We ask top sailors and marine industry gurus to choose the coolest and most innovative yachts of our times. Antoine Koch nominates Amaryllis

Amaryllis, and her replica Amaryllis II, are among the coolest yachts. I had the opportunity to see her in the Herreshoff Museum in Bristol, Rhode Island, during the 2010 Little America’s Cup held in Newport.

Amaryllis was the first catamaran to be designed by the great Nathanaël Herreshoff in 1875. In addition to inventing the first modern catamaran Herreshoff invented the first lightweight racing yacht (Gloriana), the first modern keelboat (Dilemna) and the first lightweight skiff (Alpha). Then he won the America’s Cup six times in a row.

In 1876 Amaryllis won her first race but was protested by the captain of Clara S, who claimed that Amaryllis was ‘neither a yacht nor a boat’. Amaryllis was disqualified but received ‘a diploma and a certificate that she had attained the highest speed ever made by a vessel of her length’.

Herreshoff himself referred to the gaff sloop catamaran Amaryllis as a ‘double boat’.

That same 2010 Little America’s Cup was the first multihull regatta hosted by the New York Yacht Club since 1876 [134 years later!].

Make sure you check out our full list of Coolest Yachts.

Amaryllis stats rating

Top speed: 17.2 knots
LOA: 10m/33ft
Launched: 1876
Berths: 0
Price: $4,000
Adrenalin factor: 90%

Antoine Koch

Antoine Koch is a naval architect and offshore sailor, who collaborated with Finot Conq to design two of the fastest IMOCAs in the current generation: For People and Paprec Arkéa. He is a skilled racer and router/navigator, and worked with skippers including Michel Desjoyeaux. In 2023 he finished 3rd in the Route du Rhum with Sam Goodchild.

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