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Lightwave 45
Vroom with a view Lightwave’s proven 45 footer is incorporated into the design of the new Maestro, creating a unique catamaran, reports KEVIN GREEN. The Lightwave 45 Maestro Lightwave Yachts flies the Australian made flag building quality catamarans in their Coomera yard under the guidance of shipwright Roger Overell. Roger and wife Louise acknowledged the […]
Lightwave Yachts Celebrating 20 Years I story ROGER OVERELL, FOUNDER AND BUILDER, LIGHTWAVE YACHTS We recently celebrated 20 years at the Lightwave Family Reunion at Great Keppel Island, Queensland, with 18 Lightwave vessels in attendance and 60 people present. What a moment. What a sight. What an effort from all involved. We are so thankful […]
STAYING TRUE BLUE The stormy waters of the global financial crisis have reshaped Australian boatbuilding, leaving a much leaner industry and Lightwave Yachts epitomises this new era with new boats and some radical new ideas, writes KEVIN GREEN. For company owner Roger Overell, the writing was on the wall several years ago when the Gold […]
Lightwave 38
LIGHTWAVE 38 GUARANTEED 100% ‘AUSSIE’! Seen from Europe, or the United States, we don’t always appreciate the real attraction of the Australians for the sea, and particularly the nautical industry. However, in the country of the kangaroo, there is an exceptional expertise as regards boat building, and a particularly large number of multihull specialists. A […]
Lightwave 38
To commission an Opus Ask anyone who their favourite band is, or what their favourite movie is and you can never get a right or wrong answer as everyone has their own personal preference. This also applies in a big way to boats. There are a lot of good boats on the market, and the […]
Lightwave 45
A syndicated Lightwave LIFE LW45G Blue Spirit is set up for long distance cruising with a roaming base location “Did you know each other before you joined the syndicate?” This is the question everybody asks when we talk about how delighted we are as syndicate owners of Blue Spirit, our brilliant new 45ft Lightwave Grande’ […]
Lightwave 45
Bluewater pedigree Running in big seas or reaching before a breathless backdrop of blue, the first Lightwave catamaran to find a home in New Zealand proves an impressive performer. Words John Martin Photos Will Calver/oceanphotography.co.nz The Lightwave Grandé benefits from generous spaces below decks and the tasteful colour scheme selected by Gill, making her a […]
Lightwave 38
An account of riding out the cyclone DISCUSSION CENTRED on the likely scenario that this system could intensify and take a very fast and direct approach to Cardwell. As days passed, this possibility was confirmed by the various national and overseas weather reporting agencies. This transferred to the local Councils and Emergency Management agencies which […]
Lightwave 45
Custom comforts Proving that quality built Australian catamarans have never been more popular Lightwave Yachts are busy supplying this growing market with innovative designs, as shown by the latest 45 Grandé, reports KEVIN GREEN. THE LATEST LIGHTWAVE, THE GRANDÉ 45 HAS just hit the water and with four other boats under construction the Coomera based […]
Lightwave 45
Lightwave conquers the World! WELCOME HOME : Lightwave Yachts host Homecoming celebration at Southport Yacht Club A blue water pedigree with sleek appeal, Lightwave cats are renowned for their awesome performance and long range cruising capabilities, and the latest accomplishment of a Lightwave 45, adds proven performance appeal, as a World conquering catamaran. SECOND TIME, […]
ONE OFF the list Having been the artist on this mag for many years now it might come as a surprise to readers that I have never been on a catamaran before (well, not one that is moving anyway). I can almost hear the collective groans of “whats?” and “why nots?”. Now that’s not to […]
Making Serious Waves Lightwave Yachts. By Mike Brown Queensland’s Lightwave Yachts have been making serious waves since 1996. They do build Australia’s fastest one design racing production cat, the Raider catamaran, but their renown is for cruising catamarans: sailing, power and, the logical combination, motor sailers. And these cruisers get cruised. This month the celebration […]
