Multihull

Jeff Schionning – Still unique

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He settled Australia, after having crossed the Indian Ocean with its reputation for being such a difficult place to sail. His experience of difficult seas would become important when he started to develop his own designs and to satisfy the desires of customers who wanted more personalized boats. It was there that he met Lorraine - she would play a decisive role in the family team that was taking shape. Now based in Newcastle, a few tacks north of Sydney, Jeff signed off on his first successful 24-foot trimaran.

But Jeff’s name will be known to all those fans of multihulls who have the desire to go faster than their regatta buddies on boats produced from the original catamaran designs and construction method. Because performance is indeed the keyword when it comes to Jeff Schionning. The G-Force or Arrow, the agency’s star designs, are above all designed to sail very fast. Their slender, thrusting bows, and hulls with tightly controlled widths perfectly illustrate these specifications. Their streamlined coachroofs are unmistakable - the Schionning stamp. However, if lifting a hull is not a taboo here, don’t think that it is to the detriment of safety. On the contrary, going fast, even in light airs, allows you to avoid the weather if you buy in to the company’s philosophy. It is so much easier to take a reef and sail calmly as soon as the catamaran exceeds 10 knots rather than hoisting the sail higher than the mast of a multihull that is too heavy!

It’s all about making it simple, light and strong - in particular by having all the fittings and furnishings integrated into the structure - making the construction that much easier. That’s the other historical characteristic that Jeff wanted: that everyone could build their own multihull, wherever they are, at their own pace, without a mold, and at a reasonable price. Relying on a network of technical partners, Schionning Design thus offers manufacturing kits and advice to help you build a truly unique catamaran. Whether the future owner takes on the construction himself or entrusts it to a professional shipyard because they absolutely want to sail within a year, they will always be the soul of the boat. On average, according to Jeff, his typical client is on their third boat. The amateur builder is therefore able to customize their boat based on their sailing experience.

For 30 years, the basics haven’t changed one iota. Only Lorraine left far too early, to go and tack up in the ...

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