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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. LW45′ Review article


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: the renowned Tony Grainger.

The Lightwave 45 Sports Cruiser is his latest creation. Built by Roger Overell and the team at Lightwave Yachts on the Gold Coast, it is a successor to the popular Lightwave 35 and 38.

Overell describes the 45 as “an awesome bluewater cruiser”. “The design emphasis is on elegant, efficient, seakindly hulls and ample bridgedeck clearance,” he said.

Okay, so he’s selling the boat. But even at a quick glance it is a good-looking catamaran and the specs would seem to point to bluewater capabilities, so there could be more than just a modicum of truth in his superlatives. What does an in-depth look reveal?

First impressions

One of the most important aspects of getting someone to part with their hard-earned cash is that look-at-me quality and the 45 has it, at least as far as I’m concerned. My first impressions were of curvaceous lines and a raked, speed-promising mast and acres of image-evoking glossy white gelcoat that just made me want to sail off into the sunset. Nothing in her looks stood out jarringly as out of place or needing obvious modification.

Sail plan

Like most catamarans, the 45 has a fractional rig (7/8) with twin swept-back spreaders and a large main with a big roach. The sloping mast and large roach help bring the effort of lateral resistance aft and keep the mast step forward of the bridgedeck saloon.

Complementing the mainsail are a lazyjack boom bag, small self-tacking jib on self-furler, large screecher on self-furler and an asymmetrical spinnaker. The screecher and spinnaker are optional extras.

Because this is a catamaran and has room for a long traveller across the aft side of the cockpit, there is no boomvang, the theory being that the long traveller is enough in itself to ensure adequate downward force on the boom on all points of sail.

On the test boat halyards and both reefing lines ended at an Anderson 46 two-speed self-tailing winch on the mast, and the main halyard was rigged via a snatchblock to the anchor capstan. However, as an optional extra Lightwave can install a dedicated electric halyard and reefing-line winch in front of the helm position, allowing one person to hoist as well as reef the mainsail from the comfort of the helm position.

Port and starboard to stern are two pairs of 52 and 46 Anderson two-speed self-tailing winches for screecher and spinnaker sheets. Another Anderson 28 two-speed self-tailing winch does duty for traveller adjustment.

Sails are by GM Sails. The main and jib are a Dacron mix of offshore quality and the screecher tri-radial Mylar.

Cockpit and deck

No catamaran would be complete without a large cockpit, and the Lightwave 45 is no exception. Every inch yells “Party!”. No wonder everyone congregates on these boats at sailaways.

Aft is a full-width seat for up to six. This is home to two large lazarettes and the afore-mentioned traveller. An L-shaped seat that would fit up to three is in the forward starboard side of the cockpit abutting the door to the saloon. Underneath is a vented locker for two full-sized gas bottles.

On the port side forward is the steering station, up two steps. This has a double seat with footrest that folds up or down so you can sit or stand comfortably. Instruments include a Suunto compass, Raymarine autopilot, Raymarine ST60 depth, speed and wind. The steering station has a hard top over it with clears that can be unzipped and folded up. Underneath is a combination 90L fridge/freezer.

A table fits in the starboard side of the cockpit adjacent to the helm position and companionway. This was not fitted on the demonstration boat but comes as standard.

Abutting the almost-full-width seat aft is a large platform where the dinghy lives and a 400kg crane for launching and retrieving. These are optional extras.

The cockpit floor is a cork composite called Marine Deck 2000. My first choice would be easy-care non-slip fibreglass, but this man-made material did look good and is reportedly tough.

On the starboard transom you’ll find a hot and cold shower and swimming ladder and just forward of these under each hull a 75hp Volvo saildrive with four-blade folding prop (40s are standard). Access to the port one is phenomenal, but the starboard is compromised by an aft cabin – a problem that could be fixed by sacrificing some walk-in space in the said cabin.

Heading forward, there is a side deck and an intermediate deck, the latter accessed up steps from aft and forward. The shrouds are mid-deck on the side deck and easily navigated.

Hatches and fixed ports abound – I lost track at seven opening hatches and six fixed ports.

Twin trampolines have pride of place on the foredeck, complemented by pulpit seats to port and starboard big enough for two. Some 75m of 10mm chain and a 60lb plough live in the deepish anchor locker, adjacent to which is a Muir 2250 capstan.