PEDIGR EE CAT with charisma! The sun shines 364 days of the year in the Whitsunday Islands. The other day is reserved for my boat reviews; as such, the decidedly inclement weather on this one day I ventured north was surely a worthy test for the latest addition to the Lightwave Yachts portfolio, the Lightwave […]
PEDIGREE CAT with charisma! The sun shines 364 days of the year in the Whitsunday Islands. The other day is reserved for my boat reviews; as such, the decidedly inclement weather on this one day I ventured north was surely a worthy test for the latest addition to the Lightwave Yachts portfolio, the Lightwave 38 […]
HIS FOR From dream to reality From time to time we interview industry figure-heads, brokers, designers, CEOʼs, boatbuilders and marketing gurus who are only too happy to expound on the virtues and success of their boats, their products, their associations or their companies. Seldom until this opportunity arose however, do we get to hear first-hand […]
Lightwave Yachts is proud to announce the 2010 LW38’ Sail and Power Cat models. New features include an extended cockpit hardtop area, creating a more spacious outdoor lounging & dining area that is protected from the elements. Larger double sliding doors into the saloon provide a wider entrance and adds to the seamless fl ow […]
THE POWER OF TWO: THE LIGHTWAVE 47 MS Backing up with a second new release this year, Lightwave Yachts are pleased to announce the successful launching of their first Motor Sailer, the Lightwave 47’ Motor Sailer. Incorporating the new Grandé deck, the Lightwave 47’ Motor Sailer has been engineered to be a true Motor Sailer, […]
Lightwave 47 MS
LIGHTWAVE Grandé Series genuine Motor Sailer LAMENTABLE IS THE REALITY THAT MOST MANUFACTURER CLAIMS OF A GENUINE ‘POWER catamaran’ version within their range have historically been met with suspicion and contempt by potential clients. A ‘motor sailer’ version creates even more dubiety; as such it is ironically satisfying then when a manufacturer such as Lightwave […]
Lightwaves Cruise in Company: Guy Chester, EcoSustainAbility, Rally Organiser Photos supplied by Guy Chester & Rob Robson Louisiades Rally for 2009!2009! The Louisiades Yacht Rally will be held again in 2009. After a very successful inaugural Rally last year both the yachties and locals are getting ready for this year’s event. The Islands and People […]
Premier ONE DESIGN fleet racing EXTREME sailing with comfort included Congratulations to Rob of Perth, W.A., owner of PEARL Raider, delivered after being displayed at the ’08 C.M. Mandurah Boat Show This 30′ demountable sports cat offers the most exciting experience creating a spectacular sight. A proven Offshore and Fleet Racer, the crew of four […]
The need for speed The production multihull industry in Australia is deservedly proud of its ability to build excellent products at fair prices. I strongly believe that we have some of the best production builders in the world. Of course we also have access to some of the best designers and custom builders as well. […]
LIGHTWAVE YACHTS VOLVO PENTA ROAMING REGATTA08 This three day extravaganza, was the fifth Annual Regatta Lightwave Yachts has hosted since 2004. Extreme weather conditions didn’t dampen the high spirits of the Lightwave Owners and their Guests who braved blustery, wet weather over most of the Event time. The format for this year’s Regatta was for […]
Cruising the kimberley coast The Kimberley coast has become extremely popular with cruisers out of Darwin and also those travelling up the west coast from Perth and Fremantle. The number of boats visiting the area is certainly on the increase and quite a few tour boats take people in there now as well. The coastline […]
Lightwave 40 PC
Lightwave 40 Cruising under sail is a pleasant way to go, but when the wind drops, on go the engines. Review by Kevan Wolf. Most yachties will tell you that when they are cruising they spend about 70 to 80 per cent of their time on the motor. This is why power catamarans have become […]
Lightwave 45
Around the World Peter and Penny Faulkner, LW45 Innforapenny II The dream was always to sail around the world and although I have had some experience coastal sailing along the east coast of Australia and in Western Europe the thought of a circumnavigation was a little daunting. On discovering that you could join an around […]
