If you’ve ever ridden in the rear of an open-cockpit catamaran, you’ve noticed that the faster you go the windier it gets—at least where you’re sitting. That’s because at higher speeds the onrushing wind tends to swirl around the cat and actually enter the cockpit from behind the transom. As Performance Powerboats/Performance Boat Center co-owner Mark Waddington pointed out this morning from Osage Beach, Mo., that wind can actually make “your sunglasses fly forward.”
Performance Powerboats has come up with a solution for cockpit wind-reversion in its 42- and 36-foot catamarans.
To mitigate the “swirl effect,” in its P-420 and P-360 catamarans, the Performance Powerboats design team has created a patent-pending—design and mechanical—solution they’re calling the Rear Wind Diffuser. The device essentially is a power-activated wind-dam behind the rear-bench headrests. With the push of a button in the rear gunwale or the helm station, the dam raises eight to 10 inches and, when not in use, disappears like a power-window.
“We’ve done a lot of testing and you can really notice the difference,” said Waddington. “We currently are working with a couple of different materials for the diffuser. When it’s all the way down, you won’t even be able to see it.
“We used the same kind of mechanism to raise and lower it that we use for our power footrests,” he added.
The Rear Wind Diffuser option for the P-420 and P-360 catamaran is scheduled to be available in the late fall. Today’s news comes on the heels of Performance Powerboats’ official public debut of its new 42-footer, which visitors to tonight’s Shootout On The Strip street exhibit and celebration can see firsthand.
“We hope to have it debut in a Performance Powerboats catamaran with a Rear Wind Diffuser in November in Key West, but I’m not sure that we will have it ready,” said Waddington
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