There is a lot of hype around the introduction of a new Alpha 42 catamaran set to be introduced to the world yachting market in the next weeks. Reputed to be very cool looking and forecast to be produced at a very low price, can it really be true?
Alpha 42 View from stern
This cat certainly promises to combine looks, performance, comfort and ease of handling all in one package. Billed as a 'high performance' cruising catamaran, it does have several innovative features which have been absent on production multihulls of this size before.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Alpha 42’s sleek lines is the reverse angle, wave piercing bows – the first on a production cruising cat. The purpose of reverse bows is basically to extend the waterline without adding weight and they reduce pitch.
Other benefits are a much more comfortable motion at sea and reduced windage. Wave-piercers are also easier to steer and maneuver in waves.
The new cat took some teamwork to produce the yacht: She is designed by Gregor Tarjan (a sports car enthusiast), President of Aeroyacht Ltd. in and engineered by Marc Anassis, President of Alpha Yachts.
'This boat is a collaboration between Marc and I,' Tarjan said recently. 'Marc engineered the boat structurally and did the hydrodynamics.
'I’m a yacht designer by trade, and I designed the exterior, interior, and every angle and color. Aeroyacht is the biggest multihull dealer worldwide. I’ve worked with customers from all walks of life, and with different boatyards and their considerations for this market. I selected the best design features of the 11 brands that I represent, and tried to incorporate them into this boat.'
'I basically designed this boat for myself,' Tarjan asserts. 'I can enjoy the performance, and it’s comfortable for my wife and two sons. We have very advanced hull shapes, and the boat is light enough to give you a good, spirited sail. You can sail around the world on it, and it’s a great boat for first-time owners. Half of the people I sell a boat to have never sailed a boat before, and many buyers of the Alpha 42 are couples who are downsizing from larger monohulls.'
The Alpha 42 will undoubtedly deliver class-leading performance, although it’s designed for easy safe handling by a cruising couple. 'A multihull is very different from a monohull,' explained Anassis, who has built more than 850 boats from 31 to 95 feet. 'If you’re caught with too much sail up on a monohull in rough weather – say 35 knots – it will heel and load the mast, but it will ‘breathe’ and relieve the pressure. A cruising cat doesn’t heel and won’t let the wind off, so it has to be very strong…but it also has to be very light.'
Auxiliary power is provided by two 30 horsepower Yanmar diesel engines with sail drives and 2-bladed fixed propellers. Options include 40-horsepower Yanmars and 3-bladed props (for either the 30-HP or 40-HP powerplants).
Buyers can customize their Alpha 42’s interior layout. The Owners Version has a full-length master suite in a 3-cabin, 2-head layout, while the Charter Version sleeps up to 8 in a 4-cabin, 4-head configuration. 'We have an open-plan interior, and this is one of the first boats in the world to have optional side-opening saloon windows,' said Tarjan. An integrated forward trampoline lounge has seating for six, and the optional folding bimini provides full weather protection.
The Alpha 42’s standard rig comprises aluminum spars and stainless steel standing rigging, an integrated carbon fibre bowsprit, a full-batten, square-top Dacron mainsail and a self-tacking, furling jib.
Alpha Yachts has received several deposits from buyers around the world, and the first boat is scheduled for launch in the next few weeks. For more information, visit www.alpha1composites.com and www.aeroyacht.com.