The name of Mitch Booth may not be instantly recogniseable to you, but he’s an Olympics winning sailor and a multihull racer. Mitch has helmed America’s Cup craft in his time and knows his stuff. Furthermore, he has overseen the build of multihulls over the past 40 years on the water. So given his vast experience, perhaps it is not surprising that he has turned superyacht builder. Booth is the founder of BlackCat Superyachts, which plans to tap into the growing awareness of the advantages of catamarans; and what a beauty he is creating.
Booth has teamed up with Lymington, UK based Malcolm McKean Yacht Design to bring BlackCat Superyachts from concept to reality.
“I’ve noticed a heightened interest in catamaran discussions recently, perhaps due to the increased awareness of the America’s Cup racing yachts,” McKeon comments.
“This has led to additional research being carried out in various areas, which has been helpful for us in developing the design of this high-performance carbon fibre ‘supercat,’ where the latest building technology and materials will be used.”
The supercat McKeon refers to is the 164-foot (50 metre) concept. All BlackCat Superyachts will be built of carbon fibre construction on a custom basis. She’ll have other striking features too. The craft incorporates abundant glass in her deckhouse. The main deck itself is meant for flexible use. The general arrangement and layout is, of course, open to owner input. As for performance on the water, McKeon expects she’ll easily exceed 30 knots.
Booth says their target for the BlackCat range is between 100ft to 200ft long, where the latter represents the upper end of engineering capabilities today. “Width is a big factor. It adds stability and righting moment but also increases loads dramatically,” said Booth.
As a floating platform this unusual design presents serious dance floor potential. While the freeboard of McKeon’s sexy hull shape has been kept low and lean, accommodation space is still a phenomenal 340m2. The 20m beam of the 50m BlackCat for example helps create a surface area equivalent to half a football pitch.
Regardless of LOA, all BlackCat Superyachts projects will boast relatively low drafts, an oft cited catamaran advantage. They’ll also embrace the stability multihulls are renowned for in addition to low drag and therefore lower fuel burn. BlackCat Superyachts will provide all aspects of project creation, build oversight, and delivery management.