A matter of timing has brought about this new design – the Catathai Andaman 50. Fast, light, no comforts missing aboard, a dagger-board, performance ocean cruising catamaran.
To fully understand the advances in design you need to understand Gilles Reigner the company owner and innovator. Gilles was looking at early retirement at 49 after already achieving what most people do not achieve in a lifetime. Due to the unfortunate passing off Herve Le Touze, the owner of Catathai in Phuket, Thailand, the way was left open for Gilles to purchase the company and begin its modernisation.
After purchasing Catathai Gilles observed the need for a move to a more modern and innovative design that was based around weight, performance, comfort and affordability with CE European standards. That is the Andaman 50 with all the design requisites covered with the use of exotic fiberes and resins, hull shape hydrodynamics and sail configuration. That catamaran is now in Phuket Boat Lagoon with www.yachtingthailand.com for care and maintenance. Nerieds is for sale at 690,000 Euro, included in that price the interior layout and design can be changed to suit the buyer’s preference (within structural requirements). That is a very rare option to start with. Don't forget this is a performance daggerboard catamaran. Contact the author for information.
Gilles at the helm of the Andaman 50.
. PhD in Physics
• Winner of the French National Competition for the Creation of a Business in Innovative Technologies
• Former legal expert the Administrative Court of Appeal and the High Court Bordeaux
• Developed and sell patents in multi-layers vibrations
• Operated several companies in France
• Retired early at 49 years.
The plan was to leave on a catamaran for a world tour - freedom from everything.
With knowledge in structural dynamics and passion for fast sailing a decision to take over Catathai was made, to invest in it to build better, faster, more comfortable catamarans. So the first 100% ‘new Catathai’ was the Andaman 50.
“With the same view and understanding of efficiency I designed the GR60, real autonomous electrical catamaran. A patent is pending on the variable geometry carbon wind turbines.”
Ferrari fabrics bow nets.
The Andaman 50 retains ‘French’ quality and expertise. The hulls are foam sandwich using Divinycell foam, glass roving, carbon, Kevlar, vinyl ester resins, epoxies and gel-coat. A link has been maintained by drawing a wick of fibre through the Divinycell core to the other laminate thus giving a direct bond through the inner layer to the outer layers. Infusion and vacuum bagging techniques are used in a climate controlled environment for a perfect curing of resins with no voids and no excess resin. That technique goes a long way in reducing weight and increasing strength. CE requirements are adhered to during every process and documented and the regional CE inspector checks the build at a regular intervals along with accompanying documentation for CE. Having an independent inspector is a bonus for both builder and buyer when it comes to qualifying a quality build to a selected standard.
The interior is custom, contemporary. and very individual. As a custom build layouts can be to the buyer’s liking as well as the interior colour scheme and soft furnishings. The hulls come out of a female mould and the interiors are cut on a CNC machine for accuracy. By taking away the human error element and introducing ultra accurate computer driven CNC cut panels the fittings are accurate and the interior fitout time is reduced.
The CNC machine is one of the main tools for constructing everything but the hull. It is a double head machine: one side is CNC 4 axis, other side is a cooled CO2 laser with its own independent computer.
The system can cut pretty well everything and the laser can even cut stainless steel and alloy with injection of oxygen to make plasma.
Viewed from above at its berth at Phuket Boat Lagoon, the Andaman 50 may appear to be high out of the water. Contributing to this is 1m under wing clearance and superior headroom in the cockpit, saloon and in the hulls. Even so her lines are pleasing to the eye and harmonious combining angled panels with curved shapes. A lot of multihulls lack headroom for tall sailors, this is not the case with the Andaman 50. It's a ‘tall order’ and the Andaman passes with flying colours!
Saloon/Galley up to 2.05m 6.72ft
Downstairsup to 2.0m 6.56ft
Cockpit up to 2.20m 7.21ft
Helm station 1.88m 6.16 under awning
Engine room up to 2.20m 7.21ft
Helm and cockpit.
Decks are uncluttered and hardware is well arranged. The trampolines are large and of Ferrari fabric which is great to both walk and lounge on. The bridgedeck clearance under the nacelle, which is well aft, is over 1m or around 3ft. The beam of this catamaran and her rather slender hulls complete the picture of a seaworthy multihull that is unlikely to see any slamming in a rough sea and little pitching. A positive point for the blue water cruising and ocean passage-making. The Andaman 50 is light at 9,500kg compared to her main competitors that range from 13,000kg to around 20,000kg and up. Even the well known Outremer 51 arguably one of the best performance production catamarans available comes in at 11,200kg lightships. Only the ultra racers that a quite spartan inside and lack the comforts of home come in under the Andaman 50's weight.
