Persico reveals ‘flying’ luxury catamaran that reaches 40 knots

Persico Cat 72' Catamaran

Italian shipyard Persico, which specialises in high-performance sailing and motor yachts for both racing and cruising, has revealed details of its new Persico Cat 72 catamaran.

Said by the shipyard to offer performance comparable to a racer and comfort worthy of a cruiser, the Persico Cat 72′ foiling sailing catamaran has top speeds of up to 40 knots.

Designed by multihull sailboat and powerboat specialists Morrelli and Melvin, the Persico Cat 72′ is now under construction in the Persico Marine shipyard in Livorno, and is set for delivery in 2024.

Persico specialises in high-performance sailing and motor yachts for both racing and cruising. The Persico Cat 72′ is being produced with some of the same technology utilised for the foiling hulls of the Imoca ocean racing class and the AC75s of the 37th America’s Cup.

“With Persico Cat 72′, we are continuing to build the Persico brand name in high-performance maxi cruising, thanks to the experience gained in creating the most advanced high-speed racers, particularly in the foiling class,” says Marcello Persico, CEO of Persico Marine.

Pete Melvin, naval architect and CEO of Morrelli and Melvin, adds: “We are very fortunate this project has given us to the opportunity to explore new boundaries of performance.

“Our customer has encouraged us to set aside convention and develop an innovative yacht that is not only high performing but also luxurious – a cruising yacht capable of navigating in style in seas all around the world.”

Persico Cat 72'

The Persico Cat 72′ is 22 metres long by 9.50 metres wide and is constructed of high modulus pre-impregnated carbon sandwich with a Nomex core. Carbon was also chosen for the extremely lightweight interior, complete with everything and conceived in high-tech style by the British yacht design studio Design Unlimited.

Once rigged with a Southern Spars rotating mast and a Torqeedo Deep Blue electric motor (two 25-kW units), the Persico Cat 72′ will have a total overall weight of about 20 metric tonnes, including the battery pack.

“We’re proud to be part of this ground-breaking project,” says Paul MacDonald, sales director of Southern Spars New Zealand. “The mast will be fully customised to meet the specific needs of the PB72, utilising our latest design, engineering and manufacturing techniques. The mast and boom will be made from high modulus carbon and will incorporate our ECsix and AEROsix composite rigging technology from our sister company Future Fibres to create the fully integrated package.

“A custom wing mast tool has been made for this project, which underlines Southern Spars’ commitment to the performance multihull market,” he adds. “Production on these elements will begin in late May from our leading-edge manufacturing facility in Auckland.”

For flying system development, the ship owner and designers turned Gomboc, the VPP optimisation software behind the design of Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup-winning AC50 and AC75. Gomboc has been instrumental in the creation of the AC75 foiling monohull, and it is now widely used in the foiling IMOCA class. The Persico Cat 72′ is equipped with righting-moment foils (RMFoils), which are rake-controlled foils over 7 metres long, daggerboards for leeway control and T-rudders with rake control. This foil system is brought together using Gomboc’s Flight Control System, which manages the foil angles of attack.

The Persico Cat 72′ is designed for planing at about 20 cm above the water. The RMFoil becomes effective in as little as 9 knots of wind and can have the boat skimming the water at well over 20 knots of speed in as little as 13 knots of wind.

Persico Cat 72'

Steering and command are accomplished from one of two helm positions located outboard in the large aft cockpit. In addition, all sailing handling and flight control can be managed by a small crew of 3 from the aft cockpit.

On the roof of the deckhouse, there is space for solar panels, which can supply 2 kW of recharging.

The yacht has predicted performance of up to 40 knots downwind and 26 knots sailing close to the wind, while ensuring the same comfort level on board as a catamaran conceived exclusively for cruising. The electric motor cruising speed is 8 knots.

“In 2015, the boat owner entrusted our team to develop innovative technology that would allow a catamaran equipped with every comfort to achieve almost full foiling,” says Malcolm Park, project manager of the Persico Cat 72′. “Through continuous learning, experimentation with creative people in the entire marine industry and an essential collaboration with Persico Marine, we think we have successfully met the challenge and cannot wait to share the project with the sailing community when the boat is launched in the summer of 2024.”

The delivery of the Persico Cat 72′ is expected in 2024, after the assembly and sea trials are carried out in La Spezia, Italy, at the new Persico Marine shipyard.

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