SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
Buy a catamaran, but pay the berthing costs of a monohull. This is the idea behind the variable width Futura 49, launched a few months ago at La Grande Motte. But between the theory and the practice is a huge gulf, and it has taken designers Uli Bullmer and Gerhard Euchenhofer more than four years to bridge that.
The result of their labours with naval architects at Judel Vrolijk is a craft with a beam of 7.98m in sailing mode, shrinking to 4.93m in ‘parking’ mode. The key to the system is the twin carbon cross beams that provide the stability for the electric motors to pull the two hulls together.
It has something of the true catamaran to it: the two hulls serve solely as floats, with no accommodation inside, while all the living is done on the platform that connects them. The Polynesians would have approved. Removing the living space from the hulls has allowed them to be more hydrodynamic.
Futura has created a large superstructure that runs much further forward than it does on fixed cats. The dark wraparound windows contain a space that is divided up to form cabins at the forward end, with a galley and dining space at the stern opening onto the aft deck. The helm station is set into the coachroof, to starboard, with the winches mounted between seats, plus a big sunpad.
Anything from one to four cabins are optional. Note that the chart table is just a fold-down surface in the saloon, with no forward view and very limited side visibility. If the 49 proves successful – there is already a charter unit available in Croatia with Pitter Yachting – Futura plans to expand the range. Price from €629,000 futura-yachtsystems.de