The exterior saloon area is separated into two lounge areas. Entrance to the saloon is through large sliding door. The helm is aft and up and looks over the top of the coach roof giving excellent vision forward. A lot of catamarans have blind spots, the Andaman 50 does not.
All controls lead aft where electric winches are located to hoist the main. the sails can be hoisted from the cockpit; an electric winch has been added for the mainsail, headsail and screecher are on furlers. Nerieds is easily accessed from aft through wide sugar scoop transoms, steps forward of the mast to access the saloon roof and ladders down into the deep and roomy engine bays amidships. The Andaman 50 is driven by two 42hp Italian Solé engines using Mitsubishi diesels as their base engine.
The engines drive shafts therefore more horsepower gets to the props and maintenance is simple compared to complicated sail drives. Engines being amidships allow easy access and added safety in rough seas. The engine rooms are also spacious both around and above the engines, you are able to stand up in the engine room with space to spare, no need to crouch as is the case with many engine rooms on catamarans.
The Andaman 50 is a true performance long-term live-aboard blue water cruising cat.
The galley is up and to starboard with a commercial grade HOB and oven. The galley also features an enormous two door household refrigerator that would look at home in a commercial kitchen.
OTHER FURNITURE IN THE SALOON
A chart table facing forwards with a view directly through the front windows giving a good orientation while navigating, two cockpit tables breaking the group up which is often handy when serving meals and if kids are aboard. The two tables provide uncrowded and comfortable seating for up to 15 guests. Another table setting is in the cockpit that extends to 1400mm x 2000mm, again handy for splitting up adults from kids and accommodating extended family groups.
The berths are virtually identical so there should be no fighting over who gets the best! The two forward doubles are 200mm x 1600mm, with the aft 2200mm x 1700mm, nothing much in it! All cabins have en-suite shower toilets, nothing like your own private facilities and with a proper door separating shower from toilet.
The model I trialled also included separate crews quarters forwards in the forepeaks – one with double bunks and a basic style crew bathroom bunks and the second with a fold down bunk that could double for added storage of ropes and fenders etc. There is already adequate storage throughout the cat but there is no such thing as too much and the forward storage could be useful as a wet rope and gear locker.
Power aboard is by way of a battery bank of 1,000 Amp hours of lithium batteries, 1,300 W of solar panels discharging through a Victron Energy MPPT regulator with connections through to a Victron Energy Quattro 5000 inverter/charger with 100 Amps of charging power along with a lot of other helpful features including remote monitoring of the system on your laptop.
See the polar chart for speeds that can be achieved aboard the Andaman 50. The chart indicates from 12kts of wind she will sail at 10kts over the water with averages around 60 to 70% of the wind. I tested under full mainsail and the headsail as well as under spinnaker (i.e. 2,075sqft / 193m2 of sail area), sailing in calm conditions in a light breeze of 12kt in the NW monsoon, with a not terribly consistent 10kts of wind. Heading upwind with only one daggerboard down to leeward with were sailing close hauled doing 8kts and comfortably tacking through 90°. Off the breeze the performance picked up by a further 2kts as the apparent built up. Further off we popped the spinnaker which added a extra 200sqm of sail, making good use of the dying breeze now running at a constant 12kts.
The self-tacking jib makes tacking so easy, one of the best things to have aboard for short handed sailing. All the forward sails are on furlers for ease of control. If needed both forward sails can be easily dropped and bagged and put below for safe storage during layup periods. Being light Nerieds accelerates in the lightest of breeze which allows her to be sailed at a adequate speed in light conditions with no need to run the motors. Ability to sail in light conditions from my point of view is more important than attaining high speeds in windy conditions when more often that not sails need to be reduced so as to make conditions on board comfortable. It’s the averages and light condition sailing ability that is important and this is where Nerieds comes into her own. At the slightest lift in the breeze, you can feel the acceleration immediately, enough to nearly throw one off balance! She will easily swallow up 240+nm days.
Gilles Reiner www.gillesreigner.com Fortabat Design www.fortabatdesign.com have produced a new concept, new feel catamaran for 2021. The average size of catamarans have grown over the years from 30ft upwards and today's trend for a average catamaran is now in the high 40s into the 50s with the Andaman 50 finding itself a sweet spot in the catamaran market at an affordable price due to its economic build cost with no sacrifice of quality.
Soon to come will be her big sister, the GR52, with the option of electric propulsion based on 2 x Oceanvolt Servoprops 15kw (or Transfluid 20Kw to 40K with large lithium battery banks) which allow electric regenerating under sail if needed. There is also a diesel propulsion option if electric drives are not your preference. There are options for carbon mast, beams, stanchions. A GR60 power version is also on the drawing board.
All of these catamarans will be built at PMG Shipyard Rayong Thailand the same yard that is producing the Silent Yachts latest 60ft catamarans.