This bold design represents a new state of the art in combining comfort and speed: it’s an ultra-high performance package capable of cruising at sustained speeds above 20 knots, yet has enough space to live aboard in genuine comfort.
The new foiling catamaran design is the result of Persico’s strategy to translate knowledge the yard gains from its work in aerospace, IMOCA 60 and America’s Cup spheres into very high performance cruising yachts. The structure is of high modulus prepreg carbon/Nomex, there’s an all-carbon interior, plus a Southern Spars rotating mast with Future Fibres’ ECsix and AEROsix composite standing rigging.
The boat is intended as a semi-foiler that can switch to full foiling mode, skimming 20cm above the water in appropriate conditions. The 7m-long righting moment foils are rake controlled and complemented by daggerboards for leeway control, plus T-rudders also with rake control. Design of the foils and flying system was done using the Gomboc VPP software that was instrumental in creating the AC75 foiling monohull and is now also widely used in the IMOCA class.
“The foil has the same purpose as the one used in the IMOCA class,” explains Ferdinand van West, lead designer of Morrelli and Melvin, “but it has been adapted to a catamaran and can be fully retracted.” The foils become effective in 9 knots of breeze and boat speeds well over 20 knots are predicted in just 13 knots of true wind.
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In stronger conditions downwind speeds of 40 knots and an astonishing 26 knots upwind are expected. For a more comfortable ride and greater safety factor maximum speeds can be dialled down via a fully autonomous control system, which can gradually lower the hulls and decrease speed to a comfortable level set by the owner.
A further advantage for a cruising yacht is that draught with the foils raised is a mere 65cm (2ft 2in), though with the foils lowered this increases to 5.31m (17ft 5in).
Despite the boat’s speed potential, it is primarily intended as a very spacious luxury cruiser with all the associated systems including more than 500lt of refrigeration space, a pizza oven and a whopping 64,000 BTU (approx 19kW) of air conditioning. This is powered by twin variable-speed 20kW diesel Fischer Panda generators, which also supply hotel loads the 2kW solar array can’t cover.
Twin 25kW Torqeedo electric motors, allied to a 40kW BMW I3 battery, provide auxiliary propulsion at a cruising speed of 8 knots, with the generators available for use as range extenders if necessary.
Construction has already started in Persico’s new facility at the Italian port of La Spezia, with the boat scheduled for launch in summer 2024.
LOA: 24.1m / 79ft 0in
Hull length: 21.95m / 72ft 0in
Beam: 9.5m / 31ft 2in
Light displacement: 21,000kg / 46,300lb
Draught (foils raised): 0.65m / 2ft 2in
Draught (foils lowered): 5.31m / 17ft 5in
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