When choosing a multihull design, there are many different factors to consider, and yes it can be very confusing.
There are not many designs out there that are in their ‘pure’ form, moderation or compromise is almost inevitable to ‘mould’ it to suit a functional cruising situation.
When cruising it is important to be comfortable and well stocked, a well designed boat should cater for this. There is more to a catamaran design than two hulls and a cabin. A lot of designs on the market are very basic in features, and even though this may give you a clean canvas to work from it also leaves a lot to be desired.
Spirited Designs incorporates modern functional design features which make the design a pleasure to use and own.
Our catamarans are also designed with ease of build in mind using simple surfaces and form, ideally suited to amateur builders.
Combining modern design and an easy to build assembly system (SAS) places the high-tech modern catamaran within the grasp of the everyday person, who can realistically build themselves their dream catamaran.
Something very unique about this situation is that the owner-built boat can be customized, optimized and finished to the personal tastes of the owner builder.
In Boat Design there is always compromise, a balance between function/userbility and a purist sailing machine.
Excessive volume and weight are never desirable on any performance catamaran; these two elements can have a severe impact on performance and safety.
Using lightweight but strong materials is essential as a sound basis for the structural shell of the boat. This is a part of the boat that can’t be upgraded later; unfortunately you are stuck with this for the life of the boat.
The effects can be dramatic, things like:
- Sluggish performance with a lower power to weight ratio.*
- A more exaggerated motion at sea with more inherent structural stress put
on the structure i.e. the lighter/stiffer shell will not be subjected to the
stress of excessive weight/material experienced when at sea.
- Less bridgedeck clearance off the water means that this section of the
boat will be more likely to 'slam' at sea.
*an example of this would be if the boat is hit by an extreme gust of wind or bullet, a light boat will accelerate whereas the heavier boat can have a higher rise of incident because the rig will try to ‘overtake’ the boat. This example is only fair if both boats are identical in design.
Sailing efficiency is always moderated by the inclusion of functionality in the design. There are certain necessities that can’t be avoided, things like adequate headroom and access throughout the boat. See our Sailing Testimonials , David from Stallion Marine comments...
Design features that I feel are important, for functionality and safety, as seen on the Spirited 380:
- Good, safe access up the steps on the back of the hulls. You will notice that the first step is positioned close to the water, giving good access from / to the water if swimming or when unloading the dinghy.
- The swimming platform is a great extension of the cockpit keeping the wet area outside and also serves a purpose as protection for the dinghy when stowed on the davits.
- Good positioning of the sail drive diesels below the aft steps outside of the accommodation area in an isolated engine room access easily through a large ‘Bonnet’ type hatch.
Sail drive diesels are reliable , high in torgue, compact and easy to fit. The chosen selection of engines are extremely light for their horsepower.
If compared with outboards of a similar size, weight-wise there is not a great difference and taking into account using a flooded 'wet-well' in the hull, the water in the well equates to extra weight.
Add this to the wet-well sides and deck, sail tracks and fittings, transom sliding bracket etc.
These factors quickly add up to help remove unnecessary weight in this area on the 380. The traditional ‘targa bar’ has been replaced with light weight composite davits. Solar panels are also often fitted to the targa-bar but these are not required with the extra charging ability of the Diesels, also saving weight.
In respect to the usability when cruising/operating, I feel the benefit of the simple and reliable aspect of the saildrives means that operation is instantaneous.
<BACK TO TOP>