Some multihull enthusiasts will have spotted Kato, our first G-Force 1800C design cruising up and down the east coast, her amazing performance turning plenty of heads, easy enough when reaching at 21kts in 12kts of true wind! Well, move over Kato there is a new cat on the block – and with an equally short and catchy title. Introducing Zero – our new G-Force 1800 SSS design, recently built and launched on the Sunshine Coast by Ian McMahon of Cure Composites.
Launching on Tuesday September 1, Zero was ready for sea trials by Friday 4 after stepping her mast, fitting sails and all those other five minute jobs that need doing. Friday dawned a beautiful sunny day with a steady 13kt breeze. It was a real bonus to have Kato along as a photo platform and benchmark to keep Zero on her toes, owner Tony has Kato honed to a fine edge speed-wise and it is amazing to see him sail this big cat completely by himself, effortlessly.
Zero had owner Garry as skipper, with the Cure Composites team, and New Zealand crew fine tuning the rig and sails. It was fantastic sailing together, it is not every day you get two hot 60’s playing together, reaching with the screechers set then tightened up to windward together. The two were very close with Kato having an edge initially but as the boys tweaked the halyard tension, sail angles and twist – Zero’s performance ramped up a notch.
Speeds ran to 20kts plus in 13kts of true wind with apparent wind at 90° on a reach and then hauling to windward at 13kts tacking through 80°. This is exciting sailing but with such effortless speed the boats felt completely relaxed even at this truly stunning performance level.
The G-Force 1800 SSS is a little meaner and leaner than the ‘C’ (Cruise) design, with the waterline beam ratio at 15:1, the freeboard slightly lower, the forward double bunks on the bridgdeck have been removed, moving the trampolines back 1.5m and then using a ‘soft’ bottom shoe with all stealth type styling above. The displacement is slightly lighter at 11 tonnes compared with 12.5 tonnes, this increases her power to weight ratio positively. Zero is built with Cure Fusion panels supplied and router cut in-house by Cure Composites. The hulls use S-glass with a carbon forward beam and carbon bulkhead caps, Zero has a carbon mast and boom supplied by Hall Spars in New Zealand and state-of-the-art sails from Doyle NZ. Deck hardware by Harken and Lewmar. She has two 75hp Yanmar saildrives with Gori folding propellers.
Zero is a beautifully appointed vessel with a focus on performance, though you wouldn’t know it looking at the spacious, clean, modern interior that features a very sophisticated and stylish fit out. The SSS has a custom lay-out, and was commissioned by a local Australian client who plans a round the world trip, while also competing in racing events and regattas. Teak flooring on the transoms and cockpit give a feel of luxury and blend well with the modern white composite finish. Two impressive carbon wheels are used to control this beast, from steering stations set back and outward for a commanding view of the sails and foredeck.
The cockpit is stunning with wide open spaces, plenty of seating and a folding table aft. Two nice day beds, one each side and beautiful Teak flooring add a luxurious touch. A centre doorway then leads into the very comfortable and modern interior.
The interior layout of Zero even though a custom lay-out is very user friendly and will suit many owners as most require a master cabin for their use then two separate cabins for family and guests. The port hull has two separate en suite cabins with bunks set in the hulls, not up on bridgdeck as usual. Using the chamfer panel flare makes these spacious queen (or bigger) berths plus have the advantage of being lower and easier to access. The starboard hull is the very comfortable master cabin with a huge berth aft, plenty of storage and a luxury head and shower forward.
Plenty of deck hatches give great ventilation in the hulls then when you step up to the saloon and galley area – talk about hatches! The complete front cabin area opens up giving superb ventilation for tropical conditions, the big door and windows leading out to the cockpit allow airflow through this area which can be a heat trap if sheltered when at anchor.
A very comfortable practical saloon galley combination for both at anchor socialising and importantly while sailing thousands of ocean miles, the navigation station is set nicely forward facing against the bulkhead. Zero is very well set up with hot and cold everything, big refrigeration and freezers, hot water system and Spectra watermaker for all the comforts of home and air-conditioning for those stuffy nights usually in the marina.
