Now that we have come to the end of the America’s Cup and the exciting races in which the evolution of sailing race machines has taken big steps forward, 2013 we could say has definitely been the year of CatEvolution. But, does this mean that we are going to have wing sail yachts in the near future, or catamarans that float on water in all grace and power? These are still early days to speculate what is going to happen but we cannot allow ourselves to be boxed in and dismiss such trends. Don’t forget we did fly to the moon against much skepticism.
I can write about this as many years ago in the fifties I had first hand experience when, Conrad Gulcher, decided that sailing should be fast, fun and exciting. Sailing should be a sport for everyone to enjoy good racing and so, with that in mind, design and innovation became the buss word among the top sailors of the world, and the Flying Dutchman was born.
In the time of their debut they were racing machines designed to be on the edge of development. Now with modern materials where is the boundary? Lightweight carbon boats, carbon rotating wing mast, special cantilever keels and foiling dagger boards… how much more is there to invent? This would be the question of someone who either doesn’t want change or someone who is not able to see or understand such developments. The fact remains however that we have been able to go faster with all the latest innovations and I believe with more control and less crew that for us, is the real innovation in the sailing world.
Going around the world in 50 days single handed is mind boggling, or crossing the Atlantic in a time you could do over a long weekend makes it all worthwhile to see these changes. An A to B destination seems closer due to shorter time of sailing. Therefore our nature for exploration comes to the forefront and we venture into new territories such as a world cruise or going to areas in Alaska or Argentina Patagonia. Where does that leave the catamarans for cruising and what will eventually happen with all these innovations as seen in the America’s Cup?
That is why CatEvolution comes into play and we will see an innovative range of Catamarans emerging into a new market that provides some of the greatest benefits to the owner. To own a yacht that is spacious but not too big, sailing ability equal to a mono-hull but faster and safer with minimal crew. Most of us are in our element with a car that has all the new systems that make it safe which all came out of the development of the racing world. Now we have arrived at the juncture where a leisure mode of transport with the freedom of sea travel can offer products and systems that will provide safety and reliability for the owner. Hydraulic systems used for more that a hundred years in the industry have only, over the last 30 years, entered into the sailing world. Consider that all commercial airplanes use all these systems and we have full faith and trust in the engineer who developed them. Is there any reason to not incorporate these systems in our dagger boards and self sail systems? It should become a standard fitting! If a yacht designer incorporates this with considered intent to alleviate any sailing clutter on deck, you will have the ultimate in sailing pleasure.
Such yachts are now available and the TAG 60 and SIG 60 are good examples of that being able to sail from A to B with minimal fuss, fewer crew and making use of innovation at sailing speeds with little wind that will envy any other mono or multihull sailor. Main traveler, out-haul and sheet, self tacking jib, mast rotate, dagger boards and vang all controlled and operated through hydraulic systems. That is what CatEvolution is all about and one day we will fly gracefully above the waves.