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Down East? Definitely… Down Under? Absolutely!

by John Curnow, Editor, 6 Mar 2019 22:00 UTC
Composites Constructions new 48-foot Down East style high performance cruiser © Composites Constructions

Many renderings of new or concept boats get pushed around the Internet. Looking at the one above, you would think we too have fallen into that very trap, but there is a difference. It's a big one, actually.

So whilst the renders get reviewed by many, and talked about by some, a lot of the vessels under consideration never come into being. The case in point here, Composites Constructions' (CC) 48-footer, differs from just about all of them. It is not the step in the sheer line, yet we'll come to that in a bit. Neither is it the Down East styling that is being created very much Down Under, for she resides is the Melbourne suburb of Braeside, by the way.

No, it is simply that she is already in construction, as such, well her moulds are anyway... This is before the final interior is completely specced, and she has been whisked away by her owner. Importantly, and in terms of the latter, you can be that very person who not only gets to steer her, but drive her creative development, as well. Yes you can have this mid-30 knot, vac-bagged, vinylester resin-infused E Glass flyer right now.

Over time, Steve Campbell's company has now grown to occupy the factory next door. They are known for high-end carbon race yachts, wicked 23-foot ski boats, and then a range of products for the automotive, marine, and aeronautical industries. There is no shortage of expertise when it comes to lightweight, strong, and durable composite structures.

It is important to bear all of that in mind when considering their interpretation of the venerable lobster boat. That is because she will be light for size at something like 12 metric tonnes, have genuine bluewater credentials, just look at the flare of the bow, a Euro-esque styling theme including items like black chrome (think AMG Black Series), and then the carbon flourishes that CC is so famous for. Then, to giver that important open feel, the pilothouse windows will swing down into the superstructure.

She is completely naval architect designed for her hull, and then collaboratively inspired for her sheer line and deckhouse. The CC48 is very much Steve's baby, and lends herself to day boat or weekender duties superbly. She will run Volvo's 425hp supercharged and turbocharged 5.5l inline sixes into twin pod drives, which means high 20s cruise, and low 30s WOT. Getting there and back in a hurry and with a minimum of fuss and bother, and really enjoying your time on station, is very much part of her plan. If you want to see what these are like in real life, please see our review of the Riviera 39SMY, which uses the exact same system.

Yet it is that form, with the significant volume up for'ard so that she does not go down the mine, the deep V and near plumb bow with knuckle out of the water for cut through, and then flat running surface that will add air and grace to the gorgeous tumblehome and stylish, not quite Zeelander convex transom. Adding the slight step in the sheer line may pay homage to the great game boats, but since when is that an issue. For me, it is more than kind of cool, adds to interior space, reduces spray, and keeps the cockpit coaming to a manageable height.

She will be constructed using 100-kilo foam below the waterline and 80 above. The inherent strength in that mould is testament to ensuring that when bagged up, the whole structure remains true. Her only longitudinal runners are the engine mounts, also set in during the cure, with the remainder of her strength coming from bonded and bagged in bulkheads, and that 30mm shell she comprises of.

In the cockpit, the deck mould will sit in and over, and the rest of the vessel will have a return flange system both glued in and glassed over, so the CC48 will become a monocoque structure upon completion. All of that just means strong. Really strong... Then, to continue the weight reduction programme, her internal furnishings will utilise carbon both structurally, and aesthetically.

At this time, she is destined to have 2000l of juice on board, with an optional additional tonne if you are going long range. She will carry 500l of fresh water, and is semi-customisable. Campbell commented on that, "Absolutely. That is the whole thing about this project. We are not going to lock anyone into anything. If they want to change it around they can. That is the beauty of this scenario. Apart form the main structural features, and maybe the head, it is all up to you how she looks in the end. All single bunks, single or twin helm positions, more galley space, less seating, and so forth. You choose."

"With the inline powerplants, we are envisioning a drop box into the cockpit sole, where boards, SUPs and so forth can all be stowed. This is a family boat, and kids need toys, like doughnuts, wake boards, and storage for all of them could be a problem. So we think this is a great way to deal with it all. For me, this will be a key feature of the boat", said Campbell.

Being Australian the focus is on ventilation, as opposed to sun exposure. Yet the extended overhang of the pilothouse deckhead over the cockpit could have a retractable awning for those seeking to bake. Then too, clears or flyscreens right around is also part of the equation for those seeking added protection. Yes. Me likey the CC48. A lot.

