We recently celebrated 20 years at the Lightwave Family Reunion at Great Keppel Island, Queensland, with 18 Lightwave vessels in attendance and 60 people present. What a moment. What a sight. What an effort from all involved.
The tide has turned in the marine industry, and multihulls are now the preferred choice for most cruising enthusiasts as well as many racers. The increase in demand for catamarans or trimarans has taken many traditional monohull proponents and builders by surprise.
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.