Posts Tagged ‘Gunboat’
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
Takes a lickin’, and keeps on…well, floating. Not much left on the Rainmaker, but with every hatch torn off and as much ocean inside as out, Gunboat 55 #1 has certainly proven to be unsinkable. Here’s the note sent in by the container ship taking the snaps.
I did’t make any rescue manoever to check the Boat. Hull looks in good condition. The danger is that any ship at night will crash into this hull, then I guess it will be damage.
with kind regards
mit freundlichen Gruessen
G. Reinhard Peer
“CMV Chicago Express”
June 17th, 2015 by admin
Since getting his walking papers along with the rest of the Luna Rossa team, 5-time AC’er Shannon Falcone is playing with some new toys. Having locked up the win on Thursday, a local took his spot on the Gunboat G4 for Friday’s race so Shannon could shoot some foiling action from the sky. Here’s a look at this budding videographer’s movie, and you can check out all the week’s videos and pics on the Gunboat Facebook Page.
Sick of the G4 yet? We’re not. It’s fast, it’s bold, and it unabashedly sticks up the middle finger to the establishment. More importantly, the concept works. And it works better than even the ever-optimistic Peter Johnstone expected.
We’ll have a world-exclusive Antigua race report and boat review from our Senior Editor soon, and a comprehensive video walkthrough of the boat and all her systems later this week. Until then, click HD and watch it big.
May 3rd, 2015 by admin
At a scarily beautiful 18 years old, Lauren Gineo was one of the earliest Sailor Chicks of the Week. And now, nearly a decade later, the URI college racer, windsurfer, and longtime Gunboat crew is now our first-ever Sailor Mom of the Week. She’s sailing aboard the G55 Toccata with husband Adam this week, but she took the time to begin indoctrinating the next generation of high-performance sailor aboard the G4. Meet 8-month old helmsmen Ben, who will likely be Gunboat racing on Friday in Antigua, and almost definitely racing foiling boats in about 18 years.
April 30th, 2015 by admin
The G4 ‘Wipeout’ video has already racked up some 330,000 views in less than a week, well on its way to million-view status. But I barely had time to enjoy it last week before Gunboat Marketing chief Lauren Bataille sent me a text message.
“Still coming?” she wrote of my already-booked trip to Antigua for some G4 racing at Sailing Week.
Maybe I’m crazy, but watching a sweet 30-knot run segue into a gentle capsize didn’t make me nervous; in fact, it had the opposite effect, and sitting here at Newark airport waiting for a connection to Antigua, I find myself watching that video over and over again. What would I do? Where would I hang on? Do I really want to find out?
My answer remains as it was in my response to Lauren. “Hell f*&^ing yes!”
My seven-months pregnant wife always knows how to cut to the chase. “If she flips, be sure it wasn’t your fault,” was her first directive. “Oh, and wear a helmet. And have fun.” That part should be no problem at all.
Got questions about the interior, the exterior, the foils, the stove, the capsize, the electrical system…or anything else? Well, so do we. Plant yours in the G4 thread (without being a dick) and we’ll try to get an answer for you. Keep an eye in the forum, on the front page, and especially on SA Facebook for video and pics from Antigua.
April 25th, 2015 by admin
If we’re talking about foilers vs. floaters and record-breaker monohulls vs. the rest of the world, we must be talking about Saint Barth, and outright World Sailing Speed Record holder and longtime SA’er Paul “Larso” Larsen checks in from the ORMA-60 inspired racer/cruiser Paradox at Les Voiles. Most of the chatter from St. Barths can be found here.
It was an interesting day with a wide range of conditions. Big, heavy rain squalls coming over the island on the preceding night with big calmish periods afterwards. We put the Code Zero on the boat in the morning in prep. Another big squall washed over the fleet during the start sequences for the first classes (we were last off after the big Maxis).
Loick Peyron sailed on Phaedo today, but with big wind shifts and start line corrections, her timed run didn’t really work out. They haven’t really appreciated our “high mode” off the line previously so we considered that with Loick potentially changing their gentle start strategy (and with their handicap and speed they can afford to be gentle), I was worried they might try and get under us and squeeze us out at the start. Loick helmed our first start masterfully the other day… so full respect ( he’s done some other s**t too, apparently). Anyway, they were miles late.
