 62 Elvis easily owns the East Coast Champ title in Gunboat land, and has put a similar amount of hot rod performance into his now-teenaged silver G62.  Carroll’s well-oiled multiple world champ, moth, and sportboat crew knows the BVIs like the back of their hands, and they’ll be looking to represent the land of Tom Brady against the interlopers from the Republic of California.

It all goes down at the BVI Spring Regatta at the end of March, where Elvis and Extreme will join the turbo 60’s Flow and Arethusa as well as Momentum and a couple of TBAs for the biggest Gunboat fleet of the season.  Extreme will hope that her extensive modifications and the racing knowledge of VPLP principals Vincent and Xavier as well as a few Gunboat ringers will give her the edge…

Extreme is now for sale, so if you’re looking for one of the fastest and sexiest cruising boats ever assembled, and you’re the kind of owner that appreciates a boat whose kinks have been worked out in excruciating details, let Nils at Gunboat know so you can schedule a closer look.

If you’re puzzled by the title of this piece, get some gangsta in ya.

February 10th, 2017 by admin

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Bankruptcy_monopolyGunboat USA’s is well-documented for the multihull sector.  Hall Spars just reportedly sent out the official notices of theirs, showing that even the world’s best racing spar builder isn’t immune.  Hathaway Reiser shows that sailmakers – even from the 1800s – can’t hold it together.  Brewer’s Yacht Yard seems to have sort-of saved itself by selling to a marina holding company.  And now, Navtec USA gets on the list of shuttered American sailing outfits, with at least one Anarchist warning that ‘another unnamed northeast raceboat building company…will likely be shuttering their doors soon.’

Fortunately, we have God to thank for the bounty that is soon to come.  Everyone, hold your breath…and….GO!

February 9th, 2017 by admin

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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

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