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Posts Tagged ‘luxury’

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Big Pimpin’

Our heartfelt congratulations to SA advertiser and supporter HH Catamarans for their very strong showing on the one-year anniversary of the launching of R-Six.  Here’s their own take on it.

As the relative newcomer in the performance cruising cat segment, all eyes have been on HH Catamarans. The four-year old venture, a partnership between esteemed Kiwi boatbuilder Paul Hakes and visionary Taiwanese industrialist Hudson Wang, set out to build the world’s finest cutting-edge, bespoke, performance cruising catamarans, and ensure a premier ownership experience by providing an unparalleled level of support and service.

HH Catamarans delivered their first launch, HH66-01 R-SIX, to her owner in Valencia last June. The Morrelli & Melvin designed HH Supercat set the pace in her first six months, sailing from Valencia to Cyprus and many points in-between. She wowed industry insiders and show goers when she made her debut at the Cannes Yachting Festival in September, then sailed directly to Mallorca to compete in the first-ever Multihull Cup Regatta. Sailing against a competitive class of her more seasoned peers, including Gunboat 66s Coco de Mer and Slim and Nigel Irens custom 78’ Allegra, R-SIX pounced on the challenge, stunning the fleet and finishing in 1st Place Overall.

In January, R-SIX crossed the Atlantic, arriving in Antigua just in time to immediately switch gears and compete in the prestigious Caribbean 600. The multi day regatta challenged competitors with extremely light conditions for much of the 600 mile course. With gourmet food, entertainment and plush accommodations, R-SIX raced in comfort and finished in 3rd place behind two MOD70s. In March R-SIX was joined in the Caribbean by her sister ship, the newly launched HH66-03 Nala. The two went on to tag team the Caribbean race circuit, one or the other participating in the five high profile events of the season.

R-SIX sailed strong in the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, defeating all three Gunboat 60s in class and coming in 2nd Overall behind the zippy, 7-ton, custom Bieker 53 Fujin. Next it was Nala’s turn to shine; she made her racing debut at the St.Thomas International Regatta just days after arriving in the USVI from the Bahamas. STIR proved to be an exciting an event, with big breeze testing the fleet and providing Nala the chance to shine. Boat and crew held up strong and validated the HH reliability factor – sustaining zero breakages over three days of intense racing. Nala finished with 1st Place in three out of five races and 1st Overall, defeating the previously unbeaten Fujin.

The next event presented a new challenge; the BVI Spring Regatta was billed as the matchup of the season, with veteran Gunboats Elvis and H2O meeting for the first time and Nala, with only a few weeks on the water, and hoping to shake things up a bit. Shake things up she did, giving both boats a run for their money throughout the weekend. Nala endured a few missteps early on, but made adjustments and improved each day,  outperforming three of the five Gunboats in every race and chipping away at the elapsed time margins behind the two titans. Ultimately the tenacity paid off, with Nala taking 2nd Place Overall. A by-the-numbers analysis from Morrelli & Melvin (who designed all of the three fastest boats!) can be found on their Facebook page here.

R-SIX returned to do battle at Les Voiles de St.Barths. Light air prevailed throughout the regatta and R-SIX suffered a minor equipment failure making it impossible to use their asymmetrical headsail for much of the event. The team persevered and managed to sail well enough to secure a spot on the podium in 3rd Place Overall. Though not their best result, Les Voiles proved to be good practice for R-SIX for their next and final event of the season, Antigua Sailing Week. Mast lock issue resolved, the team attacked with full force, and after four days of competition only R-SIX remained unbeaten out of 150 yachts. Boat Captain Robert Janecki summed up the experience, “After many years of sailing racing catamarans, it is refreshing to see that there are things that can still surprise me. In Antigua we managed to maintain boat speed between 12-14 kts upwind, sailing against the waves! Quite amazing for a pleasure catamaran. What is more… the boat is built in such a way that it forgives us some of our mistakes during short and dynamic racing.” Taking line honors in six out of seven races and wrapping up 1st Place Overall, R-SIX closed out their Caribbean season on a high note and immediately set out across the Atlantic once more, arriving in the Azores a quick ten days later.

