Monday, March 17, 2014


If Jef Schionning was an European it would be designing catamarans for the main production shipyards but it is an Australian, away from the main production centers and in the end that is maybe a good thing in what regards design. It seems odd but the fact that Jef has not being so much pressed by production companies into designing what they think it would be a good mass production cat, with its huge space and interior volume, probably has contributed for the maintenance of his basic philosophy through all his line: Fast light weight catamarans with  slim hulls, daggerboards, reduced windage with rounded or inclined cabins to dissipate wave energy in case of breaking waves and rudder kick up system to prevent damage from contact with submerged debris.

Because there is not around him a market for mass production cats they specialized themselves in designing simple to built cats for the small professional boat builder and amateur, developing a support system for builders. amazingly and contrary to what generally happens with this kind of designs provided by NA, they are not slightly outdated but really innovative cutting edge designs and one of the more interesting is the new Arrow 1200 :
This cat looks amazingly good for a 12 m Catamaran and that is incredible since it was designed taking into account the easiest way of building a boat, dispensing all the curved surfaces and being all made with flat panels. It ended up with an aggressive and kind of "stealth" looks, one that screams "fast boat" and in this case quite adequately.
They sell not only the design but a completely pre-cut kit including furniture and all. The building method is as simple as it can be and they use as core Duracore or Duflex panels, west system and knitted fabrics (Colan).
This allows for a very light cat (5000kg) that they say will reach easily 15k and will have a max speed over 20k. The design is very beamy to increase power and stability (6.5m) and has a huge sail area for the weight but a manageable one with main and a self tacking jib (105m2). Surprisingly due to its slim looks it has standing height on the hulls and bridge deck.
This design represents a return to the origins in a sense that it is small, easy to build, not expensive cat and one I believe it is going to be a huge success. Jef Schionning designs have become more complex bigger and difficult to build and most of them are built professionally. Have a look at this movie. Nice cats ;-)

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