Owner Ken French, comments on “Crossing to the Dark Side” after being a keen mono sailor all his life, and also recounts his experiences with buying an ex-charter Lightwave 38′ Sailing Catamaran… I think a lot of our family, friends and sailing mates were shocked when we told them we were going to buy a […]
Lightwave 46 PC
Why buy a LIGHTWAVE an Owner’s Perspective…by Robyn Jefferies, FLASHDANCER, LIGHTWAVE POWERCAT 46’ Why buy POWER not SAIL? There are a lot of yachties or prospective yachties who would be more suited to a power vessel than a yacht. Advantages include: Getting to your destination quicker and more refreshed, this is definitely an advantage for […]
SNEAK PEAK taking shape at the LWY factory Super Size The Lightwave 45′ Grande’ offers a cat focused on supreme comfort with a larger saloon and cockpit, whilst still offering responsive performance. Layout options include 3 or 4 cabins, two or four bathroom layout; and optional galley up. Having already secured orders prerelease, and the […]
Lightwave 45
South to Sydney by Andrew Crawford I am a strong supporter of the Australian Multihull Industry, be it small project builders, designers or large scale commercial production enterprises. I support the industry because it deserves it. By and large, Australia produces some of the finest multihulls in their class. ONE company I have watched with […]
Lightwave 38
A great custom to have Lightwave has revamped the popular 38 with options suited to the cruising, charter and weekend sailor markets, reports Roger Priest. The hardest thing about buying a new 38 from Lightwave is the plethora of buyer choices. To make things a little easier for you, Lightwave offers four basic layouts and […]
Lightwave 46 PC
Lightwave Superstar At first sight the Lightwave 46’ Powercat exudes a flair of powerful dynamism. Sporting a finer hull shape, the piecing power efficient bulbs slice through the water at level trim, leaving bows dry, and no stern drag. The re-engineered hulls and sharp bows deliver peak performance, enhancing stability, safety and speed. The new […]
Lightwave 45
Elegant, efficient and seakindly were among the must-haves in the design brief for the new Lightwave 45. How well does it achieve them? Caroline Strainig reports on the latest offering from the Gold Coast-based Lightwave stable. When it comes to catamarans, there’s one name that springs immediately to mind when you start talking Australian designers: […]
Lightwave owners regatta This year the Lightwave extended family held their regatta over a the Labour Day long weekend in Queensland. The format was for a get together and briefing on Friday night at the Southport Yacht Club, a race on Saturday leading into a beach barbie on Saturday night with an overnight stop at […]
Lightwave Regatta Lightwave Yachts on the Gold Coast, if you didn’t already know produce a fine production sailing catamaran, as well as a powercat. Nathan and Roger and the team are amongst the friendliest crew around and are proud of their success in converting Tony Grainger’s design into an exceptional sailing boat. TO celebrate that […]
Lightwave 38
Lightwave, Last edition I wrote of a short sail on a Lightwave 38 Sonja and I recently had the opportunity to have a longer trip, spending an entire weekend on the boat in an around the Gold Coast. I thought it might be interesting to further review the vessel from ‘the crew’s perspective’ so it’s […]
Lightwave 38
THE Lightwave 38 was on display at the Sanctuary Cove Boat show. Since then I have had the opportunity to test sail the vessel in the Southport area. Nathan, from Overall Stanton Yachts was demonstrating the boat to two couples who were interested purchasers. I am advised that one of the couples has ordered a […]
Lightwave 35
OUR first open water passage in our Lightwave 10.5 catamaran would be from the Gold Coast to Hastings in Westernport Bay, Victoria. Over the past 10 months, our boat was a resident of the Hope Harbour Marina. Although we tried to take as many long weekends from our jobs in Melbourne to use Zig Zag, […]
The growth of multihulls in Australia and indeed the world has certainly brought these boats and their designs to the fore in multihull boat production, not to be denied is the Grainger designed Lightwave 10.5, built by Overell Stanton Yachts on the Gold Coast. So it was we were greeted on a typical winter’s day […]

