FUTURA by Futura Yacht Systems – The “slide–in, slide–out” catamaran
Published on 19 January 2012 by Maritime Directory
The catamaran is already a part of boat building history. In the 80’s, the serial production of cruising catamarans started. If you have a look in an encyclopedia for the word catamaran, you may read:
With a Futura catamaran, there is no longer any handicap. Due to the variable beam the Futura provides speed and stability while sailing, and with a beam of 4.80 m it is easy to find a berth in marinas and to get into. Even channels and rivers are reachable with this small beam.
The Futura by Futura Yachts Systems brings a real change in the catamaran market. Now the catamaran has no more disadvantages!
Variable beam by shifting mechanism
The technology of the retractable beam system is based on the aerospace technology. Thanks to this retractable beam system the Futura is able to transform herself from 4.80 m, the right size for marina berths, to 8 m, the normal beam of a cruising catamaran. It takes one minute to slide-in or slide-out the hulls under the central platform, where carbon-beam structures and lock-free bearings on starboard and portside are situated and powered by two 24 V electrical engines fore and aft. The slide-in or slide-out process is friction-free, as the carbon beams are sliding in a high pressure compartment with fresh water, which enters the bearing when the motion starts. The mechanism can also be operated manually. The principle is patented.
The slide-in and slide-out mechanism can only be used in calm water for instance in the entrance of a marina. Once the hulls are out, the connection between the two hulls and the central platform is rigid and stiff. The hulls and the residential central platform are locked together in a strong serrated bond so that all forces are optimally transferred. It is not possible to sail with a reduced beam. The boat reaches its optimum stability at the maximal beam. From the cockpit you may press a button to take the hulls in or out.
Best comfort with panoramic view
The living area on board of the Futura is not situated as in most catamarans in the hulls, but in the central platform. Consequently there is no limit in designing the residential area. For the hull design in other catamarans the designer has to respect as well the bulk-heads necessary for the structure of the boat as well as the narrow hull lines. In contrast, the design of the Futura is unlimited. The living area is always on the same level and there are no steps. It offers 40 m² (48 yards) ground surface with 2.25 m (7.3′) headroom and panoramic view.
An individual owner version is as possible as a charter version or as a house boat, day boat for touristic excursion, diving base, trawler, etc.
Another advantage of a living area in the central platform is the distance to the engines. Even while travelling under engine power, there is silence on board.
The living area is extended by two cockpits. One cockpit is located on the flybridge, which is very spacious, ideal for sun bathing. From here you may sail the Futura singlehanded. All ropes and the automatic reefing system are connected with the fly bridge from where the view is perfect. The second cockpit is situated in the front between trampolines and central platform. The living area inside is directly connected through a central front door to the front cockpit outside.
While sailing even children walking from aft in the front on the hulls are safe, thanks to the 90 cm high freeboard.
Speed and fun while sailing
The Futura is designed by Judel / Vrolijk & Co (America’s Cup) and shows a surprising performance while sailing. The mainsails size is 77.5 m², the jib has 48.5 m² and the genoa 57 m² and the weight is only 8 T in the carbon version. The speed average at 6 Beaufort is 14,5 knots. The performance under engine (two 40 HP Volvo engines) is 11 knots at 2500 rpm.
Storage inside the hulls
There is a lot of space in the hulls for technical equipment like engines, tanks, generator, batteries etc., but at the same time you may bring on board whatever you want: bikes, canoe… there is enough place for everything in the hulls.
It is also possible to install solar panels, which could be fixed on the fly bridge, or wind generators or an electric engine with solar cells and batteries for long distance cruising.
Concerning safety there is one crash box per hull and the buoyancy of the hulls makes the Futura unsinkable.
Doctor Ernst Bullmer sailed around the world on a catamaran 1978 and received the Transocean price. He and some other long distance sailors had the idea to build the Futura under the advice of Gerhard Euchenhofer. The first Futura was constructed at the Balticat shipyard in Arnis near Kappeln (North of Germany). The shipyard has 20 years of experience in building catamarans and they owned a special knowledge about carbon infusion.
Designer Judel – Vrolijk & Co
Hull length 14,98 m; 49′
Waterline Length 14,40 m; 47′
Beam (while sailing) 7,95 m; 26′
Beam (in the marina) 4,80 m; 15.7′
Draught 1,12 m; 3.7′
Weight 7,9 t; 8.7 short tons
Mast above Waterline 23,40 m; 76.7′
Sailing area 126 m²; 150 yards
Watertank 400 l; 88 gallons
Fuel tank 440 l; 97 gallons
Holding tank 2x 80 l; 2 x 17.6 gallons
The price of a Futura catamaran is €649.000 ex-VAT and ex-factory in carbon fiber and €495.000 in epoxy glassfiber. You have to remember that you save money while using the marina, winter storage, operating and maintenance costs.
From April 18th to 22nd 2012 the first Futura will be exhibited afloat during the International Multihull Boat Show in Lorient, Brittany (France) where it will be possible to test the boat.
The “Futura Prima” (the number one) will be available for sea trails in the South of Portugal after this show.
For further information, technical description of the catamaran, prices and the organisation of sea trails, please refer to:
FUTURA Yacht Systems, Gerhard Euchenhofer – Fliederweg 5 – D – 73235 Weilheim / Teck Phone: +49 (0)7023 957512 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.futura-yachtsystems.de.