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We'd already ventured into large high-performance cats but things shifted into high gear when we got our first Taipan 4.9 from Australian High Performance Catamarans. A small boat shouldn't be that fast! The lightweight Taipan, rewrote what was possible in such a small platform. Light weight, Kevlar, finesse... Speed!

Taipan 4.9

This is one of those rare designs that is so far ahead of its time. The Taipan was miniscule by comparison to what was fast back in 2000 when we received our first one!

The 4.9 was so far ahead that it was used as the grand daddy from which the F16 Class was formulated. The Taipan brought to the scene a platform that could be,

1. sailed solo competitively
2. sailed as a sloop

3. could be constructed privately

That it performed well above it's 4.9m length has a lot to do with its lightweight 105 kgs! It is as tough as anything thanks to the kevlar used in its construction. 

 

The hull shape is based on the Dee section for minimum wetted surface area and has a deep knuckle to the very fine bow. Even today (40 years since its release) the Taipan is still competitive even against it's younger sister, the Goodall Viper F16.

That it is so devastatingly quick maybe comes as no surprise when you realise that it came from the design board of one of Australia's most success full A-Class sailors, Greg Goodall. When Greg teamed up with Jim Boyer to build the most successful lineage of Australian A-Class cats.

Details

Length: 4.95 m 

Beam :  2.34 m 

Mast : 8.5 m 

Weight Rigged : 105 kg 

Mainsail area :  14 m² 

Jib area : 4.2 m² 

Spinnaker : 17.5 m² 

Crew : 1 (cat rigged) or 2 (Sloop Rigged)

Taipan, still alive!

Viper F16

Filling the shoes left by the Taipan was never going to be easy. The Taipan 4.9 had pushed the benchmark so high that even attempting to match it was a challenge.

Forty years on and the Viper appeared and in many ways similar to the Taipan but with high volume hulls and a raked bow.

The Viper exhibits a lot more hull volume than the Taipan that it replaced. This allows the Viper to carry more load as well as lift the beams up above the wave tops for a less 'wet' ride.

The Viper was released in full F16 specification with spinnaker and self-tacking jib.

 

The much more voluminous hulls simply require more material and so the weight increased along with the girth of the elliptical hull shape. The aerodynamic package remained the same with the same wingmast and controls carrying over. The modern dagger boards virtually doubled in length and halved the chord length.

Overall the Viper is a more modern interpretation of the Viper with more contemporary design clues. Faster? In our light weather/flat water, the Taipan keeps the Viper honest. Once it gets bumpy, the tables turn.

Details

Length: 5.00 m 

Beam :  2.50 m 

Mast : 8.5 m 

Weight Rigged : 129 kg 

Mainsail area :  15 m² 

Jib area : 3.7 m² 

Spinnaker : 17.5 m² 

Crew : 1 (cat rigged) or 2 (Sloop Rigged)

Full factory spec's

Akurra F18

There is no doubt, the F18 fleet is the hotbed for catamaran development. Goodall's latest release is the Akurra. although released just before the World's the boat took second place ahead of boats that have been race prepared a lot longer.

Goodall Design entered the F18 arena with first a Capricorn and then a C2 design. The Akurra takes over from the C2 which was a much lauded design but it looks like the new Akurra is set to change the scene some more!

With so many manufacturers in the F18 Class development costs have risen dramatically. When the Class was formulated a platform weight of 180 kgs was set to discourage high-tech materials in an attempt to control costs. That every manufacturer could easily build a boat well under that weight is besides the point.

The Akurra has proven to be a success with its on-water performance and it's sure to be a sales success with its competitive pricing package.

F18's have never been a feature in our environment here. That could be due to the fact that Goodall Design (Australian High Performance Catamarans) did a way to good job with the Taipan with it's class leading performance and feather weight. 

Details

Designer : Greg & Brett Goodall

Length : 5.5m 

Beam :  2.6m 

Mast : 9.1m 

Weight : 180 kg

Mainsail : 17 m² 

Jib : 4.15 m² 

Spinnaker - 21 m² 

Full tour of the new Akurra

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