Multihulls shine at Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show

Navigating the 251 boats on the marina at the 33rd Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) (May 19-22) at Hope Island, Queensland was, to be frank, overwhelming.

Where do you start when there are almost too many options among 337 exhibitors on and off the marina?

In addition to the sailing monohulls, SCIBS displayed top-tier sailing and motor multihulls. It is a testament to the growing popularity of multihulls.

I got the chance to check out the show and to talk to several exhibitors. The result is a multihull-focussed guide so you have a better idea of what suits your needs.

Multihull Solutions

If you are in search of a boat that is world-renowned for its quality, the team at Multihull Solutions have you covered.

The business distributes world-class brands including Fountaine Pajot, ILIAD Catamarans, Neel Trimarans and Dufour Yachts.

Aerial shot of Neel 43 Trimaran.
Neel 43 Trimaran. Pic – Neel

At this year’s show, for the first time, a Neel 43 Trimaran was on display.

The website description of the vessel praises its assets: “The trimaran boasts a striking and voluminous interior design optimising panoramic views and accommodates up to 10 passengers yet is easily handled by a small crew.”

Neel 43 Trimaran specifications
Neel 43 Trimaran specifications.

Also on display was a Fountaine Pajot Elba 45 sailing catamaran, which in 2020 sailed from France to Australia, a Dufour 470 and 530 sailing monohulls and an ILIAD 50 (the smallest of ILIAD’s power cat range).

Rachel Crook, Multihull Solutions’ marketing manager, says the interest in multihulls has increased in the decade or so since she first attended SCIBS. Multihull Solutions used to be one of the only multihull distributors at the show. Now, it is one of several as the demand for the product continues to grow exponentially.

Elba 45 back deck looking into the saloon (doors open).
Elba 45. Pic – Fountaine Pajot

“Catamarans have really come along way,” Crook said. “Standing at this boat show 10 years ago, I was still explaining to people that they don’t flip. Catamarans are a stable platform and they are very comfortable. More and more people are seeing that, and it’s opened up the door to a lot of entry-level sailors.”

Elba 45 specifications.
Elba 45 specifications.

And the growing popularity of multihulls was reflected in the high volume of traffic through the Multihull Solutions display. Crook said she thought the open international borders would see a decrease in sales, but two of the ILIAD Catamarans sold on day one of the show.

For power lovers, Sydney International Boat Show (SIBS) (July 28-August 1) will be the world debut for the ILIAD 62 power catamaran. Fountaine Pajot will be displaying an ISLA 40 sailing catamaran. And in the sailing monohull category, SIBS will be the Dufour 390’s first Australian boat show.

Multihull Solutions’ range has got something for everybody – multihull, monohull and power enthusiasts. 

For more information on Multihull Solutions, see:

Isla 40 at anchor at sunset.
Isla 40. Pic – Fountaine Pajot

The Multihull Group

The Multihull Group (TMG) displayed the Lagoon 46 sailing catamaran.

It is described as “a high-performance and seaworthy catamaran, designed for short-handed, enjoyable sailing with its elegant lines, unrivalled brightness and generous, interconnected spaces.”

Lagoon 46  at marina.
Lagoon 46 at SCIBS. Pic – TMG

Marnie Ebeling, TMG and Eyachts’ marketing manager said she has observed a heightened interest in multihulls over the years.

When we caught up at SCIBS, Ebeling was straight into boat-show mode after returning from three weeks in Europe to check out the latest models from Lagoon and Axopar.

Lagoon sitting area/saloon.
Lagoon 46. Pic – Lagoon

 “We’re always here with Lagoon and every single year, year on year we’re seeing more people loving the brand. It was one of the busiest Thursdays we’ve seen at the show – for our stands anyway,” Ebeling said.

Lagoon 46 specifications
Lagoon 46 specifications.

If a 46ft sailing catamaran is too small for your liking, there is also the Lagoon Seventy 8 power catamaran.

Ebeling said the positive feedback from the public further cements the Lagoon brand as a trustworthy, top-quality product.

“Everyone is loving all of them [the boats],” Ebeling said. “It’s really awesome to be back at Sanctuary Cove and having people coming to the stand and saying, ‘We know those brands’.”

In the future, TMG will bring the Lagoon 51 to Australia, which, according to Ebeling, will be a “game changer” in terms of practicality and environmental practice.

For more information on TMG, see: https://themultihullgroup.com/

Aerial shot of front half of Lagoon Seventy 8 making way. Teak decking.
Lagoon Seventy 8. Pic – Nicolas Claris

Yacht Share Mariner

If boat ownership isn’t what you’re after, Yacht Share Mariner and Dream Yacht Charter offer other options.

The business website explains: “Yacht Share Mariner sells and manages shares in new yacht syndicates and with this comes the intoxicating freedom to sail at will.”

