The new Bill Dixon-designed cruising cat from Discovery Yachts is a truly luxurious world voyager built to the highest standards (Published Spring 2010)
In the past decade, Discovery Yachts has become a significant new player in the semi-custom luxury yacht scene in England, Europe and North America. Competing with builders like and others, the Discovery 55 and 67 have established the company as true master boat builders who can deliver thoughtfully designed, finely-built yachts in a reasonable time frame and at reasonable prices . . .if you consider the fact that the pricing is at the top end of the market.
In 2010, Discovery’s founders John and Caroline Charnley launched the new Discovery 50 to meet the needs of world cruisers who want to sail the seven seas and explore the world in a finely built yacht that sails on the level—a catamaran.
The new boat was designed by Bill Dixon, engineered by High Modulus Engineering and has an interior designed by Kevin Feivokh, all top professionals in their specific fields. Built by the same craftsmen who have made their monohulls so sought after, the new 50 Catamaran has a shining pedigree.
The new 50’s look is distinctive, with businesslike hulls topped by a blister-style cabin that has rakish tinted windows in a kind of cat’s eye design. The vertical ports in the hulls are unique and will let light pour into the cabins below decks.
The hulls, bridge deck and nacelle are all molded in one piece, so the structure is very strong and light. With the nacelle running from the bows all the way aft under the bridge deck, the incidence of wave slapping under the bridge deck will be greatly reduced. Plus, the nacelle adds interior space for deck storage forward and for the large stateroom forward of the saloon.
The cockpit is self-bailing and has been set up with the helm to starboard, where a helmsperson and a mate can sit while on watch. Visibility forward from the helm is good and you can see the port bow if you stand up and look over the coach roof; this is a real plus when docking on the port side.
The cockpit table will seat six for al fresco meals outside and there is another curved bench seat to starboard when you have company. Molded into the deck on either side of the cockpit are curved reclining nooks that will be excellent for sunning and whiling away hours at sea. A hard bimini that can be fitted over the cockpit has been shaped to flow in the same curve as the coach roof so it looks like an integral part of the design and not a boxy afterthought.
To make the 50 as easy for a couple to sail as possible, the standard boat comes equipped with an in-mast roller furling mainsail and a roller furling self-tacking jib. The jib sheet leads aft to a winch at the helm so you can adjust trim without having to leave the wheel. The mainsail is controlled with a Harken traveler aft. The mainsheet can be trimmed at the electric winch on the after bridge deck, or led forward along the boom and then back to the helm.
For downwind work, a cruising chute or free flying reacher can be flown from the small bowsprit. Or, if you are running squarely before the wind, you can tack down the running sail to the windward bow.
On the foredeck, the anchor system is virtually self-tending. The anchor is launched and retrieved with an electric windlass that can be controlled from the helm. The chain and rode stow neatly in the forward end of the nacelle; a 40-kilo Delta anchor and 200 feet of chain come standard with the boat. A stern anchor roller is also provided on the transom for a lightweight kedge.
The 50 has several available layouts to suit your needs, and in fact, each boat will be tailor made (or, as the British say, “bespoke”). The owner’s version places a queen size berth forward in a cabin that spans the boat’s beam. A small desk or vanity is provided to starboard and a sofa is built in to port. Two heads service the master cabin so you can have “his” and “hers” commodes.
The guest cabins are aft in the two hulls. On the plan, twin berths are shown in one cabin, with a walk-around double berth in the other. These can be customized as necessary. Both cabins have their own heads and all of the heads aboard have separate shower stalls.
The saloon has a large dinette to port and two built-in easy chairs opposite. The galley stretches across the whole forward end of the saloon and has an island counter as well. The work spaces around the sinks and stove are equipped with fiddles that will keep water from migrating freely in bumpy conditions and will keep knives and bowls on the counter where they belong. A side loading fridge-freezer, oven and broiler are built in underneath the counter top, while the four-burner stove is mounted on the counter. The galley is modern, stylish and the focus of the whole saloon—just the way it should be on a liveaboard boat.
The Discovery 55 (monohull) had many innovations, including a dinette under the raised saloon from which you can see outside while sitting down, and a raised chart table that allows you to keep a vigilant lookout from the warmth and comfort of the saloon.
Aboard the new 50, both innovations are standard. Visibility from inside the saloon will give you a 360 degree panorama of the anchorage or sea around you. And, the raised chart table has been situated so it faces forward with an excellent view of the sea around you, the bows and the headsail. In inclement weather, crew will be able to stand watch from the saloon while keeping a vigilant eye on the horizon, radar and chartplotter.
The new Discovery 50 is the fruit of a lot of sailing and boat building experience. The Charnleys founded Sunsail and have cruised together extensively, and John has completed a singlehanded transatlantic race.
The 50 is perfect for a couple or family who want a true oceangoing yacht that was designed and built from the keels up to be fast, safe and fun to sail, with
an extremely high degree of safety and seakindliness. Into this package, the builders have placed a truly luxurious yacht-style interior with a decidedly modern flare. The finish work is excellent and the selection of hardware and fitments are of the best quality. For cruising on the level, the Discovery 50 is setting new standards.
Displacement 29,700 lbs.
Sail area 1,168 sq. ft.
Fuel 238 gals.
Water 211 gals.
Ph: +44 (0)23-8086-5580