Skoota Power Cats
|In September 2010 I
was very pleased to announce the launch of my first powercat design, the
trailable Skoota 20 (although I'm afraid to say it was still cosmetically
unfinished). The photos below show it on launch day. See the Latest News
page for 2011 updates, photos and videos.
You can see some videos here
With one person on board it will do 15 knots, or 14 knots with three on board. The Skoota hull is a semi-displacement hull, so unsuitable for higher speeds. I actually designed it to run at 12 knots, so 15 was a very pleasant surprise.
The overall beam of Skoota is 14ft, but it folds, like my similar length sailing catamaran Wizard, to 8ft on the trailer. Which is one reason for using a central engine as two would make the steering and throttles harder to organise.
Note, the Skoota design actually has transom steps even
though the prototype has decked over transoms.
As I just said, I am a sailor, not a motor boat man. So I have been using a very experienced outboard motor/small craft expert as a consultant, although after the first few minutes he tends to lose me during our discussions. But then, why use a consultant if you know as much as they do? His advice seems to work though, for after seeing the videos (above) he wrote:
"Your latest videos show proper trim , no wake between the hulls, no rooster tail. Very impressive actually. I think you are getting her dialled in now. 15 knots on 20 foot hulls ! That is unbelievable. And there is no visible bow wave! I think it's in there somewhere, right under your cg. You can't possibly be displacement at that speed. Bravo! I am very impressed."
And then later, after I emailed him my final outboard nacelle drawings he wrote:
"That looks very good. You are adding about 15 degrees of driveshaft angle and 5 inches of depth simultaneously. So when the going is tough you can tuck your bows in and slog it out, and when the conditions allow you can let her run her bows higher. Users can experiment with trim pin positions to fine tune the system. The result is a completely tune-able boat. A 'completely tune-able, semi planing, single engined power catamaran' Brilliant."
And my consultant is not alone in his praise. These two recent emails about Skoota are typical:
"I want one" CL,
I just finished watching the Skoota 20 launch videos. As I watched the video, I kept on saying to myself over and over again was "THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR!!!". ED.
"I have watched the video footage....and I've only got two words to say... VERY IMPRESSIVE Those lovely slender hulls look very efficient. My ultimate goal is to travel in that elusive 12-16 knot range regardless of chop. Skoota looks to be just what the doctor ordered. " NJ
The photo above was taken as we were moving the Skoota to its winter storage behind our house. You can see how stiff the boat is, one hull is only supported at the transom, the beams hold the rest of the hull up in the air. (The other hull has supports at bow and stern of course). I think you'll agree this is a pretty extreme test compared to what a boat endures when at sea.
The photo below shows the trailer to water principle. As the trailer backs into the water the buoyancy of the hulls opens it out automatically. On retrieval gravity folds it up. Two bolts hold it all together when afloat, strong enough as the photo above shows. So no lifting or winching needed - nature does the work in seconds. Note this photo shows the boat on our ancient flat-bed trailer - a real lash up and the first time the Skoota was folded. So only the swinging brackets are "real" the rest is temporary.
"Real" trailer photos can be seen HERE
Skoota 20 plans cost GBP250 and are now available as a pdf download. I have also drawn a 24ft version for those who want a more cruising orientated boat. You can download a studyplan HERE. It also includes some more details on the ideas behind the Skoota range. Plans for the Skoota 24 cost GBP300 and are also now available.
When you order plans please use the Order Form (not the Shopping Cart) and in the Comments box say whether you want the 20 or 24ft versions.
I am also drawing two new powercats. The first a 11m liveaboard power cat cruiser, see the study plan and New Designs page for more (brief) details. The second is a 26 ft transportable (not trailable) coastal cruiser for a couple. Ideal for the European canals, the PNW or the Great Loop. See below. It will demount for transport on a flat bed lorry/truck or could be towed by a large car.
Both designs will have a maximum speed around 15 knots and a cruising speed of 9-10. As I write elsewhere, higher speeds are both inefficent and uneconomic, so I don't think planing powercats are the right way to go
More on these two boats will follow as the designs develop.