Out on deck this design is all ‘stealth’ styling, razor-sharp lines, big flat side decks give easy safe access forward, huge trampoline areas and very sexy forward beam and prodder. Look aft and catch the cabin top angles and shade top edges, the styling is hard to beat!
Sailing systems are efficient and neat, a self-tacking jib set forward at deck level gives nice wide sheeting angles, the main sheet track easy and safe. The traveller is controlled by a Hutton electric clutch, very neat but needs checking for dump speed. A combination of manual and electric winches make these big cats easy to sail single handed, with the electric furlers being a really nice touch. A very sexy carbon mast and boom add some stylish quality to Zero, easy anchoring from the cockpit is a good option when shorthanded. Sails are state-of-the-art, with the main, jib and screecher setting very well, and I think there are a few secret weapons we have not seen yet hidden below!
It is fantastic to see a world-class luxury catamaran designed and built here in Australia, and to see owners who choose to support the local industry rather than moving offshore rewarded with a quality, competitively priced vessel – well done to all parties.
Okay admittedly I might be a little biased, but she is certainly the cat I want to point to in the anchorage when another sailor asks, “Which is your boat?”
+61 (0)2 4997 3322
STATE OF THE ART ... OR WORK OF ART!
by Jacinta Lipson
It is not often that an Australian boat builder can boast competing on the international stage against some of the most highly regarded offshore yacht builders! But that is exactly what Cure Composites custom yacht builders of Coolum Beach on the Sunshine Coast did in securing the build of yet another Schionning Designs vessel.
The discerning owner had a build criteria that stacked this Aussie boat builder up against some of the best worldwide.
To their credit Cure Composites won hands down and the finished build can only be classed as a testament to a well founded decision!
From all points Cure Composites latest build Zero, a G-Force 1800 SSS, will be in a class on her own! Incomparable in strength for weight ratio making for a fast yet ‘sure’ passagemaker whilst bringing to the Australian multihull industry a prestige generally only found with international vessels.
The owners’ stringent build criteria included – speed with no compromise on strength and style that incorporated space, comfort and a custom component that would have challenged most boat builders.
To meet this criteria it was obvious from the outset that Cure Composites had to draw on their vast experience in lightweight construction to incorporate the ultimate in weight for strength ratio. Right on target sea trials have borne this out and in a moderate breeze of 18k true on a reach this ‘dream machine’ clocked an amazing 24kts – easily! We will just have to wait to see what she can do with a slick crew in something a bit stiffer!
Ian McMahon, Director and Shipwright, the man behind the construction process, has around 17 boats to his credit whilst Dave Biggar also a director (with a similar build history) has an enviable sailing record and a reputation for being innovative in lightweight construction having spent some years on R & D for the truck body and caravan industries. It is the melding of these two talents, together with their handpicked build team that sets Cure Composites apart in yacht construction.
Without a doubt every corner of the vessel displays attention to detail and an innate sense in sourcing the best fittings and materials and an enduring commitment to the customisation right down to the specialised port lights.
From the personalised layout incorporating owner’s wing (so to speak) to the detailed cabinetry and superb upholstery (leather linings are just the beginnning) Cure have brought to life the owner’s vision for their world cruising multihull yacht.
Cure Composites, custom yacht builders have been quietly succeeding in the highly competitive Australian boat building industry throughout the GFC and before. With numerous builds to their credit including several multihulls – three of which have been Schionning Designs, G-Force 1600, Legend 60, G-Force 1800) and Reichel Pugh’s racing monohulls (including Black Jack 2) just to name a few it is easy to see why this medium sized operation draws in the discerning would be custom boat owner.
Cure’s regular build team is made up of many specialists in their field which is easily appreciated when admiring the hull finish, specialised rig and deck configuration (easily handled in all conditions), layout and feel that exudes their flair and depth of experience in the industry.
Specialising in custom builds this emerging leader in the Australian boat building industry is clearly forging a path to being a serious contender on the international market.
Zero – Cure Composites’ latest build is no exception and is yet another example of their uncompromising attention to detail coupled with their pride and passion for yacht building!