I must admit, I like modern yacht design. And even more I like modern catamarans like the gunboats, the mattia slyder, the SIG 45, the new Outremers or the new Dazcats from England, only to name a few. However, most of them are (way) out of my budget.
Not only for that reason I was looking at the flat panel construction method used by Schionning Designs Australia. When they introduced the Arrow 1200 in 2013 I was really overwhelmed. Their previous G-Force designs were stunning – but were not as easy to build.
The Arrow design is a 100% flat panel construction which keeps the building process fast and simple. Still, Jeff Schionning did an excellent job not making the boat look like an Ikea cupboard. In fact, the Catamaran looks pretty much the same as the latest G-Force designs.
However, the underwater section seems quite edgy in comparison to the rounded hull bottoms. The question is – does it have an effect on the performance? I couldn´t say, but for us wanting a family cruiser the boat should definitely be fast enough! Jeff gives an estimate of 20+ knots top speed …
Surely to fast for little Jamie! But I believe that good speed is a safety feature, being able to avoid bad weather when making passages of 500 nm in 2-3 days instead of 4-5 days on a mono. Of course the speed depends on keeping the boat light and on good quality sailcloth but I am sure we will not be disappointed.
Drag is another key for good speed. This is one of the reasons why Jeff designed the Arrow 1200 with a single retractable outboard under the bridgedeck. Being used to having two diesels in my catamaran I first thought no! But thinking it over made the idea more and more favourable.
It saves money and weight. Outboards are reliable and easy to maintain. There is no drag. Disadvantages: poor maneuverability, need for up- and downhaul. Petrol on board. We’ll see. If it doesn’t work we still can go for diesels.
The accomodation and interior layout works just fine for us. If you want a catamaran that doesn’t look like a flaoting wedding cake you can not expect four 200 cm wide bunks with ensuite bathrooms. Of course we could have gone longer. There is supposed to be an Arrow 1400 on the drawing board at the moment. But since we are mostly sailing Northern European waters with their narrow marinas and city harbours the 12 meters of our catamaran seem enough. The two queen sized bunks (140 cm) are surely sufficient for our needs. One head and shower should be ok for family cruising, just like the galley/saloon and outside area.