As a marine surveyor of some years standing, I have seen my fair share of catamarans, both power driven and sailing craft, but I have to admit that a pleasant surprise was in store for me when I joined Murray Owen, CEO of MEC Yachts, Australia, to look over MarookAtta, a 15.5m luxury power catamaran, which had been recently been delivered to its new owner, at the marina at Versace, on the Gold Coast.
A long time ago ... back in 2007 we were approached by an experienced US sailing couple to design an unusual boat ... a catamaran intended for chartering built of aluminium with a ketch rig. No way! Several ‘experts’ in the field had told them it was impossible to build a cruising catamaran with halfway decent performance from this ‘heavy’ material. And then why would you top it all off with a slow, old-fashioned ketch rig! We at de Villiers Yacht Design had wide experience working with aluminium and alternative rigs so after about two seconds consideration decided to give it a go. Not without a modicum of angst as we had never before designed a sailing catamaran. The rest, as they say, is history.
I usually write my articles after an adventure or incident that I was involved in – from the salty side of the story. This one is different. Twice in recent months I’ve been the one left ashore and the lessons I learned have given me a better appreciation of what goes on when things go wrong at sea and how those ashore are impacted.