by Jeni Bone
According to broker, Ian Swan, the future of luxury boating in Australia is power cats, and specifically, the new generation of Powerplay Catamarans, which are fuel efficient, bigger volume, stable, ready for endurance or sprint speeds.
Powerplay Catamarans was established by award winning boat builder and designer James Dewing in 2000 in Townsville, Queensland Australia.
Dewing starting building power catamarans of a type unique in the commercial and recreational segment of the power boat market. The beautiful lines and blend of curves made his designs unique and utterly contemporary. At that time, the range then consisted of boats from between 12.5 and 18 metres.
Some of the boats Powerplay Catamarans have launched and delivered include a 1280 model (currently chartered in the Whitsunday Islands), a 48ft model which is currently chartered at Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic and a 56ft model which is privately owned and also located in at Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic.
This particular boat was displayed at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, Florida in October 2003. A 56ft model privately owned and located in Palm Beach, Florida. And three 52 ft Sportfish versions which include one for a local Townsville buyer and one shipped to Saint Marteen in the Caribbean.
In 2010, Powerplay Catamarans became Powerplay Catamarans International and moved its production to Zhuhai, China in order to provide high quality at an affordable price.
'The main attribute of the Powerplay range is the spacious layout featuring the stateroom on the same level as saloon with forward windows, then there's the fuel efficiency, which appeals to every market – no matter what anybody says,' states Ian Swan.
In general, performance has been measured as: a maximum speed of 22 knots with 315hp engine, and a cruising speed of 15-18 knots. Range is 1500nm with 4000L of fuel. Economy is stated as: 24 knots 110L/hour, 20 knots 75L/hour, 16 knots 50L/hour and 10 knots 20L/hour.
Another feature is the customisation owners can enjoy throughout the whole build process, from layout to engineering. 'This is a boat for somebody who knows exactly what they want,' he adds.
'They can choose pod or shaft drive and any configuration of the interior. With these boats, the layout is so good: You have the master cabin on same level as saloon, with the galley behind it, so you have an owner’s unit with incredible viewing from all sides, all on the same level.
'There are also two large Queen-sized cabins which can have ensuites as well. There’s plenty of power, plenty of range, plenty of water, and you can make more water onboard.'
Being all things to all people, the target market is logically anybody and everybody.
'There are guys who’ve have owned motoryachts before, and when they go to a 60ft cat they get 75ft volume! You get massive volume for living, entertaining and storage for all your watersports gear. It’s easy to operate and manoeuvre, suits families, couples, solo people since it’s a cinch to operate.'
So far, the concept has proven popular in Perth, Queensland and Tasmania, where long range cruising is common, and the Powerplay range delivers, just as it does for day trips and entertaining.
Available now is the company’s intended ‘showboat’, a 60PP which is well on the way to being completed. 'There is time for some input from a purchaser. Fully optioned, delivered to Brisbane, taxes paid, it will be under $2m. The factory also has three underway at present all due to arrive shortly in Australia,' says Swan.
'Compared to the original catamaran designs, which were very boxy in shape, Powerplay Catamarans look great on the water. The hulls are fair and blend into a curve at the rear to culminate in a boarding platform. The platforms have radial stairs allowing easy access from your tender or from the dock to the main saloon level.'
Their innovative hulls make them more efficient and therefore more economical to run compared to many other designs. The engine-rooms also give access to the steering rams and rudderpost. Cockpit mounted stainless steel and glass gates can be closed to increase safety at sea.
Another innovative feature is the inclusion of forward boarding stairs, designed to make it easier to embark and disembark directly into the sea or onto a suitable beach – ideal for divers. These stairs stow easily up under the forward catwalk area when not in use. This is done either manually or electrically depending on options selected.
There are several layouts designed to suit your needs.
The newest design now includes a queen sized bedroom on the main deck as well as a fully appointed kitchen/breakfast bar and lounge area. There are options available for up to 4 cabins in the lower areas, for those having extra accommodation needs.
The fly-bridge is fully air-conditioned and appointed with the latest mod-cons.
The other major options available are extended fly-bridge length as well as an extended transom which acts as an excellent fishing platform for those inclined.
The availability of various dingy stowage positions caters for the differing requirements of the owners. The dingy can be stowed either on the traditionally positioned aft davits, on the extended area of the fly-bridge with crane or up forward across the bows, also with a crane fitted.
'Special attention to detail is given to the finishing touches of every Powerplay Catamaran that leaves the shipyard. James Dewing, our boat-builder and designer, is on site in his full time capacity as QC to check that all relevant Standards are adhered to throughout the construction.'
More at http://www.swansuperlines.com/index.php?id=208