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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 […]

LW45G Boat Test article MULTIHULL WORLD

106 Mhw Front

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 yard is maintaining its reputation as being one of our most prolific catamaran builders. With the same Tony Grainger designed hulls as the popular Lightwave 45 Sport that launched in 2005 and has gone on to become a popular seller, the Grandé version developed from a 46 motor cat project that morphed into a ‘supersized’ new deck layout on the Lightwave 45. The result is a more spacious deck and saloon with about a 25% increase in the latter. What hasn’t changed is the elegant raked lines of the boat’s profile and the stepped cabin sides, a prettier arrangement than some other slab sided cat designs. The Lightwave Grandé model is also offered as a power or motor-sailer catamaran. These boats are designed to be comfortable bluewater cruisers and with a very active and far flung owners’ association giving feedback to Lightwave, the effervescent managing director Roger Overell and team can offer semi-custom builds to ensure your dream ship really does become reality. So as hull number 70 lay against the company’s wharf on the shores of the Broadwater I went to take a look.


Unzipping the wrap around clear tent, like a late Christmas present, revealed a gleaming interior which I attributed to the very high standard of polished finish on all bulkheads and the fully extended overhead hardtop ensured this tented deck area stayed dry. This gives protected cockpit seating for 12, while nearby on the portside is Lightwave’s signature raised helm station enclosed with a shapely hard-topped cubby. Nice touches here include the flip-out steerer’s seat with 140L fridge underfoot, which means the skipper never needs to leave the helm for his stubby. The review boat, that’s destined for New Zealand, came with a helm station festooned with electronics. Apart from the standard Raymarine ST60 readouts, which I prefer over the latest non-user friendly ST70s, the engine controls were all at a viewable waist level in a customised bulkhead setup. Other smarts for this boat included forward sonar by Interphase and the responsive touch screen Garmin 7015 plotter which swung out from inside the saloon. The medium diameter stainless steering wheel, hydraulically operated, and electronic throttles complemented a very functional helm setup. And with all lines running aft to the cockpit, shorthanded sailing could be the norm on the Grandé. These lines are neatly stowed in bulkhead bins behind the quality Anderson A52 primary winches. Other good features on the stern deck include the ability to swivel the table out, turning it into a bar style arrangement, ideal for serving buffets. For shore leave the moulded davits on the transom can quickly deploy the rubber ducky – a luxury Aurora centre console model on the review boat – that I dropped into the briny without incident. Handily, beside the transom mounted barbecue is a small sink and tap. Other nice details include the curved grab rails leading to the waterline and pop-up cleats on the swim platforms.

For those with total decadence in mind, or perhaps during stinger season, a deck spa can even be installed in this area. The company’s design team has maintained Lightwave’s profile with lots of curved bulkheads and this concept continues as you move forward along the clean decks, helped by sturdy triple wire safety lines, towards the wide expanse of the foredeck. Anchoring is taken care of via a deck mounted Muir Storm 2200 vertical windlass with anchor bridal going through a deck roller cavity but there is another roller up front as well. Behind the collision bulkheads are twin bow lockers with large hatches, ideal for storing the gennaker and fenders.

Rig and hull

Designed as a serious bluewater cruiser the L45 is intended as a fuss free sailboat when it comes to the rig so a self-tacking jib is standard with obligatory big roached mainsail. However there are plenty of options if speed is the need. A roller furling genoa, screecher and carbon laminated main, all by Quantum Sails was bent onto the review boat. The double spreader Allyacht Spars mast with oversized swept back outboard shrouds looked sturdy and being a cat of course, no backstay but a topping lift held the boom up since no vang is needed. Up front the small prodder is used for deploying the screecher or asymmetric. The mainsail is sheeted by double blocks and a pair of Anderson A52 winches either side of the transom with separate sheeting lines for either side, designed to ensure good purchase and put some twist on the fully battened mainsail. Spinlock jammers are also used to lock lines down and all other running rigging lines and halyards lead aft, hidden neatly under gutters, including the reefing lines.

The aesthetics of the L45 are greatly helped by plenty of waterline length but also the flair of the narrowish hulls add to this effect while giving good topside height to ensure a high bridgedeck clearance (0.95m) to avoid the customary cat slap as you bash to windward. Low aspect keels are designed to allow beaching of the L45 while protecting the saildrives and composite shafted rudders. For extra grunt to windward an optional portside hull dagger board can be specified, again showing the customisation available from Lightwave.

Earlier in the day I walked around the relatively new Lightwave production facilities where a 40 strong workforce was busy. The company’s Louise Overell pointed out the two stage build process, with hull moulds done in one facility then deck interfaces and overall completion in another with final detailing done in a dedicated paint shop, to give that high gloss finish I mentioned earlier. Hull construction is GRP-foam sandwich with biaxial glass over Divinycell closed foam core which is vacuum-bagged and hand-laid to ensure lightness and quality. Modified epoxy resin is used below the waterline to prevent osmosis and polyester resin above. Bulkheads are foam cored sandwich construction. The bulkhead between engine room and hull accommodation is fully sealed to prevent fumes and this is a cavernous area with good access to the 75hp Volvos fitted to the review boat but the more fuel efficient 55hp Volvos come as standard. Tankage is also very good with 800lt fuel and similar water, giving a maximum range of 1300nm motoring on one standard engine. In the starboard engine room there is space allocated for a watermaker and I also noted the emergency tillers –deployed singly or together through deck fittings.


