This July Morrelli & Melvin Design & Engineering, Inc. in coordination with Salthouse Boats, launched their latest high speed catamaran chase tender for the Emirates Team New Zealand Americas Cup campaign. The highly efficient and progressive 14 meter design had come out of a need for speed and performance. The AC72’s reach speeds up to 40 knots the team needed a chase tender that could match the speed of the massive multi-hulls and provide support when required. With a little help from HullSpeed™ Performance Marine Coatings, the tender reached a top speed of 58 knots. HullSpeed™ Performance Marine Coatings are eco-friendly water-based epoxy/silicone bottom paints designed for speed & fuel economy improvements. HullSpeed™ marine applications have realized speed and fuel economy improvements up to 9%.
The Morrelli & Melvin designed high speed 45 foot, 1200 hp tender/chase-boat fulfills the demanding tasks of supporting the America's Cup 72' catamarans. As Pete Melvin summarizes,
“The purpose is a tender and chase boat for the AC72 catamarans. The speed and ride quality has to live up to the task of following an AC72 around for an entire day, at up to 40 knots, without fatiguing the crew. The boat has to tow an AC72 at 25 knots, and also be able to right an AC72 after a capsize. And it has to look great too.“
The scope was to conceive, design, and engineer the boat from A to Z. The concept was developed in collaboration with Emirates Team New Zealand and Salthouse Boats.
The new tender is powered by four 300hp Yamaha outboard motors to achieve speeds of more than 50 knots. Its fiberglass hull is topped with inflatable tubes allowing it to slip in beside the AC72’s.
Accommodations on the ETNZ boat include a protected main deck cabin, head, and large storage area under the foredeck. Another version has been developed that has a stateroom with sleeping accommodations under the foredeck in lieu of the storage area.