The cabin top extends back into a three-section top over the cockpit, the first two sections hard and the aftmost soft. The soft section is home to two 120W solar panels.

Saloon and hulls

The saloon has panoramic views and is a great space from which to watch the world go by.

The focal point is the larage, L-shaped settee, which has a nifty V-shaped table that slides forward so you can walk around it and then pull it in when seated.

The batteries live under the settee and had the technical-minded males among us drooling. As standard you get seven identical Vision 100 amp-hour AGM sealed batteries (six in the house bank and one for engine starting), a Volvo standard 115-amp alternator on each engine and a single Ample Power Next Step three-stage regulator.

The nav/entertainment station is to port as you enter and boasts TV, DVD, CD player and chartplotter, among other gizmos. It’s really up to you what goes there as most are optional extras. A window/hatch opens directly out to the helm station so the helmsperson can see the chartplotter and VHF radio.

In the port hull the test boat had aft a toilet with separate shower compartment and Vacu-flush electric toilet, midships an office and stowage, forward a master cabin with queen-sized berth and make-up table and hanging clothes rack.

The starboard hull had aft a small cabin with adjustable beds that could sleep up to three, midships a galley with three-burner stove with microwave and 150L upright 12V fridge, forward a queen-sized guest berth and in the bow a small head/shower with electric toilet.

Both toilets have plastic holding tanks and are vented outboard. The Vacu-flush one uses fresh water (only 400ml a flush though), which helps prevent oadour.

Under the hull floors are tanks for a generous 800L of fuel and 600L of water, plus an in-floor stowage compartment for gear in the port hull.

Stowage overall is reasonable for such a boat, with plenty of shelves and nooks and crannies. As in most production boats, a few more fiddles and grabrails would not go astray.

Dècor is a mixture of beech timber and beige headliner and an attractive linoleum/carpet that complements the timberwork.

Numerous hatches, ports and lights ensure good ventilation and a bright, light feeling. Most windows and the sliding doors are screened, but curtains/blinds are optional extras.


Lightwave uses standard modern GRP foam-sandwich construction methods and offers a five-year structural warranty. Fittings and fixtures are as per their manufacturer’s warranty, which is normally 12 months.


Twenty-plus people aboard, many of them keen to help, is not a recipe for smooth teamwork, but even with the inevitable hiccups and extra 1500kg or so, the 45 did not disgrace herself.

On the wind in 13 knots true, pointing at 40-45° the small self-tacking jib meant sail area was a bit on the conservative side and she clocked only six knots. However, as soon as you headed off to 60° and hoisted the screecher the picture changed dramatically and the log quickly climbed to 9.3-9.4 knots.

Overell said on a previous test sail –half laden and with only three crew aboard – speed and pointing were much more impressive, achieving 8.25 knots of boat speed at 35° apparent in 15 knots of true wind, and 16.5 knots at 60° in 22 knots true.

The basic sail plan is deliberately conservative, which makes sense. Most boats are sailed by couples, many relatively novice. If you were a gung-ho, very experienced sailor and wanted to improve windward performance in light winds, all you’d have to do is axe the easy-to-handle self-tacking jib in favour of a 120-130-percent genoa.

Daggerboards are another available option that would boost upwind performance; twin bilge keels are standard. Both configurations allow you to beach the boat if needed.

In practice the sail plan on the test boat worked well. Having a self-tacking jib meant we could virtually forget about it once unfurled. The screecher did have to be tacked or gybed, but backwinding it slightly before pulling it in enabled us to feed it through the slot in front of the headsail forestay without hassle.

The helm station was comfortable sitting or standing and visibility good, although sometimes the sails did obscure one’s view at a particular angle and you had to step away to a spot where you could see from or head away so you could see what was behind the sails.

Under motor the 75hp sail-drives had us zooming along at a rapid rate. The Broadwater’s speed limit meant we couldn’t open the throttles up, but for the optional 75hp engines Overell quoted figures of 9.6 knots at 2500rpm and 11.5 at 3000rpm.


This is one of the best cats I have seen. Number one out of the mould is a good vessel in its own right, but with a full hard-top bimini and optioned up to include the halyard and reefing lines led back to a power winch at the helm, it would be an even more impressive yacht.

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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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