Side view of the updated Spirited 230 MK2 design.
The Spirited 230 has been a popular model with a large family of happy owners. As with most things there is always a time when they need a modern twist and include any improvements where required.
The Spirited 230 started its life on the request of an old salt with plenty of multihull sailing and building experience. It was on the maiden voyage of his 11m sailing catamaran when he realised that his age had caught up with him and handling a vessel such as this was simply too much for him and he called to discuss an alternate design (he literally called from Coffs Harbour where he was riding out the weather!). After detailed discussions and reviewing his brief, the Spirited 230 was conceived. The concept in a nutshell was a compact full cabin trailerable design that was light weight and therefore required smaller engines providing more range. His reasoning was that he could hook the boat up to his car and be at his destination quickly and without weather delays! Another advantage he voiced was that if there were stops along the way towing the boat, the boat could be used as accommodation, this could also be the case if when at the destination and the weather turned bad. Let’s face it, no one wants to go boating when the weather is bad!
Bow-on view showing the wave breaker below the bridgedeck.
So the kit was ordered and unit 1 was started. The result was not far off expectation, this boat was fitted with twin 40hp outboards which provided decent cruise speeds of around 16kts and approximately 20kts at top speed. Now this may not suit everyone in this ‘go fast’ world we live in but was in line with the original brief of being a relatively long range, economical compact cruiser. To this day this boat is still operating and being enjoyed for what it is.
Granted, no other owners have chosen the ‘small’ engine option with most boats running between 60 and 70hp which seems to be the sweet spot. Now for those wanting more speed or reserve horsepower, this design can be fitted with up to 90hp each side. Another trend with the engines is to run extra long shafts to raise the power head as much as possible clear of the water. One of the projects went down this path with good results and it makes good sense.
The kitset for this design was introduced in Duflex balsa core however now the foam core equivalent is available. Using foam saves significant weight and gives peace of mind in relation to risk of water ingress into the core given its closed cell design. Balsa core can get a bad wrap because of water ingress which can lead to rotten core but in truth if its used properly, balsa is an excellent structural core material. Foam offers more options in the building process and is more versatile because the plain foam core is quite stable, facilitating ‘core kits’ or DIY cutting and laminating of the panels which can be done by amateurs on a flat laminating table. The costs can be prohibitive shipping a pre-laminated kitset for export, and this is where the advantages of the DIY foam panels come into play. Most are hand laminating the panels however some are using the infusion process. We have a few builders overseas using this option with good results.
Aft view of this current Spirited 230 design fitted with twin 40s.
During the years we have made various small changes and improvements to this design which have been incorporated into the ‘Mark 2’ design. With this new model apart from new styling we have raised the freeboard to offer more security in the cockpit/aft deck area where many have fitted rails. This has in turn given the front cabin standing headroom with the addition of a raised deck section and the lowering of the cabin sole. Another change was incorporating the engines into the hulls which also created a larger aft duckboard section with security rails. The design of this area also suits extra long shaft engines for the advantages mentioned above. Another noticeable change is the inset section on the hull topsides which is fitted with large window panels to provide extra light and ventilation via portlights. The foredeck has been simplified into flat panels which extend forward into a ‘peak’ over the bow allowing for practical anchoring and additional deck space. Below the bridgedeck is a full-length wave breaker adding strength and ride improvements. Apart from this the underwater sections of the hulls remain the same except for being slightly longer at the sterns to accommodate the new engine installation.
Internally no changes have been made and being a full-length enclosed cabin design, inside you will find a modest sized L-shaped dinette eating area, a galley opposite to starboard, with the helm forward of this. Entry down into the front cabin is via a companionway in front of the dinette which leads down into what can be made a private sleeping cabin. A double berth is on the starboard side with the option of a porta potti or plumbed-in toilet at the front of the cabin port side.
The Spirited 230 on its trailer.
Access to the foredeck is through an opening centre windscreen window via moulded-in curved steps from the wheelhouse. This feature comes with many advantages such as ventilation and view, safer access avoiding the side decks and a more social environment for sun bakers choosing the large foredeck when the weather is good. Bow rails provide security here while utilising this inviting space.
The aft deck can be reconfigured to suit your needs, we have had owners choose an open deck option for fishing, or a compromise with some fixed or fold-down seating, or the full cruising layout which has seating all round creating a small breakfast nook behind the wheelhouse. The cabintop as standard offers plenty of protection and can be curtained off with drop-down clears however many have shortened this for fishing etc. All tankage is stored in the hulls below deck and positioned to optimize weight distribution.
A surprising amount of accommodation space internally. This view showing the galley, helm area, access steps to the foredeck as well as the companionway down into the front cabin.
As mentioned, there are plenty of options relating to building materials to suit most skill levels and budgets. As of this year the cost of balsa core has skyrocketed making the foam core option much more appealing. We are recommending this option for this design because it is well suited, it reduces weight, avoids any water ingress concerns, and increases resale value.
LOA 7m / 23ft
BOA 2.5m / 8ft 2”
DRAFT 325mm / 1ft 1”
DISPLACEMENT (Light) 1200kgs / 2645 pounds
CRUISE SPEED 20kts (70hp motors)
TOP SPEED 30kts (70hp motors)
1.9m in Wheelhouse
1.85m in Forepeak
MOTORS (Max hp) 2x90hp 4 Stroke Outboard
FUEL CAPACITY 160 Litres
FRESH WATER 150 Litres
BERTHS 1x Private Double
ESTIMATED BUILD HOURS
KIT PRICE (Starting option)1100 (basic standard finish)
AUS $39,000.00 ex gst
For more information: spiriteddesigns.com.au