News from the builders

Punch Catamarans - The wood-epoxy adventure continues!

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It all began in 1987: Christian, then a merchant navy officer, had been sailing professionally for more than 20 years on a wide variety of ships and over a good part of the globe. He lived with his family on the steel sailboat that he had built himself. From 1985, his travels led him to limit his sailing to the Caribbean and he temporarily “settled“ in Martinique. It was there that the idea of building a catamaran emerged. It was at this moment that he met the architect Philippe Harlé. The two immediately established a rapport. They appreciated each other and shared their design and shipbuilding experiences. They then conceived the idea of creating a shipyard to produce wood epoxy catamarans. Philippe became involved in the creation of the shipyard by ordering the first boat built at Multicap Caraïbes: a Punch 8.50.

Christian Hernandez (right) and Alain Mortain have decided to relaunch the construction of the Punch under the new identity Multicat Algarve.


From monohulls to multihulls…

Philippe Harlé had his own naval architecture firm in La Rochelle with his associate Alain Mortain, who, coming from an interior architecture background, was in charge of design and interior layouts. Philippe, who had no particular interest in catamarans at the beginning, was quickly convinced by the first test, and then devoted himself to them with passion and creativity.
When Alain joined Philippe’s office in 1982, he was already passionate about multihulls, because the performance and new spaces that they offered allowed for a particular creativity, and opened up very broad perspectives for future developments. He drew his inspiration from various productions such as those of Dick Newick, Walter Greene, Malcom Tenant and Lock Crowther. The plan to develop the Punch range was particularly appealing to him. He became totally involved in the project and would continue his efforts over the next forty years.
When Philippe Harlé died in 1991, Yiannis Mavrikios - whom Philippe had chosen to succeed him - took over his position. Yiannis graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in naval architecture. He obtained a double Master of Science in Naval Architecture and Ocean Systems Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was always looking to innovate. When he started working on the Multicap Caraïbes projects, he had just left the post of heading up the design office and the prototype section at Jeanneau SA
Yiannis and Alain are still active, under the signature Mortain & Mavrikios. The two partners have retained the same philosophy. They are the ones who will be in charge of forthcoming Punch designs, notably the 12.50, 1500, 1700 and 2100.

The Punch 12.5 is undoubtedly the most iconic of all the boats built by Multicap Caraïbes.


Getting started in Martinique at Fort-de-France

Two architects, one era: Philippe Harlé is at the helm, opposite Alain Mortain.
The Multicap Caraïbes shipyard was created at the ...

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