Bigger faster cats is where it’s at right now for many designers and builders. But the challenge of persuading three or four luxury cabins to proceed steadily upwind at 15-16kt is not one to be underestimated
The growing popularity of fast luxury catamarans can be easily seen not only at boatshows, but increasingly in harbours and marinas around the world as more people recognise the high value these craft represent in speed, comfort and ease of handling. For designers and builders the challenge is to find the balance between these key features as well as what the market requires in terms of style, utility and cost.
Main picture: the use of curved C-foils on a boat of this size and type looks a little outlandish at first glance but in fact it marks a sensible step forward in the evolution of long-range large cats with strong performance pretensions. There is no desire to try to lift out with the HH48 but reducing ‘virtual’ displacement at speed will improve daily averages and also dampen down pitching on this innovative new 48-footer
In catamaran design the process is not simple, since there are so many variables to account for: weight and trim, for example, are critical to control, given the narrow hull shapes, and the sail plan must be generous enough for adequate power in light air yet with systems to allow quick and easy depowering when needed. Appendages must also be carefully designed to be effective in all sailing conditions, easily adjustable for performance and safety, and ideally allowing these large yachts to access the shallowest anchorages. Read on.