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South African Cats are roaring!

New serious Blue water Performance Cruising Catamaran from 2 Oceans Marine.

With the world boating market quite literally in the doldrums at this time there is fortunately still huge optimism and energy in the South African catamaran sector. In fact, the custom and semi custom builders in the region are enjoying huge success, some with full order books until 2011. 2 Oceans Marine is one of those fortunate boat builders. 2 Oceans Marine, established in 1989 adjacent to the port of Cape Town has expanded it’s range from Commercial and Fishing powered catamarans from 6m to 25m to now include large custom sailing catamarans.

The launch of the new DLP 56 is testament to their skills and excellent value for money in this very competitive sector. The recent launch of this 56ft cat now leaves room in their huge 5000 sq m facility for 2 new 65ft sailing cats from the drawing board of Anton du Toit with launch dates in 2010. This is apart from the 26 production power cats they build every year.

The DLP 56 was built for a South African owner with very specific requirements: 1. Bullet proof world cruiser in warm climates. 2. Large Open saloon and aft deck area 3. Substantial fuel and water capacity 4. Fast sailing in 10-18knot wind range with 2 crew 5. Fully equipped with all modern amenities. Designed by Anthony Key of Key Design and Engineering and Built with SP Systems Epoxy vacuum bagging technique on core cell foam she was launched bang on the target weight of 15 000 kgs, surprisingly light for such a large and well equipped catamaran.

1st SAIL TEST DAY: Light NW wind, 10-12kts, lumpy sea. Manoeuvring is a breeze even taking a 56ft catamaran out of a very confined berth in the Elliott Basin in the port of Cape Town. Twin Yanmar 110hp diesels, electronic controls and Gori propellers made this a breeze. Lot’s of power and very responsive as we backed the 150m out of the marina before we had enough space to turn her around. 8kts boat speed at 2200 rpm, zero vibration from the motors. Took awhile to get used to the Seastar hydraulic steering, with more turns on the wheel that I am used to but after 10 minutes it was not an issue for me.

We had the mast builders, Southern Spars and sail makers, Quantum Sails onboard for the rig and sail commissioning. Sails are all Quantum Fusion membrane material and coupled to the 23 meter rig will give this cat some serious grunt in light to medium conditions. Easy to hoist the mainsail on a 2:1 halyard with powered Lewmar self tailing winch. A battery of oversize Spinlock jammers allow the 2 powered winches to be used for many tasks, reefing, mainsail hoisting, jib or spinnaker hoisting, jib sheets, downhauls and cunninghams all at the Helmsman fingertips. Main up and a very nice fat roach of 80% make it extremely powerful. A Harken battcar system makes sense on this fully battened mainsail. An electric powered Profurl Genoa furler controlled from the Helm station unrolled the 110% jib, largish but ideal for the expected lighter airs of the Indian Ocean.

We sheeted on main and genoa and the vessel powered up quickly and within 5-6 boat lengths we were sailing at 8kts boat speed with 12kts of True wind at 70 degrees apparent. Very fast and very quiet. Very impressive. Tacking was easy and all controlled from the Helm position. Even in the light conditions when the wind was down to about 8 kts true and boat speed about 4.5kts to 5kts the boat responded well when the helm was put over. Easy to tack. Very pleasing for the Owner who will be running the vessel shorthanded, 2 crew so easy sailing is vital. A later sea-trial in 20 knots true wind had the DLP 56 charging along at 18 kts in the flat waters of Table Bay. Awesome performance for a serious Blue water cruising catamaran.

The Interior layout is very customised to the owners requirements with 2x130l Isotherm Fridges, 1x Minus 40 200l chest freezer, large Domestic size Gas stove and oven and even a Domestic washing machine/dryer in the laundry The Port forward section of the boat is the owners private quarters with King size bed, en suite. STB forward area has a crew / guest combo layout either as 2 singles or a King size PLUS 2 single bunks with Head and adjacent shower area. This will be used as the Day Head when at sea. 2 Queen size aft cabins both en-suite for guests. The Open Plan saloon has a seated dining area for 10 with huge galley and great traditional forward facing Navigation Area/Chart table. This vessel will be used for private blue water cruising so a large and well equipped Chart table is important and sadly lacking on most modern cruising catamarans. I am a traditionalist and enjoy sitting in a comfy aircraft style Captains seat watching the water rush by as the next mission is planned.

The electronics package is the Furuno Navnet 3D fully networked system with weather station and repeaters at the helm-station. The interior of the vessel is all hand faired and painted white. Practical, easy to clean and maintain and very fresh. Flooring is the very comfy and practical Mannington flooring used by many catamaran builders to save weight, enhance the visual appeal and keep maintenance low.

The Engine rooms are vast with full storage for tools and spares. The Aquamarine 270 litre/hour water maker is very sensibly driven from 2 power sources, built in redundancy, either electrically via the Generator or mechanically via one of the Main engines.

Water capacity is 1000 litres and diesel capacity is 1600 litres in 4 tanks. The vessels electrics are managed by the Mastervolt fully integrated system & Northern lights generator provides the power when Main engines are off and sailing fast. House batteries are a huge 1 500 amp/hr capacity and 2 x 5 kw inverters allow all the mod cons to be run, charged, downloaded and operated 24/7. Full Webasto heating / aircon is fitted throughout the vessel. This is a serious blue water cruising catamaran with huge attention to detail.

All stainless steel grab rails and hand rails are over spec, just a few millimetres larger in diameter but made for business, very effective non skid painted decks with moulded-in low profile toe-rails where necessary. Dropped tools and gear will not immediately slide over the side into the ocean.

Well done to Mark Delany and his team at 2 Oceans Marine with this latest launch. The full order book to 2011 they now enjoy is testament to a very professionally run boat-building facility that allows owners the flexibility required when building a semi-custom vessel and being charged very fair rates indeed. The owner of the DLP 56 is a very happy man. He got what he wanted at a very competitive price. That is the secret to a full order book, especially in these very difficult times.

Bon Voyage “Abundant Life”

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