The demand for performance cruising cats seems to increase every year and new boats are coming on the market every few months. There is no doubt a lot of the innovative design work today is in multihull design. So it is not much of a surprise to see a company like North Wind decide to introduce a radically new performance cat of their own.
North Wind is the builder of fine, moderate displacement cruising monohulls. Based in Barcelona, the company has been in business for more than a generation. Their boats are blue water quality in much the same vein as Oyster, Discovery and Hallberg-Rassy. The craftsmanship that goes into the monohulls is very high quality and over recent years the composite work has kept up with the trends to make boats lighter and stiffer.
The company is run by Enrique Ribadot whose passion for the sea and boat building is infectious. And, his enthusiasm for the future is evident in how excited he was to introduce the design of the new North Wind 55 performance cruising catamaran, which he did in France last spring at Le Salon de Multicoque in La Grande Motte.
The new design is by Francois Perus and Romain Scolari, who designed the new Pulse for Corsair and the award winning Slyder 47. These young innovators have done a lot of work on performance multihulls and have pioneered some of the work being done on foils for cruisers. Underwater appendage and performance foil expert Gonzalo Rendondo engineered the daggerboards and foils and assisted in the design of the underwater hull shapes.
The 55 will have a light weight, cored hull with dreadnaught style bows and a long run aft on the transoms. The intent is to maximized waterline length while keeping weight out of the ends of the hulls to dampen the pitching motion that can affect performance in lighter cats.
Owners can choose to have either straight daggerboards that will enhance upwind sailing or they can go with J-foils that will in fact lift the hulls in the water to reduce resistance but won’t be expected to make the boat fly on the foils except in the most controlled circumstances. The rudders can either be straight balanced fins or they can have T-ends for stability with the foil option.
The boat comes with two helms set outside the confines of the cabin top where visibility forward will be excellent. You will be exposed to the weather and hull spray at these helms but all you have to do is switch to the windward side to avoid spray or to the leeward side for some protection from rain.
The rig design shows a tall mast with a large square topped mainsail. The jib is to be run to a curved traveler and is self-tacking. There is room forward to rig three head sails, a jib, a genoa and a downwind sail. All halyards and control lines run aft to the cockpit via conduits so the decks remain clean and uncluttered.
The styling for the 55 will be elegant modern. The saloon is dominated by a large dining table with places for up to eight. This is a lovely and truly European feature since our cousins across the pond in Europe spend many an hour around their tables, eating, talking and drinking wine. To port there is a good looking galley while to starboard is a large L-shaped sofa with the home-entertainment center just forward of it. The saloon is surrounded by tinted glass that will provide a 360 degree view. Privacy or sun protection is provided by Venetian blinds.
There are a number of interior cabin options on offer and each owner will be able to customized the boat’s interior to a large degree. The important aspect of the interior will be the craftsmanship of the North Wind builders and Enrique’s very high standards.
If you are looking at an HH Cat, a Gunboat, an Outremer or a Balance cat, you might want to add the new North Wind 55 to your list. The first boat has not been built yet but the boat yard is ready to lay the keels for the right owners.
For more information: www.northwindyachts.com.