Multihull

What about a power catamaran?

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A look at the market

Remember the 1990’s? Privilège launched their Euphorie 40, with 23 units built, followed by the 44 and the Transcat, at 45 and 48 feet. After a break of nearly ten years, the Sables d’Olonne shipyard on France’s west coast came back on the market with their Euphorie 5, directly originating from their Série 5. It was the same story, but a little later on, at Lagoon: in 2001, the Lagoon Power 43 set the ball rolling in this new market, and was built for six years. The Lagoon 40 MY also tested the market... which was to become perennial for the world’s leading boatbuilder, with powercats over 60 feet. But other shipyards have always believed in motor catamarans: Robertson & Caine have been producing powercats since the 1990s. With mixed success, let’s face it... Leopard Catamarans perhaps weren’t fully convinced yet back in 2002 with their Lion 46, which was followed by a 43. But consider a little the Leopard 47PC , similar to the sailing 46. It was from the 39 PC, a variation of the 39, that success really came - in total, Leopard have now delivered 370 powercats. FountainePajot is also one of those convinced by the motor boat niche: the yard has launched a complete range over the past twenty years, but without relying on the existing molds of its sailing catamarans. Two schools of thought, therefore: units redesigned around a sailing catamaran, or really new models, 100% motor boat. We’ll come back to this later.


Above, the Nautitech 47 Power borrows the platform of the 46 Open while on the right, the MY 37 is an exclusively engine-driven design. In both cases, the stability is remarkable whatever the sea conditions.

As proof that the powercat market is nicely buoyant, most multihull builders today offer two ranges - sailing and motor - following the example of Aventura, Bali, HH, McConaghy, Nautitech, O Yachts etc. Even trimarans are getting into it, as Neel is launching two new motor models, the Leen 56 and 72. And a new player on the market, Aquila Boats, is becoming a big hit with very typical US boats: the Aquila 44 has just passed the 100-built mark and a 70-footer will soon see the light of day. Still in the United States, manufacturers such as Hammer Yachts are launching very seaworthy catamarans, heavily powered by outboard engines.

The advantages of all-motor multihulls

The shipyards have therefore understood the interest of offering boats that are comfortable but simple to use, operate and maintain. These units can indeed seduce newcomers to the boating world, but also pragmatic sailboat skippers who are tired or bored with managing a sailing boat. What about blue water cruising? Do they have the range to complete longer passages? Is there a risk that the fuel budget will explode? The experience of Laurent Bourgnon, who set out more than 10 years ago with his family aboard a Sunreef 70 Power, provides some interesting answers. The former ocean racer, who tragically disappeared in 2015 while scuba ...

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