McConaghy/Schionning's New Cat
Published: Thursday, 04 September 2014
McConaghy Boats and Schionning Designs have been commissioned to design and build an exciting new 49ft performance catamaran. The vessel’s construction will be based on McConaghy's experience in lightweight, high quality building techniques and Schionning's expertise in high performance, cruising catamaran design.
Designed primarily as an efficient fast sailing cat with high bridgedeck clearance and chamfer panels to minimize slamming, the S49 will offer similar internal comfort and space to production boats, but will possess a high quality McConaghy standard custom yacht finish as well as being lighter, stiffer and stronger with better waterline beam values and a higher power to weight ratio. Weight will be centralised to reduce pitching, and build weight is around 30% lighter than most of the competition and she will feature twin daggerboards to improve windward performance.
The vessel is to be constructed using the best quality materials: Corecell foam and Vinylester resin, with rapid build speed being achieved using Schionnings well proven system of "soft" sections. She will be built to a very high standard in China at McConaghy Boats, which is a totally foreign owned facility under strict quality control by their team of expat builders and high skilled Chinese staff, which allows for competitive pricing compared to other catamarans of this calibre.
The S49 will be very easy to sail using electric winches at the raised helm station, with all lines running back to the helm position to make her an ideal single or shorthanded cat. Single line reefing and furling headsails operated from a static control station will make handling a breeze. Wide side decks and flat foredeck ensure that it will be very safe going forward in rough conditions. The design incorporates large deck lockers for storage and a huge cockpit with a very open comfortable feel. This is made possible with the advanced engineering of the boxed bridgdeck not needing a back beam, and moving the mainsheet track up onto the cabin top which is easily visible and controlled from the helm station.
The helm will feature a comfortable dual seating position with the helmsman’s head and shoulders above the cabin top for perfect all around visibility, and with all lines lead back to be close at hand. Large rope boxes will ensure that the lines are kept out of the way and the helm area safe.
Inside she will have the comfort and luxury expected from a top of the line cat. The uncluttered saloon and galley will appear bigger than usual for a cat this size because advanced engineering has allowed optimal mast positioning without the normal cross bulkhead restricting the saloon size. There will be a gourmet galley, plenty of fridge and freezer space and saloon seating with a big table for indoor entertaining and the luxury of a forward facing navigation station with full 360-degree visibility. The saloon front will have opening hatches giving good visibility forward and enhanced airflow into the saloon, which is a real luxury when anchored in hot tropical islands.
Down below the master suite is to starboard with a huge almost king size bunk aft, plenty of locker space, a his-and-hers vanity area, large head with washing machine and separate shower cubicle forward with big hanging locker. Opening ports and hatches in the deck above and a hatch aft of the bunk will give a cool open feel below.
The port hull will house two guest cabins, both with big comfortable queen-plus bunks, and a spacious head and shower area amidships. Each cabin will have a private en-suite head with further access to the shared shower - simply lock the door for complete privacy.
Her sailing rig will be based around an efficient alloy mast and boom with a fully battened, square head main, single line mainsail reefing in the boom, a roller reefing headsail and furled screecher on the prodder. A spinnaker can be added, also flown off the prodder, making for an easily handled, fast and efficient rig.
Engine power will come from two Yanmar 50 HP sail-drives, with folding props, set in separate engine bays with deck hatches for easy access. She will have a 6KW genset to power all the equipment and air conditioning, and large water and fuel tanks to ensure self-sufficiency while away from the dock.