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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 […]

Cruising Helmsman Magazine. LW38′ 2007 Model Reveiw article.


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 five nominal levels of fitout, ranging from $440,000 for the entry level through to $598,000. If you prefer to make up your own options list plus special requests, then Lightwave is happy to oblige, so it’s really a semi-custom offering.

Lightwave 38s have been round a while. However, the boat I tested was the first to benefit from a series of updates. The test boat, Salacia, was spec-built but quickly snapped up by Owen and Diana Day, who didn’t see any need to wait for the next off the line. As a spec-built boat, she had the starboard-hull galley, larger nav station aft in the saloon and a mix of options approximating to one level below the top.


The boat is of foam sandwich const-ruction with vinylester resin used where critical for osmosis protection and polyester elsewhere. Fixed windows are of toughened 6mm tinted glass glued to the cabin moulding by a survey-approved process. Hatches are by Moonlight. Mini-keels of draught 1.1m are part of the hulls and allow the boat to be beached. The boat had a solid feel to it with no noticeable deflection of the deck.

For this latest model, the fuel tank has shifted from its earlier bridgedeck location to the port hull and is now 250 litres. But you can specify the 210-litre bridgedeck tank as an optional extra to extend cruising range. The boat now has larger engine hatches, cleverly designed so that when they are lifted the two boarding steps above them lift as well.

Bridgedeck clearance was measured at 65cm aft and 67cm for’ard, with two people on board and an average load. The underside of the bridgedeck is non-skid for that unthinkable capsize.

Down in the hulls

Each hull sports a queen-sized double bunk for’ard. There is a standard opening hatch above the double bunks with insect screens optional. For’ard of the bridgedeck in each hull is a single bunk, with the starboard one optionally convertible to a sit-down head/shower.

Aft of the port-side master cabin is a general-purpose area incorporating the switchboard and Xantrex battery monitor, a desk with optional swing seat, storage cupboards/drawer and a hanging locker. There is no dedicated stowage for paper charts, so these go either in tubes in the hanging locker or under the bunk mattresses.

Aft of the port-side saloon steps is the large well-fitted bathroom, with separate shower and head (optioned to electric in the test boat). The bathroom is a signature feature and makes the boat easy to live aboard.

The port hull is largely standard across the four layouts. Not so the starboard hull, which is where many of the options occur. The test boat had the well-fitted galley central in the starboard hull, with double stainless sinks, three-burner Smev stove, pantry, a rubbish compartment and front-opening fridge-freezer. Aft of the galley was a double bunk cabin. Stowage under the bunk can be converted to house a washer-drier or the whole cabin to a shower/head, a workshop or an office.

Bridgedeck saloon

The layout chosen for the test boat allows six adults comfortable seating at the saloon table, which slides to allow either more sitting or more standing room. Panoramic views are available through the tinted windows and the natural lighting is excellent. There are two overhead hatches and a vent.

Under the saloon seats are the refrigeration compressor, Vision 100 amp-hour AGM sealed lead-acid batteries (one start and four house (five optional), Balmar smart alternator regulator, and one of the best fitted and accessible electrical panels I have come across. The electrical fitout is standard and one of the best I have seen. It includes a 120-amp solar panel.

Port-side aft in the test boat’s saloon was the navigation bench, with standard ICOM VHF radio and Sony stereo, plus your choice of extras, which include a swinging seat. The test boat had the optional chartplotter on a swinging arm so it could be viewed from either the nav bench or from the cockpit helm station via an opening Perspex window.

The saloon features red night lighting. Nice touch. A flush-deck “re-entry” hatch (“escape” to most of us) can be installed in the saloon deck. The test boat didn’t have one, and I thought the optional status of this common cat safety feature a little surprising.

A sliding door with upper glass panel closes off the saloon, and a sliding insect screen door comes as an option.


Lightwave deserves special commend-ation for cockpit ergonomics. To starboard there is a table with seating for four. The table is an option and comes in the three top fitout levels. The seat incorporates stowage for the two 4.5kg gas bottles. Athwartships at the back of the cockpit is a full-width seat, with storage under and the traveller behind.

To port is the raised helm station. A lot of thought has gone into this. When it is fitted with the optional seat and footrest, two people can choose to either sit or stand. Either sitting or standing, you have excellent 360° vision through the raised hard-cover dodger (with zip-up clears). This has become a distinguishing feature of recent Lightwave cats. I think it’s a great idea – being entirely functional and keeping the helmsperson dry in all conditions. Future boats will have a newly styled version with unaltered functionality. The boat comes standard with Raymarine wind and tri-data. Steering is push/pull rack-and-pinion with optional autopilot.