We started mid line on a fairly even line and were happy with clean air and options. The chartered GB62 Elvis [world champ owner Jason Carroll is racing his Viper 640 in Charleston -ed] made a good start to leeward of us and we had the GC32 and G4 back and to windward. Phaedo tacked off once across the line and took a long beat out to sea (East) whilst we went in towards the island shore. I think we did pretty well to ride through the lulls and gusts. We sailed over the GC and the G4…which are just not that fast upwind yet. I fully respect the challenges of Mk1 development and I’m really enjoying watching this one done to this high level. It seems like it’s being sailed very well. Putting it around a course not of your choosing really highlights the reality of the compromises though. The fact is, your dragging a lot of excess up the course with you. We had full main hull-flying conditions up the shore from time to time (not so easy on Paradox i.e. 19-20 knots) which were followed by 10 knot lumpy stuff trying to lay the top of the island. We weren’t that far behind Phaedo when they hit the layline but they just tear chunks out of us when it gets lighter. They are two tons lighter with much more sail area and are only getting better and better with the tools. Things even up a little more as it gets stronger (handicap wise at least).
We had managed to also put good distance between us and the GC (which was sailing under full rig today). I think Elvis may have been ahead of the G4 on this part of the race. The next short reach had us debating whether to hoist the zero or stay with the solent and peel straight to the big gennaker at the corner. We chose the latter but hated the short period sailing undercanvassed. We chased down “Lucky” on the next downwind, but it took a while in a light spot. The GC joined us on the leg, promptly jumping onto foils and sailing away from us faster and deeper on a long starboard gybe. We sailed against two of the quick foilers in last years RTIsland race and we know how quick they can be! We were sailing pretty clean but they gracefully sailed through. We couldn’t even see who was fourth.
On the following beat we were still in touch with the GC, past Lucky and chasing Lupa. We got to watch the G4 heading downwind. It looked like hard work in the marginal foiling conditions (i.e. sailing whatever angles it takes and trying everything to get on the foils). It wasn’t a good day for a heavy foiling boat! We rounded the next mark still behind the GC and cracked off onto a tight reach which turned into more of a beam reach. The wind had finally returned so that we had full foil down and could sit around 20-23 knots. We caught up and passed the GC pretty quickly… but it was obvious they had some problem on port tack. They should have been smoking us, but were still lowriding. Anyway… as they say in the classics… “stiff s**t”:)
So we pushed on, rounded the island further and went to the big gennaker/staysail combo. The GC came around the corner, gybed onto starboard and sure enough… popped onto the foils and took off again. We could see Bella Mente parked up in the distance and knew the race was far from over. There was one mark to round before the 3/4 mile or so beat up to the line. It all looked very light and random in there so we stood offshore.
The GC had overtaken us again and the big Swan Odin had somehow managed to slide down the inside gifted by it’s own personal breeze. We stayed away from the mass of boats as we sailed from one swirl of wind and velocity header to the next. Somehow we rounded the mark just ahead of most of them and then fought our way upwind finally using the 0 in anything from 5-15 knots of wind. After a long period in those super light and fickle conditions we knew the handicap was a lottery but were very happy with the way we sailed through the bunch to claim our own little victory. The GC was a wounded bird so no big conclusions can be drawn there. Phaedo is in another league and I have no idea what they experienced at the finish. Elvis sailed very well and the G4 was a long way back. The G4 really is an interesting boat… so was the Hobie/Ketterman tri-foiler. I’m glad both of them exist. So basically, there was a lot of randomness on todays course. It’s a great course and event and a very interesting collection of boats. I’m very much enjoying sailing on Paradox. She’s a great ride.
April 18th, 2015 by admin
It has been a long time since we’ve seen this much excitement around a new boat launch, but we reckon if ever a boat deserved it, it’s the world’s first fully foiling cruiser/racer. Sick work from all the Gunboat G4 build/design team, and we’re proud to host this World Premier of the beautiful film of Timbalero 3′s sea trials earlier this week (thanks to Richard and Rachel).
Mr. Clean heads down to Antigua at the end of the month for his in-depth, Anarchy look at the G4; in the meantime, head to the thread for all the news and analysis here.
April 11th, 2015 by admin