The brand new GUNBOAT G4 port tacks a stacked multihull fleet at the start of Day 1 of Les Voiles de St. Barth
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Video and ink From Bill Springer
After test-flying the fully-foiling G4 from Gunboat in St. Martin for the last several days, I can’t stop smiling. And I’m sure any of the lucky few that were there for the first flights would agree. Words, and even the remarkable photos of the first days of G4 flight can’t fully capture what it feels like to sail/fly aboard a 40-fo0t catamaran that’s not only capable of hitting 31.9 knots with a crew of non-pro sailors, but is also equipped with comfy bunks, and 360-degree visibility in the large main saloon, and even a kitchen sink and a fridge for cripes sake! And wait till you see how big the cockpit is. So I’m not even going to try.
Just watch this video. And be sure to watch it on a high-rez computer in full-screen mode. And oh yea, turn the volume up. This is what pure speed sounds like. And this is only a taste. Be sure to watch for my full report in a upcoming issue of Boat International and for much more info, including a stunning video from Gunboat that shows much, much more than just the underside of the bridgedeck!
And if you really want to see what the future looks like in person, head on down to Saint Barth’s for Les Voiles next week, or Antigua Sailing Week later this month. The G4 is sure to be one of the main attractions.
Lots of very smart people have been working to develop and produce a reliable, affordable, effective, and lightweight electric/hybrid electric system to be used on yachts for decades! And I’m not going to bore you with the details of all the electric yacht motors that were launched with great fanfare only to flounder on the rocks of electrical engineering reality. But after spending a large and fascinating chunk of time with Oceanvolt‘s Janne Kjellman (a very smart engineer from Finland), I’m going to make a not so dramatic prediction: These folks have figured it out.
And the groundbreaking Gunboat G4 that’s just about to literally “fly” (it looks fast even on a concrete floor, doesn’t it) out of the Dutch boatyard where it was built is making the most of this game-changing technology. And be sure to watch for the full story of the G4 and other disruptive designs that will be running in an upcoming issue of Boat International.
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One thing is seeing a render and wonder if these guys (Gunboat & Holland Composites) are really targeting the 40′ carbon light cruiser to foil… but having an image of the ‘TNZ’ foil production mold is a big proof of their intentions.
We’ve seen the 72s and the GC32s stable flights, so the technology is proven, although getting that package on a cabin cat will be a shocking sight if any, and I wonder of the logistics/systems to be implemented to handle such a machine, as is not targeted for a full racing crew.
More info of the production plans at gunboat.com
Plugs for Gunboat G4 daggerboards. These large lifting foils will make the G4 the first flying cruising boat.
More info on gunboat.com