Crossing to the Dark Side – LW Owner gives recount on converting to cat sailing and converting a LW charter boat into a private boat


Owner Ken French, comments on “Crossing to the Dark Side” after being a keen mono sailor all his life, and also recounts his experiences with buying an ex-charter Lightwave 38′ Sailing Catamaran…

I think a lot of our family, friends and sailing mates were shocked when we told them we were going to buy a cat.

My partner, Megan, and I had been confirmed keelboat sailors all our lives but a move to Queensland and a charter on a Seawind 1000 in Moreton Bay made us realize that the lift keel 56ft monohull that we were planning to have built was still going to be a liability in the very shallow waters of our home base.

The decision is made

We had many experiences running aground in Queensland many years ago returning our 50ft Ocean racer from Osaka to Sydney. With a draft of over 10ft there weren’t too many places on the Queensland coast that we had not touched the bottom.

After neatly popping our charter cat on the mud at Canaipa on our first night out (we know boats) and my partner saying to me in the morning how still it was (it was defininitely still as we were well and truly hard aground) our minds were made up.

After floating free without a drama we started the serious looking and after a few false starts had our offer accepted on a 5 year old Lightwave 38 on the Gold Coast that was in survey and had been a Charter yacht in the Whitsundays for a good proportion of its life.

Charterboat to Private Yacht

After taking delivery of the boat at the Gold Coast City Marina where the Lightwave factory is located we then started the task of turning a charter workhorse into an ocean going yacht with the long range capability that we intended for it. There was work to be done but surprisingly the boat showed negligible lack of wear for having been in a Charter fleet and came with a surprising list of extras not included in a basic production yacht.

The most pleasing aspect of the boat was the interior. The glass work showed absolutely no wear and tear from being in the charter market and the items that did need attention were probably from a lack of maintenance from the previous owner rather than from hard work in the charter fleet.

And so to work

Our plan was to take the boat on an extended shakedown cruise to Melbourne and back over Christmas and the weeks were counting down. From a fairly sparsely equipped boat cruising around the Whitsundays to a boat capable of punching its way around Bass Strait there was a list of tasks to complete before we would be happy to go to sea.

After many years ocean racing we have a healthy respect for the sea and we don’t leave anything to chance. By choice we prefer ocean passages with just the two of us so the boat had to be able to be handled by a couple.


Our first addition was an autopilot. We have had Coursemaster autopilots in our previous boats so that is what we chose. With a hydraulic ram connected to the tiller arm the installation was fairly straightforward but time consuming with the usual custom modifications to attend to. The detail provided by Coursemaster for the installation was excellent and the wiring diagram was very straightforward. However retrofitting any piece of equipment at a later stage is far more time consuming than doing it at the build stage. If you are contemplating a new build always try to have the extras done at the start, however tempting it is to economise. If you have to add them later it will cost you a lot more than having them factory fitted.

The Chartplotter

The next addition was the godsend to sailors ‐ the Chartplotter. We chose the Navman with the big screen and what a gem it has been. Easy to install, the only real problem was the custom arm to make it swivel to the helm station and get it in behind the flatscreen TV when it is put to bed. With some lovely work from the stainless guys at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, where we are berthed, we solved quite a complex problem.

Liferaft Location

Next on the list was the liferaft. Various positions for stowage of this critical item were discussed but the final solution we believe to be the best and the safest. We have mounted the liferaft vertically on the stern next to the dinghy. The reason for this is twofold. We did not want it on the foredeck which was the other choice for two reasons. 1. We thought it would be more vulnerable to a wave over the bow and 2. In the unlikely event of a capsize the liferaft would them be under water and virtually impossible to get at. From the photos you will also notice that the liferaft is only lashed on with a knife permanently in a sheath next to the raft to cut it free. I resisted the temptation to have mechanical fastenings as they might not be able to be opened at the critical time. You never have to abandon ship in a nice 5‐10 knot breeze with the sun shining.

The shopping List

The next items were a general upgrade of our safety equipment.

  1. 406 Epirb
  2. New lifering and M.O.B Light.
  3. Flares upgrade to Ocean Racing Standards
  4. Extensive toolkit and spares list.
  5. Handheld VHF
  6. Backup handheld VHF
  7. Inflatable lifejackets with built in harness attachments
  8. New Bulkhead Compass
  9. Survival Gear

We also decided to add a drogue and parachute anchor form Alby McCracken at Para Anchors Australia. These were an expensive item but I believe a necessary safety item for a modern catamaran especially in Southern Latitudes and offshore.


The list kept going. We added a Xantrex Inverter primarily to power the computer and I have to say a very worthwhile addition as we were using our laptop constantly to monitor the weather situation and keep up with business, our other 240 volt needs being at a minimum.

The Loo

And finally to everyone’s favorite topic > The toilet. After seeing the Dubois Superyacht “ Kokomo” in Sydney once my daughters have a benchmark by which they believe every other yacht fitting or modification should be based. The toilet fits well and truly into this category. Can’t we just have a toilet like home? Why can’t we just flush it like home? Our toilet at home doesn’t smell like that. I bet they have nice toilets on Kokomo.

After dealing with a very smelly holding tank we decided to bite the bullet and install a treatment plant. We chose a”Saniloo” as this is fully approved for Queensland waters. It was time consuming and expensive to install but means we will be fully compliant with the added advantage that the waste going into the holding tank is treated .We were advised to increase the diameter of the holding tank vent pipe to 40mm and this seems to have done the trick.

