Sailboat designs haven’t changed much over the decades – it obviously works and as the rule goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it“. However, that doesn’t stop people from trying something new and thinking outside the box. We take a look at some of the more unusual sailboat designs that naval architects have come up with recently… whether or not any of them will become the norm remains to be seen….
It weighs about 600-pounds, is 40-feet long and goes 75-mile an hour. It’s something of an outrigger with an inclined hard wing. The narrow cockpit is all carbon and has little wetted surface. Sailrocket was built for one purpose and one purpose only – to go like a banshee in a straight line and be the fastest sailboat in the world…mission accomplished. [learn more]
One-hundred and sixty four feet of sheer luxury on a platform made for speed. At 60-feet wide, with room for it’s own swimming pool, the Blackcat looks to be the ultimate combination of performance and lavishness. The promotional material says: “They will be capable of reaching speeds of up to 30 knots in an effortless and comfortable way, and the shallow draft will provide more options for harbor and anchor locations.” A Blackcat has yet to be produced, so it’s safe to assume that such speed and opulence carries a hefty price tag – hopefully someone takes the plunge because this thing looks like it will be pretty incredible. [learn more]
NUVA MS 6
The idea of half powerboat, half sailboat isn’t new, but the folks at NUVA have a fresh take on it. It’s a nice clean layout that maximizes its 20-foot length and 8-foot beam by its ability to extend while at anchor. Once you break down the sails and/or shut off the 70-hp motor you can widen the cockpit of the boat to 11.5-feet. It also has a fully retractable keel so you can tuck into shallow areas. We’re not sure how it sails, but we know there’s room for a cooler down below! Stretch out them gams and grab the wine and cheese because this little cruiser knows how to host a luncheon. [learn more]
It looks a bit like a bathtub but don’t laugh – this relatively peculiar concept is both fast across the water and roomy down below. Certainly the competitors of the 2011 Mini Transat weren’t smiling when David Raison’s round-bowed 21-footer beat the second place boat by 130 miles. Raison and company have now produced an odd little cruising boat that employs the ideas that went into the now famous mini-transat boat. The round bow provides the opportunity for quite a bit more interior space and a bit of a different design plan down below. It also is much more comfortable to work on the foredeck. However, the two things the Revolution 29 has to overcome are it’s questionable upwind performance and it’s kind of ugly. We hate to say it, but we’re not the only ones – this might be one of those unusual sailboat designs that no one wants to go mainstream. The boat gets criticized over and over for not being pretty. It’s a dilemma. This boat has revealed great innovation in boat design and exposed sailors as shallow superficial… chauvinists? [learn more]
In the same grouping as Sailrocket, but maybe even a little more peculiar is Hobie’s Trifoiler, a foiling trimaran designed by Greg Ketterman and produced by the famous beach cat company in the 1990s. Unlike Sailrocket, the Trifoiler actually tried to be an all-around sailboat that could be unpacked and launched in 15-minutes for an easy daysail. It had twin mains that looked like windsurfer sails, weighed in at 340-pounds (22-feet) and when conditions were right the boat could hit 40-knots or more. It was easy to sail from an airplane-like cockpit but to Ketterman’s dismay, the Trifoiler never became popular. It’s thought that since they were so non-traditional and impractical, the novelty and thrill of speed couldn’t keep them selling. One hundred and ninety boats were made in all. [learn more]