Two not one now, and Aquila have recently released a 30-foot powercat. She compliments their existing range from 48 to 36, and it looks like there is plenty more to come, both up and down the scale. We recently drove a brand new 36 with joystick control over her Mercury 300 Verados, and it was wonderful to come back to the boat we dubbed 'The Great Entertainer' two years ago, for this is exactly what the owner of this brand new, fully zhooshed up delight is aiming to do with friends and family. Stay tuned for more on that, including a new video.

The first of the Aquila 36s with the foil have been produced, and it does improve economy and ride. Obvioulsy, she does draw more, however. The new 30 is also available with foils, so it will be great to see how that unfolds, and we await the complete details. One thing is certain, however, that marvellous fit and finish we commented on way back when doing our test of the 44 in Lots to Love, will be prevalent in bucket loads.

Moving on, and Pat Jones is the Founder of Waverider. He knows a thing or two about this foiling caper. After all, he's been at it since the 80s when he got a flat bottom barge to handle offshore conditions whilst foiling. He's always had big plans, like getting to Noumea swiftly from his base on Australia's Sunshine Coast, and on just the one tank of fuel. When we started talking about all the new, high horsepower outboards he got very inspired. When I mentioned Cox's soon-to-be-with-us 300hp Diesel, you felt he could almost see his dream come to reality.

The big thing is that foiling offshore is way different to flat water. As Jones says, "Usually not the area hydrofoils work well in, owing to the complex swells and wind chop on top, but we have overcome most of the issues with our unique hull design fully submerged hydrofoil combo." For now, they have been working at under 7m, but that is all about capital, and less about proficiency.

As for efficiency, well the little WR550 5.5m plate boat (5mm bottom, 4mm sides and 3mm deck) with the 130hp Yamaha with the 17" screw on the transom pod does 38 knots on her foils in flat water, and 35 off them. Big deal I hear you say, but then remember her design parameters and special mission offshore in choppy conditions! Here she'll do 28 atop her 'legs' and only 20 off them. Every hour you are now almost 50% better off and some eight nautical miles further down the track.

Then, and do please take notice of this, you'll discover that she has only burned the one litre of fuel to do it (with foils deployed at 25 knots from 4500 rpm). Yes. That's 1.12l/nm (or 28lph), which means she can do something like 120nm off her 150l tank, with 30 in reserve. Can't think of many things this side of a solar powered tinny with that sort of effort. We have a lot more content surrounding this boat, but I think we may even go and drive it soon, it sounds so brilliant.

There is a genuine element of globalness inherent in our name, So we now turn our attention away from Australian shores somewhat.

Given the growth in all manner of craft being driven by outboards, you could hardly be surprised by the following. Yamaha released the brutal 425hp model, all on the back of both volume and value increases for 2018. It was interesting to see that the 5.6% rise in outboards took Yamaha Marine Division to USD3.13B, which is 54% of the division that collectively makes it 20.6% of the total for the engineering powerhouse, and second to motorcycles. That makes marine a more than significant sector for them.

On the back of a comment about outboards, you feel like you immediately have to add centre console really quickly. Like express, which is the kind of pace these boats now do. This is one rapidly expanding segment, as the need for quick, fun, easy to use and handle dayboat/weekenders rises to match everyone's time constraints in this modern world. And do they have amenities absolutely. Showers, BBQs, retractable awnings, aircon and generous accommodation under deck. Best of all, they are eminently stackable at a harbour near you, so maintenance becomes less of an issue.

Quickly before we go, I just have to say, they're back. And how! Like many, a few years ago now I thought we had seen the sad and sorry death of a legend. Then a cheeky 35 appeared, paying full homage to the original, and still very pretty to this day, 31. That's the one that started it all. Now we have the new 61, which is a 40+knot flyer courtesy of her twin 1900hp Cats. There's the step-down sheer line, with an angular drop at the cockpit, which goes all the way back to the 46 and 42. Those old ones cruised at 20, this new marvel does so at 35. Like wow. Thought we had lost forever Bertie the eagle nestled very proudly inside the deep V that created the genre a generation ago. So it is really good to see that there was part phoenix in that avian DNA...

OK. Today you will find that we have information for you about Nanni Diesel, Perini Navi's awesome 25m Eco Tender, what to do when you see a flare, Bayliss 75 has her maiden voyage, Lyman Morse rebuild a gem, the Pacific Sail and Powerboat Show, Azimut, Riviera, Q Marine surface drives, Monte Carlo Yachts, Alia 16m dayboat, Beneteau get foiling, sound by Fusion, Mercury 400, solar powered Silent 55, gizmos by Videoworks, Zeelander on the go, as well as much more.

As you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other parts of the group, go to the top of the Powerboat-World home page and the drag down menu on the right, select the site you want to see and, voila, it's all there for you.

Speak with you again, very, very soon. Time to go boating now...

John Curnow

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