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Posts Tagged ‘HH catamarans’

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Over eight years ago, Hakes Marine in New Zealand started building a very special catamaran for a German client. It was called the SL33: 10m in length, weighing only 650kg with a mast over 18m tall. A bit insane in its power-to-weight ratio, the boat was designed and built for the light winds of Lake Constance, where the goal was to fly hulls to victory fly to victory  in the typical 4 knot breeze.  

The SL33 was one of many successful ventures between builder Paul Hakes and designer Gino Morrelli. At the time of construction, Morrelli & Melvin were also contracted by Emirates Team New Zealand to design what would eventually become the very first flying AC72. Impressed by the SL33 project and recognizing it as a good training and development platform, ETNZ purchased two SL33s from Hakes, with Luna Rossa following suit and purchasing one of their own. Using this new, lightweight yet robust platform, ETNZ began daggerboard development and eventually learnt how to foil on the SL33s. This technology and valuable experience was quickly applied to the AC72, which went on to shock the world with the first-full flying America’s Cup boat, setting a standard for AC racing that would continue through the exciting event in Bermuda while changing the face of racing forever.

Since that revolutionary day in New Zealand, the world has seen a remarkable number of boats, both multihulls and now even monohulls, flying on foils with incredible speed. It’s great to reflect back to one of the foundations to flying multihulls and spectacular America’s Cup racing, the SL33. Today there are three SL33s still tearing it up around Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf. Black Jack, the original SL33, still dominates lake racing in Northern Europe.

Today, we see Paul Hakes and Gino Morrelli teaming up again, this time on a slightly cushier project! HH Catamarans, the luxury, performance cruising cat line, has commanded the niche market, and considering the shared pedigree: carbon construction, curved C-boards, T-rudders, push button sail controls; and luxuriously comfortable platform, it’s easy to see why. HH Catamarans’ most recent launch, HH66-05 is currently in the midst of sea trials – check out the video of her launch here. The electric blue hull is already hitting speeds in the high teens in the light Xiamen seabreeze, with plenty left in the tank. With a forward helm inside the salon and ORMA style bucket seats and tillers aft, HH66-05 provides the best of both worlds for the serious dual purpose sailor. Loaded with all the amenities for cruising and entertaining in style, the HH66 will be the perfect platform for spectating the next Cup in Auckland in 2021… Want to get in on the fun? Contact [email protected] to discuss your AC inspired cruising catamaran, and find out more about HH Cats bere.

July 10th, 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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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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Our buds over at HH Catamarans pushed the all-new HH66 cruising cat hard in her recent sea trials, with the boat passing with flying colors and now tucked away for her shipment to a happy new owner in Valencia, Spain.  The boat looks especially slick in the hands of a few well-known ex-Gunboat peeps you’ll see in the video, and we look forward to our first sail aboard this sexy carbon beastie.

HH has revamped their Facebook page and website in time to take your order…check ’em out here.

Title shout nostalgia from 1987.

 

May 11th, 2016 by admin

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