Big solar capacity, fixed keels or daggerboards, protected helms and drop down transom platforms are just some of the key feature that make the HH44 stand out
The old adage that the many benefits of a cruising catamaran are achieved at the cost of its sailing qualities is no longer true and a growing proportion of buyers are seeking performance boats that are responsive and fun to sail.
This part of the multihull market has of course existed for a long time, with the likes of Outremer, Catana and more recently Gunboat and Marsaudon Composites proving that lightweight ultra-fast catamarans can be safe and comfortable, yet also exhilarating.
HH Catamarans has grown rapidly since the yard was founded in 2012 by entrepreneur and boating enthusiast Hudson Wang. He has since ploughed some US$50 million into the company, including 1.2 million square feet of manufacturing space with state of the art production equipment, predominately at Xiamen in south-western China.
Wang has also recruited top talent, including Kiwi boatbuilder Paul Hakes, who as CEO has brought his knowledge of building very high end raceboats to a cruising audience who want an equal level of attention to detail in an impeccably finished yacht that also offers a high level of comfort and without sacrificing speed.
The latest model to hit the water, the HH44, will be the smallest in the range and therefore available to a wider audience, even if the price tag still ranges upwards of US$1 million ex VAT. Nevertheless this hasn’t deterred 35 owners ordering boats off-plan before the first one left the yard.
This Morrelli & Melvin design is not as ultra high performance as some of the earlier and larger HH models. This is especially true in the OC (Ocean Cruising) versions of the HH44, which have an easily handled format with aluminium mast, white gelcoat finish and mini-keels as standard instead of daggerboards. Nevertheless displacement is one third lower than that of many catamarans of this size, which promises enjoyable and rewarding sailing, as well as markedly reducing time spent under power when passagemaking.
SC (Sports Cruising) models include current race boat technology, including carbon C-foils and rig, a painted hull finish, plus over 4kW of solar panels.
They also have a parallel hybrid EcoDrive system developed by Isle of Wight company Hybrid Marine. This is intended to provide all the key benefits of an electric boat – including silent, fume-free motoring, instant torque when manoeuvring, and hydro-regeneration while sailing – without sacrificing the reassuring backup of diesel engines.
The first boat, an SC model painted in a striking metallic silver, was scheduled to hit the water this summer. Demand has been such that HH is currently building an additional set of moulds and two production lines will run for the HH44 at its Cebu facility in the Philippines.
LOA (transoms raised): 14.23m / 46ft 8in
LWL: 13.28m / 43ft 7in
Beam: 7.15m / 23ft 6in
Draught (fixed keels): 1.52m / 5ft 0in
Displacement (OC model): 8,750kg / 19,290lb
Payload approx: 4,750kg / 10,000lb
Mainsail: 74.2m2 / 799ft2
Solent jib: 51.1m2 / 550ft2
Base price 44-OC: US$957,000 ex vat
Base price 44-SC: US$1,325,000 ex VAT
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