The fun stuff

Our last additions were purely cosmetic. We reupholstered the cockpit cushions and had a new boom cover made. Instant colour and it was starting to look like a new boat. It took 6 weeks of hard work to get the boat back up to scratch but it was well worth the effort. On any secondhand boat there is always work to do and equipment to upgrade. We got a good deal when we purchased the boat and we now have a boat with a substantial amount of the electronics being the latest available and brand new. We had previously put in an offer on another cat which was better equipped but some of the equipment was not really suitable for the size boat that it was.

Electronics don’t last forever so we are pleased that we now have a brand new set of electronics to last us into the future.

By the time we left on our first maiden voyage down to Melbourne we both felt confident of the boat and its systems even though we hadn’t had much time to actually go sailing in her, but we had been over every inch of the boat and were confident that she was ready to put to sea.

A tip for new owners

Even though Megan and myself have had many previous yachts and many years experience, the sheer bulk of a Catamaran can be daunting at first. One of the first things we did when we got the boat back to Manly was to spend a full morning going in and out of our marina berth to get used to handling the boat in confined spaces. Once you have a system worked out and know how to use them, the twin motors make life easy. By the time we got to Sydney we were able to park it in “the pond” at the Cruising Yacht Club in front of a packed bar and look like we had done it forever.Scepticism turned to admiring glances as Megan neatly stepped off the stern, tied off the stern line and casually walked to the bow as it neatly came into the pontoon and took the bow line. The practice had more than paid off.


So are we converted? You betcha. After 2 months on board we love the boat and it has more than lived up to our expectations. The layout and execution of the boat is hard to fault with the helm station and visibility being fantastic. We look forward to the Lightwave regatta and meeting other Lightwave owners and to the many places we want to visit in our Lightwave.

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“We Cannot Discover New Oceans Unless We Have The Courage To Lose Sight Of The Shore” – Faulkner

Model Lightwave

Lightwave 46

Model Outlines Updated 1 (1)

Lightwave 55

Lw45 Popup Plumbing

Plumbing System

The Lightwave 46 has 800L of fresh water & 800L of diesel, in tanks that are built directly into the hull. High quality, purpose grade materials are used in this labour intensive construction method which guarantees an extremely high-quality product that will last for the lifetime of the boat. Dual freshwater pumps provided piece of mind through redundancy. A water transfer line is built into the system to allow water to travel between either tank. Fresh water vacuum toilets that use minimal fresh water (less than 400ml per flush) are a standard feature on the Lightwave 46, eliminating the stale saltwater smell that can encroach the cabin area.  A saltwater system is also fitted to the vessel to allow an anchor wash, saltwater tap in the galley and hose in the cockpit.

L46i Engine 2

Electrical System

The Lightwave 46 is designed for self-sufficient blue water cruising. The vessel is supplied with a 12-volt DC and a 240-volt AC electrical system. A 600Ah AGM battery system is offered on the vessel with an optional 660Ah lithium-ion battery bank. There are various solar options producing up to 2000kw of power. There is also the option to have a 4Kw AC diesel generator which is coupled with the inverter to allow for a high output. All areas of the vessels electrics are designed to be easily accessible and traceable with minimal disruption to the boats systems. Electrical components on the Lightwave 46 are carefully selected to ensure a minimum power consumption is achieved. Onboard systems incorporate the latest in technology, allowing remote control and monitoring of critical power systems, battery and charging status, tank levels, bilge pumps, aerial and security CCTV as well as an array of other custom options.

Lw45 Popup Engine

Engineering Systems

The Lightwave 46 offers a very spacious area in the external engine rooms, to accommodate the standard 50hp engines & other engineering systems. All steering components as well as the optional generator are housed in the engine rooms, carefully positioned for ease of access for servicing and maintenance. The engine rooms are separated from the accommodation area with a bulkhead lined in sound dampening material to defer noise, heat and odour from entering the cabins. The engine rooms are also accessible from the inside of the boat if required.

Lw45 Popup Img

Sailing Systems

Designed with the priority for the ultimate sailing experience, the deck layout and sailing systems are configured for ease of handling while shorthanded. The line system on the Lightwave 46 has been designed so all lines are organised and accessible from an area where the sails can be easily observed. Lines all lead to the cockpit and travel under serviceable fibreglass boards which not only keep the lines organised, but also remove possible tripping hazards. Hanging points are purposely provided creating a neat and organised place for line tails to be stored. Anderson winches and Ronstan deck gear are superiorly selected as standard equipment, with optional electric winches also available. A bridal main sheet system is cleverly applied to eliminate the safety concerns of a traveller car system traditionally used on catamarans. 

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