Luxury catamaran builders recently moved powercats into a new sector. Lagoon stepped up with the Seventy 8 and Sixty 7, Sunreef rolled out its 60, 70 and 80 Power models, Fountaine Pajot produced the Power 67 and Aquila joined the big cat party with the 70 Luxury, with a sold solar electric version by Simpson Marine arriving soon in Indonesia.
However, Sunreef has raised the bar. The Polish builder, realizing his ambitions to enter the superyacht sector, handed over the first hull of the 100 Sunreef Power to the owner earlier this year and plans to show the yacht at one of Europe’s most important boat shows this fall.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary since Francis Lapp founded it in Poland in 2002, Sunreef is still in an upward spiral as it expands its new 80,000 m² (8 hectares) site on the banks of the Martwa Wisla River in Gdansk in northern Poland. the country continues to develop coastal.
To keep up with the production of its power and sailing ranges, both standard and Eco, it still maintains its original facility in the historic Gdansk shipyard and plans to do so for at least a few more years. The region now employs 1,800-2,000 people, an astonishing number for a semi-custom, luxury catamaran builder.
And the 100 Sunreef Power is not a one-off. Hull two is under construction and highly custom, including an enclosed cigar lounge on the flybridge. In general, the layout will be very different from that of the hull, with six guest cabins, including a master stateroom on the main deck.
At the end of last year, the brand rounded out its modern range with the first 70 Sunreef Power launch, joining the 80 Power launched in 2020 and the 60 Power released the following year.
“Catamarans will have more and more space in the market,” Lapp says. “That’s because more and more customers are looking for more sustainable cruising. Catamarans are more energy efficient than monohulls and you can now see many ambitious catamaran concepts emerging. This trend will continue in the future and we will see more demand for bigger and greener cats.”
Sunreef’s pursuit of greener cats is guided by its evolving Eco range – solar-electric versions of its existing Power and Sail models. The technology includes Sunreef’s proprietary solar skin panels integrated into the composite body, ultra-light batteries and electric or hybrid motors. Options include wind turbines, powerful kites and hydrogeneration systems for sail models.
Spanish Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso awaits hull one of the 60 Sunreef Power, an all-electric version with solar panels in the hulls, superstructure and bimini roof.
Alonso, two-time F1 world champion, said: “We are more aware and want more sustainability. We have seen significant changes in global mobility in recent years and for me it makes perfect sense to go for an electric catamaran. The world is moving. electric and yachts should also follow.”
In fact, Lapp says most of Sunreef’s powercat requests are now for Eco models. “In the coming years, we expect this trend to continue and evolve towards an even greater demand for electric yachts.”
Major Lagoons in Asia
Lagoon, the world’s largest builder of pleasure catamarans, helped fuel the current demand for large powercats with the Seventy 8, which premiered at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2017 and was followed two years later by the Sixty 7, a model that wants to show it again at Cannes this year.
Lagoon has delivered more than 6,000 catamarans worldwide and remains the most popular multihull brand in Asia. There are seventy-seven powercats in Vietnam and the Philippines, and another unit of the flagship will arrive in Hong Kong this summer after a sale by Simpson Marine.
Last year Simpson Marine staged the Asia premiere of the Sixty 7 in Hong Kong before the yacht was delivered to its owner in Taiwan, while the regional dealer has sold another unit to Hong Kong. At the end of this year, a Sixty 7 will also arrive in the Philippines, where Lagoon is represented by Europa Yachts.
The two powercat models are part of Lagoon’s ‘Big Four’ and their sister sailing catamarans, the Sixty 5 and Seventy 7, with the builder having supplied more than 50 units of the quartet. The ‘Big Four’ and the brand’s other 50ft-plus models are manufactured at Lagoon’s factory in Bordeaux, while it also builds smaller sailing catamarans at other locations in France.
Brand Director Thomas Gailly says nearly 2,000 employees work directly or indirectly for Lagoon in various locations. Despite manufacturing challenges from ongoing supply chain problems affecting most builders around the world, he says demand is higher than ever.
“After a delay in 2020 due to Covid, we now have an order book like never before. Lately, we’ve seen more and more people who never thought of buying a boat, are beginning to realize that their ‘home office’ could be on their boat,” says Gailly.
“Demand comes from private owners, but also from the charter market as tourism returns. Overall, the catamaran market remains a very dynamic segment of the industry and we expect it to remain so.”
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