With R-SIX and Nala providing ample proof of concept in the Caribbean, HH Catamarans pressed ahead with production, launching the first of the new HH55s in February. After a month of testing and fine-tuning, HH55-01 Minnehaha departed Xiamen bound for the USA. The boat was delivered into the waiting arms of her owner in Ft. Lauderdale just last week, and is currently undergoing recommissioning and some promotional sailing before setting off to the Bahamas for the owners’ first cruise in June. She’ll make her way up the East coast this summer, arriving in Annapolis in time to make her world debut at the United States Sailboat Show in October.

Production in Xiamen continues with three HH66s and three HH55s currently in progress. The next HH66, Flash, is slated to launch this summer, and features a newly styled cabin top, forward helm station and aft tillers with complete finger touch sail controls. Further expanding their product line, HH recently announced a new 48’ model. The HH48 will maintain the pedigree of the larger HH models, while incorporating simpler, easier-managed systems and layout for short-handed sailing. The newest addition to the HH Catamarans line is likely to encourage new entrants to the market, further expanding the incredible features of fast and safe blue water cruising. Like the HH55 and 66, the 48 will be a big volume boat, capable of taking a large payload for extended cruising with family and toys without diminishing performance or safety. The HH48 as a base boat will be offered at less than $1M, and at such a great starting price the growth of this bold new venture and brand is set for substantive growth. For more information on the complete line of HH Catamarans, visit hhcatamarans.com.

Official race results can be found at the links below:

Multihull Cup

Caribbean 600

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

St. Thomas International Regatta

BVI Spring Regatta

Les Voiles de St. Barths

Antigua Sailing Week

HH Catamarans builds state-of-the-art, carbon fiber, high-performance cruising catamarans for a discerning clientele seeking a luxury yacht and an exceptional owner experience. HH Catamarans are designed in California and built in Xiamen, China to exact specifications using the most advanced technology in the industry. The semi-custom line of 48-115 foot models is the latest evolution of the performance cruising catamaran concept and the culmination of the skills, dedication, passion and expertise of the multi-faceted team behind the brand. A collaboration of America’s Cup-winning design team Morrelli and Melvin, master boatbuilders Hakes Marine, and manufacturing powerhouse Hudson Yacht & Marine. HH catamarans builds innovative luxury yachts with unmatched performance and pedigree.

 

May 27th, 2017 by admin

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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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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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We reported a couple years back on the Migaloo, a vaporware submersible superyacht design that’s hard not to love.  No matter that it’s the size of a Virginia-class attack submarine or that it’s likely to cost 10 figures; how can you not love a 40-knot motorboat that’ll still do 20 knots a hundred feet below the surface?  No word yet on how many subs have been ordered, not that we’d expect to know more; if you ordered one, would you tell anyone?

But if a billion-dollar ultraluxury submarine ain’t enough for you, the Migaloo folks have got something new to play with.  And while it won’t do 40 knots, it’ll still move faster than the average sailboat – all while being an island.

While the sub mimics its military brethren, the island goes for more of the mobile drilling platform look, and of course it includes a helipad, pools, dry garages for all your toys, and most likely, a surface-to-air missile battery.  Again – wouldn’t you?

Title shout for those of you who need to pick up a good book by a guy who loved islands.  And for you poor proles who can only afford a plain old immobile island, here.

March 17th, 2016 by admin

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Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 11.46.02 AMWhile many of the world’s economies continue to stagger in various states of recession and stagnation, the rich just keep on getting richer.  And how do we know?  Because it sure didn’t take long for the super/mega/giga-yacht market to rebound from the lows it’s been suffering since ’09. More from the Daily Times:

There were 221 sales of superyachts in the first half of 2014, a rise of almost a third from the same period a year ago, according to figures from Boat International Media. That represents a 66 per cent rise from the 74 yachts sold in the first half of 2009, the bottom of the market.

Separate figures show the new-build superyacht market is also picking up. According to Superyacht Intelligence, there are 360 yachts being built this year, a number which is expected to rise to 411 – the same level as in 2013. That is still well below the 2008 peak, when there was an order book of 587 yachts. 

And that’s not even all the good news.  While the re-emergence of wealthy American buyers, who have traditionally been the biggest nationality of buyers, has helped boost the market, the founder of a luxury yacht builder says that European buyers have yet to return to the market, and that many Russian buyers have disappeared while the Ukraine crisis persists.  And that the Chinese market remains barely tapped thanks to a lack of infrastructure for yachting in China.

In other words, if you’re looking for your next Megayacht over the next few years, you’d better order it soon!

Full article here.

 

August 7th, 2014 by admin

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