The question is: What do you get when you apply the amazing toughness and creative thought of Garcia Yachts’ award winning monohull cruising designs to a multihull concept?
The answer? A completely new kind of cat.
The Garcia Exploration 45, 52 and 60 define the French aluminum go-anywhere type. Built in aluminum and engineered to take on the most challenging cruising environments, they are tough, comfortable and practical, with features throughout that make any sailor wonder why all boats aren’t built that way.
Some cruisers are drawn to the space and motion of catamarans. Until now the choice in cats has been between comfortable, heavier fiberglass boats and lighter, speedier fiberglass ones. Neither type seems appropriate for the tough expedition style cruising Garcia owners plan for.
The designers at Garcia thought that they could apply the Garcia monohull approach to catamarans. This approach has developed over decades in the Garcia yards, and further enhanced by input from such cruising luminaries as Jimmy Cornell. The result has met or exceeded expectations. Tough aluminum construction, extremely careful design, and the catamaran concept fit together seamlessly. This is a vessel that will take on the biggest cruising and voyaging challenges with comfort and unparalleled safety.
The cutter configuration, with a square-head main provide plenty of sail area upwind (167 m2, 1798 ft2) while the gennaker spreads an impressive (185 m2, 1991 ft2) area downwind. The displacement of 18.9 tons reflects the Explocat’s load carrying ability for extended expeditions. Excellent insulation throughout will make this a warm as well as cold-weather boat, as has been proven by previous Garcia monohulls.
On deck, the cat features an aft helm and cockpit but also a forward cockpit where the crew can enjoy the fresh breeze in good weather. This cockpit will be where the wind-in-the-hair crowd will gather.
The aft cockpit is covered by the cabin top that extends aft, which also houses the built-in solar panels. This is definitely the place where the yacht’s entire crew, and in fact crews from around the anchorage, could socialize in comfort. There is ample side deck room to move around the boat and of course there is netting between the hulls forward.
The halyards are gathered together at a central console in the forward cockpit along with a couple of winches. The sheets and mainsail controls are found strategically placed around the aft cockpit, accessible but not cluttering the area or standing in the way of comfortably moving about.
The main salon features the galley, navigation station/helm seat and a large dinette. This configuration will be the focal point of the boat under way, with everyone close at hand under way and at mealtimes and 360-degree visibility. The galley and other component choices are largely borrowed from the proven Garcia monohulls.
There are multiple possible configurations for the hull interior design. On the port side there is a double berth aft and two singles forward and a choice between one and two head configurations. On the starboard side a larger master head can be specified instead of the two singles, plus two other configurations as well. The modular nature of catamaran design provides some interesting options.
The designers at Garcia utilize the same software as Boeing to create the uncompromising structural integrity of the boat. Forty-five years of aluminum boatbuilding skill goes into the construction. Garcia also taps into the skills and resources of its partners in the Grand Large Group, Allures Yachting and Outremer Yachting.
Swiftsure’s own Kevin Bray has been on hand at the factory watching the first Explocats take shape while helping commission monohulls that Swiftsure has recently sold. He attests to the rigorous attention to detail throughout the process. He came away from the sea trial very impressed, particularly with the acceleration out of tacks and the rigidity of the boat. “The lee shrouds didn’t go slack at all,” he says. He also noted the Explocat’s sea kindliness and lack of slamming. “There are very open, wide decks,” he adds. “It’s a very clean setup.”
Kevin will be on hand to keep track of construction and commissioning of any Explocat ordered through Swiftsure Yachts.
Contact us to find out more about the Explocat 52.