Why a fast catamaran?
Hopefully, sea is one of the place on earth where you barely have no speed limit.
There are many reasons and we list only few, you can feel free to comment and add your own.
Fast catamaran means Safety
When you are cruising long distances, you try to get as much as possible informations about Meteo. In case of depression forecast, you will make all efforts to avoid problems and get out of it. Either you join as fast as possible your destination or you get away the planned route to avoid problems. Route will be longer but safer and with a fast catamaran 100 miles to avoid problem can be done in half a day. This is where you will thank O Yachts for thinking "fast catamarans". Speed is safety.
Fast catamaran means strong catamaran
When the naval architect is planning boats efforts, all loads are calculated with high numbers. O Yachts catamarans are designed by Erik LEROUGE who is famous for making fast catamarans (even a charter boat needs to go fast for LEROUGE!). We want to boat to go 20kts with no crack. This is why our boats are much stronger than any of the other catamarans made for charter. Sounds abnoquious but this is true story, please verify the door entrance, you have a very confortable entry into the boat but not the kind of wide appartement like entrance found on charter boats. Verify the structure under the mast you will understand we have a complete bone structure under the mast load. Carbon is also used in strategic area as standard, for instance the forebeam is pure carbon.
Fast catamaran means pleasure
Sorry but until you drive really high numbers on the loch (depending sea conditions), you will not feel you go fast on O Yachts catamarans. We make all efforts for you not to do much and still go very fast. A stressed team will not conduce the boat correctly or might take bad decisions. Speed needs to be easily achieved as well. Meanwhile you understand you go very fast when looking at numbers on the loch. You understand you go fast checking at distances made on a day basis when going for long trip. You might have to wait until you pass other boats (many time much bigger) to realise you go fast and easy.
To shorten the distance with speed will give you the best spots as you arrive before your friends. This is specially true on the Med with crowded places. The best spot for the fastest boats!
How to achieve a fast catamaran?
First you must choose a naval architect who have a real proven experience in races. Erik LEROUGE as sailor and Erik LEROUGE designs won too many races to list. Most of them not with a pure racer but with cruiser-racer. Everyday catamarans must achieve best performances. The naval architect will make sure all elements are optimised for speed.
- Profiled hull : as fine as possible
- Profiled appendages : NACA fix keels or profiled carbon daggerboards
- Bridge deck clearance : important for speed and comfort
- Weight centrage : you must weight as much as possible near gravity center
Second, you need to remove as much weight as possible. It would be easy to build a pure carbon catamaran but few of us would afford to pay such an expensive boat. We use carbon on the strategic places, where it pays : mast load, shroud plates, forebeam... Anyway you will not gain much using full carbon (except in load performances) you plan about 450kg max for O Yachts Class 4. You really gain in the structure design. We mean the way the structure is used to support the load. For instance, our aft beam and platform is made with minimal thickness as the eight is about 45cm minimum. If we would make a direct passage from cockpit to aft steps, we would have added about 180kg ; if we would have made a larger opening on entry add about 200kg ; If we would have made a flat roof about 150kg ; if we would have made a larger cockpit about 75kg, if we would have made a larger hull about 200kg...
To remove weight, you need to build all furnitures with composite panel and make them in a clever way to use them for the structure. On O Yachts Class 4, we stratify many furnitures elements with the structure of the catamaran. This is much more expensive, this takes much longer, this takes qualitfied building team but ... you remove weight.