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Glider Yachts Launching Unusual Sport Catamarans

More than a few unusual and flat-out weird powerboat designs/concepts in press release format have landed in my email during the years, and typically those releases emails get deleted within moments of being opened. But a press release from Glider Yachts, a United Kingdom-based company, I received earlier today, caught my eye and was just intriguing enough to read.

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Glider Yachts plans to offer its 18-meter catamaran in 56- and 96-knot versions.

According to the release, the company is planning on building a couple of 18-meter-long high-performance catamarans—the Super Sports 18 and the Hyper Sports 18—in the near future. Powered by four Rotax 4TEC engines producing a combined 1,040 hp, the SS18 will top out at 56 knots, according to the builder. The HS18 will tap two turbine engines and a pair of Rotax 4TEC engines to produce a combined 3,420 hp that will push the boat to an estimated top speed of 96 knots. Both boats are equipped with cabins.

While the power packages are interesting enough in and of themselves, the real eye-catcher here is the design of the hull. Yes, it’s a catamaran by definition, but it more closely resembles a hydrofoil. (Despite its appearance, the boat does not boast hydrofoiling capability.)

“Gliders are designed for speed, superb ride, handling, fuel efficiency and safety,” said Ian Stobie of Glider Yachts in the email that accompanied the release for the cats. “At first glance, they may look like a wave-piercing catamaran but they are not. The blades—hulls—act more like torpedoes. They have been engineered and construction is like no other sportboat on the market today.

“If you are a fan of fast racecars they are more (European) formula one or the latest aircraft manufacturing using advanced marine composite materials,” he added “Build times are less than five months and currently we are manufacturing in the U.K.”

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