Under the raised helm is a large locker. You can keep this for stowage or specify a removable 60-litre fridge or a 110-litre refrigerated compartment. Either way the option is popular for cockpit drinks and extended cruising.

Close to the outer guardrails on each side, and accessed from the upper boarding steps, is an Anderson 40 two-speed self-tailing sheet winch, with plenty of room for an extra pair of winches for the optional screecher. A single Anderson is provided to port of the traveller for the mainsheet.


Volvo 29hp D1-30 saildrives nestle in the aft engine compartments and there’s plenty of room round each engine to get at regular service points. Like all new-series Volvos, they come standard with 115-amp alternators, so with the Balmar smart regulator, recharging times at anchor will be minimal. The port engineroom houses the 67-litre holding tank – up high so that it gravity drains if required. The tank has a single vent but could be readily fitted with a second vent to allow cross-flow air circulation for optimal bacteria breakdown and minimised odour. The rudders are fitted for – but not with – emergency steering, so that will be one item for owner attention.

On deck

Behind the traveller and right across between the two hulls the test boat had the optional duckboard with a flip-over stowage system for light dinghies. Ask for the articulating A-frame option if you have a heavier dinghy or like to keep your motor on. Davits are a lower-cost option but you would lose that big duckboard. Three steps lead up from the boarding platforms to the cockpit or sidedecks. The dive ladder attachment points are on the starboard boarding platform along with an optional hot/cold shower. Handholds and guardrails(three-wire) are generously fitted.

The twin-spreader 5/6th rig is by Allyacht Spars – with a Selden boom, lazyjacks and zip-up sail cover all coming standard. The mast is stiffened by diamond stays on the spreaders, plus a jumper strut and half-diamond stay on the leading edge of the mast. The diamond stays attach to the base of the mast, not the boat. And that very stiff spar is then held upright by the forestay plus upper and lower shrouds. Two Anderson 28STs are mounted on the mast to take care of halyards and reefing. There is no vang because the wide traveller provides adequate downward force on the boom for all points of sailing. There was no topping lift on the test boat, the boom being supported by lazyjacks. I would be adding one.

The large fully battened main has lots of roach and is the boat’s main driving force. It comes with two dual-line slab reefs, which you put in using the mast winches. The standard boat has a smallish (see specs box) self-tacking jib, but the test boat had the optional overlapping genoa and screecher. The jib/genoa and screecher are on Profurl furlers. An asymmetrical spinnaker is optional.

Access to the cabin top is via steps each side of the mast. Lightwave gets full marks for ergonomics all round the boat, probably thinking about growing sales to no longer young baby boomers.

The anchor is a 45-pound CQR-style Manson – a good choice. It comes with 50m of 8mm chain and an optional cat bridle. The locker will self-stow up to 70m of 10mm chain. After experiencing the excellent anchor winch on the Lightwave 45, I was disappointed with the winch and fitting configuration on the test boat. I would want one that allows for emergency manual operation, caters for cruising needs by having a warping drum to work lines and that can have its brake applied or released above deck level to prevent back injury. The one fitted didn’t meet these needs and had surface rust over its polished steel finish after only a short service life (it’s mounted inside a hot, humid, salty locker). Lightwave intends reconfiguring this setup by modifying the hinged deck hatch, fitting a snag protector and a chromed-bronze capstan winch with manual backup. This will result in safer and more seamanlike functionality with freedom from surface corrosion.


With the genoa, and pointing at 40°, we made 5.7 knots boat-speed in 13 knots of apparent wind (11 true). The boat pointed to 35° but dropped speed a little. The screecher (which I am sure most owners will specify) works from 60° round to 120. With it we made seven knots with the wind at 75° in 11 knots apparent (nine true). On a 90°reach we made six knots with the breeze at nine knots. With the sheets eased for apparent wind at 120°, speed dropped to a respectable 5.3 knots. That screecher really works, so “tacking” downwind is a viable option.

The helm was light and responsive (better I thought than the Lightwave 45 and the boat tacked reliably and easily with either headsail – the screecher needing an occasional hand through the gap between forestays.

Under motor we made 6.5 knots at 2000rpm and eight knots at 3000. Future boats will benefit from a stern gear reconfiguration allowing different props and slightly improved speed. Going astern the boat steered well with a light helm.

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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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