Archipelago 47 first look: New British-built ocean-going aluminium catamaran

British newcomer Archipelago Yachts is hoping to take the adventure yacht market by storm with a stylish new all-aluminium Archipelago 47 powercat.

Already in build on the Isle of Wight, it should launch just in time for a world premiere at this year’s Southampton Boat Show. Company founder, owner and CEO Dr Steven Weatherley is a cyber security specialist with a PhD in astrophysics and an experienced motor boat owner.

After searching in vain for a fast, go-anywhere powercat to replace the family’s Mitchell 31, he decided to commission and build one of his own. He was so pleased with the concept drawings that he decided to turn it into a business.

The design of the Archipelago 47 is the work of Chartwell Marine, a firm of naval architects whose primary area of expertise is powercats for the offshore windfarm industry.

Weatherley says he was aiming for a waterborne Land Rover vibe, and the rugged, semi-commercial look of the Archipelago 47 certainly fits that brief with its forward-raked windshield, wide side-decks and chopped off transoms.

However, the low roofline, flush-fit saloon glazing and large hull windows add an air of sporty sophistication that elevates it above its work boat cousins.

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There’s even a large trampoline net slung between the two forward hulls for lounging in the sun. Building it in aluminium is another shrewd choice that not only keeps the weight and development costs down but also allows a degree of customisation for future clients. Plus it’s a very tough but sustainable material that can be infinitely recycled.

The main deck is mostly given over to an open-plan saloon and galley but the bridge area forward can be screened off during night passages.

The owner’s cabin occupies the full length of the port hull and includes a double bed sleeping area, ensuite shower-room and study. The starboard hull is split into two cabins (a double and a twin-bunk) that share a second shower-room between them.

archipelago-47-powercat-first-look

The first Archipelago 47 will be powered by twin 420hp Iveco diesels on straight shafts running in half tunnels. The top speed is expected to be over 25 knots. Two fuel tanks, one in each hull, hold 3,000 litres of fuel, giving a claimed ocean-crossing range of 3,000nm at eight knots.

Subsequent boats are likely to have diesel-electric hybrid installations. Prices for the Archipelago 47 start at £885,000 excluding taxes. A second Archipelago 47 is already in build and plans for 38ft and 56ft models are also being developed.

In the short term Weatherley plans to use his new boat for day trips and weekends in the Solent with his wife and four young children but ultimately has ambitions for more adventurous bluewater cruising – hence the range requirements.

“The march of the multihulls seems to be gathering pace with every month but this one really does it for me,” says MBY editor Hugo Andreae. “Small and fast enough for day trips but also robust and efficient enough to cross oceans, it really does seem to offer the best of both worlds.

“If they can balance the fit, finish and pricing equation too, they should be on to a winner.”