This new flagship Dazcat Ocean Cruiser 55 has been designed to be able to make progress even in very light airs, thereby reducing engine use
The Multihull Centre in Cornwall is no stranger to innovation. The Millbrook yard, nestled up a Tamar creek, has undertaken some fascinating custom projects, including in recent years the full rebuild and conversion to a luxury powercat of the Gunboat 55 Rainmaker, which dismasted and was lost at sea. It has designed and built bespoke wheelchair accessible fast multis, including the record breaking Impossible Dream, which Geoff Holt sailed across the Atlantic unassisted. And the Rapier 550 was another project that we could tell was way ahead of its time when we sailed it in 2014 – in terms of push-button sailing a large cat from inside.
Since 1988 Dazcat has been its long term small production range of cruiser-racers, a brand named after founder and co-designer Darren Newton. Thanks to the world’s biggest YouTube sailing channel (Sailing La Vagabonde) doing a recent vlog on them, Dazcat is currently in the limelight and it unveiled plans earlier this year for this new flagship Dazcat Ocean Cruiser 55.
This Dazcat Ocean Cruiser 55 is aimed at very fast, yet easy ocean cruising, designed for two to four people to live on for extended periods in cold or warm climes and with occasional guests. It mixes contemporary styling throughout with Dazcat’s liberal sprinkling of innovation and lightweight composite expertise. We had a fascinating full virtual tour earlier this year.
One objective of the design is to be able to make progress even in very light airs, thereby reducing engine use. The hulls are easily driven thanks to a slender 13:1 waterline beam to length ratio and super fine reverse bows. And it’s only 12 tonnes lightweight – that’s two tonnes less than the Arcona 50 or the Outremer 55! Plus it can take a four tonne payload.
At the same time the boat is engineered to withstand the very high stresses associated with driving hard in big winds. The spreader-less carbon rig, for instance, has fibre standing rigging and is designed to be set up with sufficient tension to fly a hull without the lee shrouds becoming slack. Other rig options include an in-boom furler or even a wing sail.
A high freeboard and high bridgedeck clearance keeps solid water away from the deck, while a well defined water deflecting chine forward helps to provide a dry ride. Optional electric furlers and sheeting on rewind winches allow the headsails to be controlled from anywhere on the boat. This theme extends to alarm systems that can be set for wind or boat speed limits. If the crew doesn’t respond in a given time the system will take over, for instance by automatically easing the mainsheet traveller.
The Dazcat Ocean Cruiser 55 has also been designed with a plethora of helm positions to suit all, including interior and exterior, forward and aft, swing and twin wheels – take your pick or have the lot!
“Everyone we spoke to wants steering positions in a different place,” explains Newton. “We’ve developed a carbon steering rod through the length of the boat that all these steering wheels can connect to directly.” This can be retrofitted at a later date if a new owner wants a different configuration.
The forward cockpit can be used for access and relaxation or to manually trim sails too. Its twin forward winches are designed to control an optional parasail, which Dazcat recommends in combination with in-boom reefing.
The large aft cockpit connects seamlessly to a large living area including galley. To help control internal temperatures the thickness of the core material for the hardtop was increased to provide additional insulation against solar heating, and where possible there’s an overhang above windows to reduce the amount of direct sun they receive. In addition the designers have tried to maximise passive airflow with big opening windows in the front of the coachroof, in addition to the door to the forward cockpit, plus plenty of opening deck hatches.
Get set for Dazcat to dazzle!
Dazcat Ocean Cruiser 55 specifications
/ 55ft 0in
Beam: 8.00m / 26ft 3in
Displacement: 12,000kg / 26,500lb
Upwind sail area: 197m2 / 2,120ft2
Build time: around 18 months
Estimated price: £2.5-2.7m
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