The company is owned by Trevor Joyce, who has been in the boating business since 1985, with Mariner Boating Holidays, which operates world-wide sailing-based holidays.

Bali 4.4 sailing.
Bali 4.4. Credit – Bali

This year, Yacht Share Mariner’s first Bali 4.4 (the slightly bigger version to Dream Yacht Charter’s Bali 4.2 on display) arrives in Australian waters in August, and a 1/8th share is worth $220,000 (including sea freight, VAT, import duty, commissioning and delivery to Airlie Beach). The company has sold all eight shares. And now shares for another Bali 4.4 (due to arrive in February 2023) are up for offer.

Joyce told me: “Bali 4.4s sell on the open market for around $1.5 million, a share [with us] is $220,000 with basically the same usage as if it was your own [boat]. It’s the person who has five-to-six weeks available of the year, who wants the lifestyle of boat ownership without parting with $1.5 million.”

Bali 4.4Sale Ownership1/8th Shared OwnershipCharter Similar Yacht – same time
Capital cost$1,500,000$220,000Nil
EntitlementUnlimited42 days42 days
Depreciation 10%$150,000$22,000Nil
Service$30,000$16,2000
Management freeNilIncluded0
Total$180,000$38,200$90,000
Bali 4.4 syndication statistics.

Dream Yacht Charter manages the yacht and maintains it when it’s not being used.

On several occasions when I went to chat with Joyce on the Bali 4.2, he was surrounded by potential clients who were keen to hear from an exhibitor with 30-plus years’ industry experience.

“The market is growing very quickly as people realise the common sense of [syndication],” Joyce said.

For more information on Yacht Share Mariner, see: https://yachtsharemariner.com/how-yacht-share-works-whitsundays/

For more information on Dream Yacht Charter, see: https://www.dreamyachtcharter.com/

Scimitar Boats

If a power catamaran is more your style, Scimitar Boats offers a range of Australian-made motor catamarans.

The business was established in 1997 by Bryan Bradford and Greg Byth, but production came to a halt in 2012. In 2017, it was sold to Tommy Ericson, ceo of Aus Ships Group based at Rivergate Marina & Shipyard in Brisbane. The naval architect and team are breathing new life into this already trusted brand.

Two boats at anchor next to each other.
The Scimitar 1010 Sedan (left) and Scimitar 1010 Flybridge. Pic – Scimitar

“Over that time we’ve modernised the boat. We’ve changed a lot of the systems. We’ve re-engineered it from the ground up,” Ericson said.

Aus Ships Group is also manufacturing the next generation CityCats for Brisbane City Council, and a number of other projects.

On display at SCIBS were the Scimitar 1010 Sedan (10.10 metre hull length) and 1010 Flybridge.

They may not be as big as some of the other motor boats at the boat show, but when you step onto the boats – the feeling is one of spacious comfort.

Ericson describes it as a “big little boat”.

Scimitar 1010 Sedan main deck plan.
Scimitar 1010 Sedan main deck plan. Pic – Scimitar

Ericson is a Scimitar owner, naturally, and has used it as a template, of sorts, to help him figure out what changes need to be made to the design going forward.

“The one we purchased ourselves, we’ve done a significant re-fit on, particularly changing the window from framed window to direct glaze. These changes have helped educate the [design of the] new boats,” Ericson said.

The head (toilet) has also been moved from the aft deck to the main cabin area, to provide more space and flexibility for style changes in that area.

The business joins a growing number of motor yacht companies incorporating sustainable practices into their designs.

Scimitar 1010 Sedan making way.
Scimitar 1010 Sedan. Pic – Scimitar

“We’ve already got the environmental credentials. This boat [1010 Sedan], to give you an idea, cruises about 16 knots using less than 30 litres [of fuel] an hour which is sort of trailer boat figures, and considering she’s just under seven tonnes.”

Ericson said he and his team were also looking for ways to decrease the maintenance and financial load for future owners, trialling a wrap antifoul on of the newest models, rather than paint, which in theory means that it will only need to be re-done every five years.

“The proof will be in the pudding,” he said.

Initially there are plans to build three boats per year for the next two years, and then increase to four-six boats from 2024.

Ericson is justifiably proud of the Australian-made vessels.

“They are 100 per cent Australian,” he said. “It comes with a cost but the quality that is attached to it and the ability to pick up the phone and talk to us [are bonuses].”

For more information on Scimitar, see: https://scimitarboats.com.au/

Scimitar 1010 Flybridge making way.
Scimitar 1010 Flybridge. Pic – Scimitar

Multihull Solutions, The Multihull Group, The Yacht Share Mariner and Dream Yacht Charter will be at the Sydney International Boat Show from July 28-August 1.

By Greta Quealy

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