From a go-anywhere rig to a cat that carries an eVTOL and mini-submarine, here are our favorite twin-hulled marvels.
Courtesy Silent Yachts
Are two hulls better than one? If the array of new build and new concept catamarans are anything to go by, it’s a question the yachting industry appears to increasingly be asking.
Celebrity endorsement in the shape of Rafael Nadal has certainly helped raise awareness of the category, but beyond the tennis ace’s custom Sunreef 80 Power, more and more yacht owners are coming to see that cats are worthy of their attention: The twin hull design delivers larger volumes, greater stability, as well as increased efficiency and speed when compared to its monohull equivalent.
Beyond leisure cruising in shallow, tropical waters, today’s class of catamarans are being primed for global expeditions. The category is also shining bright with early prototypes demonstrating how yachting is going green, such as the hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered power-cat tender by America’s Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand.
From classic models to rugged explorers and support vessels to a hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered cat, here are seven stellar twin-hulled vessels that show how versatile the power-catamaran design can be.
Astilleros Armon’s ‘Wayfinder’
The second big cat–following the stealth-like 217.2-foot Hodor–in the Incat Crowther ShadowCat series, Wayfinder launched from Spain’s Astilleros Armon in 2021 as a support vessel to a superyacht. It’s already been spotted in the Mediterranean, dutifully playing its supporting role to the mothership. At 223.8-feet long, and with a 45.9-foot beam, the shadow boat has extra storage space for the mothership, a games room and an outdoor area all rolled into one, with a collection of extra features including a helipad, helicopter hanger, spare parts workshop, medical facilities, a flower room and a pickleball court. There is also space for a main crew of 18, with extra space for 14 supplemental crew or service staff.
Silver Yachts’ ‘SpaceCat’
In October 2022, SpaceCat emerged from Silver Yachts in Fremantle, Western Australia, the first multihull delivery from the Australian yacht builder behind the naval-styled explorer yacht Bold. Like the yard’s monohulls, the superyacht bears the signature of yacht designer Espen Øino who has described the category as the “SUV” of the sea for its potential to first divide opinion and then perhaps dominate the market. A compact 118.1-foot length hides an impressive 4,306 square feet of space across the tri-deck configuration; the largest being the 2,174 square-foot main deck. The series has been designed with owners who may want to own more than one. “The yachts could be positioned on three main continents; one in Asia, one in the Mediterranean, and one in the Caribbean, avoiding any hassle of repositioning and non-availability to use the vessel,” said the shipyard said in a statement at SpaceCat’s launch.
Abeking & Rasmussen’s ‘Nurja’
When delivered in 2008, the 134.6-foot Silver Cloud stood out for its amphibian appearance and full-width helipad on the upper deck, but what attracted the most attention was her swath (small waterplane area twin-hulled) design, the first time such a concept had been seen in the superyacht fleet. The owner chose Abeking & Rasmussen for the build for a reason. He was impressed by the German yard’s proven success with the swath platform in its military and commercial builds. He believed the stability would offer an antidote to his wife’s seasickness, an assumption that was proven correct. In December 2020, the yacht changed hands and is now known as Nurja.
Sunreef’s 80 Eco
At last year’s Monaco Yacht Show, the largest yacht may have been Lürssen’s sleek 378-foot motoryacht Ahpo but, across the port, a catamaran less than a quarter of the size was turning just as many heads. With over 1,700 square feet of solar panels seamlessly integrated into her hull, superstructure, mast and bimini roof, the 80-foot Sunreef 80 Eco is a vision of the future, with fully electric propulsion for silent cruising. Along with smart innovations, including a rainwater collection system for washing down the deck and the ability to use her solar panels to heat up the boiler, there’s also plenty of proof that going green doesn’t mean compromising on luxury: The interiors are finished with sustainable materials, including natural fabrics and salvaged teak to reach the exacting standards of superyacht comfort.
Equipped with an electric-hybrid drive system, as well as both solar panels and hydr0-generation technology to top up battery power, the French-built Windelo 50 Adventure can reach both the wilds of Patagonia and the palm trees of the Pacific Islands at minimal cost to the environment. Scratch the surface of its classic catamaran aesthetic for more eco-friendly innovations like a hull constructed from a composite material of basalt and PET foam from recycled plastic bottles. These upcycled materials reduce carbon emissions by almost 50 percent compared to traditional materials. The interiors haven’t been ignored either: It’s a modern, functional design emphasizing sustainably sourced wood. The first of this series earned a special mention for sustainability at the European Yacht of the Year 2022 awards.
Profab Central Engineering’s ‘The Beast’
With its thick gray, geometric stripes that stand out against the endless blue of the South Pacific of its home waters, there’s nothing inconspicuous about The Beast. Delivered in 2019 by New Zealand’s Profab Central Engineering, the 128.7-foot vessel is billed as the ultimate adventure charter yacht, equipped with scuba diving equipment, wakeboards, SUPs, a waterbike and even a 42.7-foot sport fishing vessel called Baby Beast. The twin-hull design adds to its personality, says its charter manager, Ben Osborne from 37South in Auckland, New Zealand. “The extra volume allows The Beast to carry larger tenders and more equipment—setting it up perfectly for exploration—style cruising, while not sacrificing on the interior spaces,” he told Robb Report. The interior is styled like a Manhattan bachelor pad and can sleep 12 guests in five cabins.
Silent 120 Explorer
Proof that 007-style toys are no longer the sole domain of football pitch-sized yachts, the Silent 120 Explorer’s onboard stash includes a U-Boat Worx Nemo submarine and Xcraft eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft. And, true to sustainable super-spy form, rooftop solar panels slide open to reveal a smartly concealed e-VTOL touch-and-go landing pad. A generous 45.4-foot beam—plus the space saved by its solar and electric propulsion systems—is what makes such cool cruising extras possible on a boat of this size. Another of the new wave of cats designed for carbon-free adventure cruising, this latest project builds on the Austrian company’s previous all-electric launches, such as the Silent 60. The first 120 Explorer is set to hit the water in 2024.