An important design aspect of Lightwaves is the centralisation of accommodation and therefore weight around the inner core of the boat. The other main benefit is more sea kindly berths which is also helped by lowering the bunks in the hulls. However this doesn’t limit the choices of layout with several available, ranging from four cabin, four toilet charter setup to a dedicated owner’s hull. Destined for a family with young children the review boat came with the galley down starboardside behind the owner’s suite and two double cabins portside with shared bathroom facilities between. Good headspace in the owner’s suite and the queen sized bed should ensure comfort and a great idea is the forward facing hatch so the skipper can check where he or she is going even while resting. Plenty of cupboard space, a dressing seat and vanity mirror area as well as extra hanging space just outside, nicely finished off the owner’s area.

Another good feature was the flexibility offered by the stern double cabin starboardside which can convert into singles or a double. Ablutions are well taken care off with a manual toilet in each hull, with separate shower area and enough space to comfortably move around in. One downside throughout was the lack of blinds or curtains on the review boat.

The lightly shaded Beechwood was neatly finished throughout as were all fixtures and fittings, always a sign of quality in a boat. The partly open inside bulkhead on the galley allowed the steerer to watch the kettle boil as they sailed along and ensured the cooking area is well aired and pleasant. Nice features here included the 135L front opening two drawer fridge and single 65L freezer unit by Vitrifrigo with a three burner LPG stove-oven. Deep double sinks with pleasant deck eye views and stylish composite moulded surfaces completed a functional area.

This layout leaves the main saloon clear for lounging with the port quarter given over to a navigation table with neat swing-out stool. The saloon is open and airy with plenty of large opening toughened glass windows for natural light and airflows are also helped with dual passageways to the portside guest cabins. The laminated wooden floor hid the necessary escape hatch in case of inversion. The internal saloon bulkheads positively gleamed thanks to the high standard of ‘two pak’ paint finish on them something that Lightwave spend a lot of effort doing in their dedicated shop.

Under the L-shaped lounge settee the securely laid out bank of batteries can output 800AH (600AH standard) with the review boat optioned with a Mastervolt inverter and five KVA Paguro generator in the portside engine room.

The nearby main circuit board fittings looked sturdy with neatly organised cable runs, fuse boxes and main power shut-offs.

On the water

After motoring out to a blustery Broadwater with tide and wind behind us company MD Roger Overell and I quickly set to work, hoisting the mainsail easily with the electric Andersen winch. With a pleasant 12-14kt working breeze the screecher was then rolled out of its Profurl furler and we accelerated cleanly in the shallow confines of the bay. From my unimpeded helm view I set a course on the wind while Roger cranked the gear in. Both standing or sitting positions on the padded double seat proved comfortable with the large diameter stainless wheel responsive to the hydraulic controls connecting the rudders. No sooner had I found my groove than the Raymarine depth sounder was warning of shallows so we tacked off, a manoeuvre that kept Roger pretty busy, with the twin mainsheets to control as well as headsail sheets. This sheeting layout was similar to other cats I’ve sailed and for energetic tacking (or racing) a person on either side of the boat is preferable. But remembering that this is a bluewater performer where you may lay a tack for a day or two, so it shouldn’t be an issue. Performance felt quick with the big cat speeding over the sheltered waters, with only a small chop to impede us. For the record, off the wind with screecher I managed 8.4kts in the dying 11kt breeze while running at 120°. With the afternoon moving along nicely we then doused the screecher and rolled out the genoa and went for a series of gybes: mainsail wound in, helm over and jib sheets changed and around we sped. With 360° views from the helm the steerer can keep an eye on all the action, with only some of mainsail obscured by the hardtop helm protection. Our speed kept up in the eights, with 8.1kts recorded hard on the wind at 45° which showed the L45 to be a slippery boat, though a more thorough test on a sloppy seaway would have been good. But the high bridgedeck clearance should ensure performance is still up there. Of course these boats are already well proven, with sister ship Innforapenny II having just completed a successful circumnavigation and looking none the worse for it when I looked over it at the yard earlier in the day. This L45 also distinguished herself by winning the multihull division of the ARC rally, no mean feat given the stiff French competition in that category.

Overall the latest Lightwave 45 Grandé proves that quality Australian built boats will continue to own a strong niche market, where quality and personalisation rewards discerning owners with a refined boat.


  • Quality and attention to detail throughout;
  • Semi-custom build;
  • Proven design.


  • Sail sheeting a handful shorthanded;
  • Lack of curtains (review boat).

Options fitted to review boat

  • Boat reviewed priced at $1.008m incl GST, with extras including:
  • Built to NZ Cat 1 standard
  • Custom additional timber features throughout including TV entertainment/bar cabinet in saloon
  • Stereo and TV system upgrade throughout boat
  • Custom layout, 4 cabin, 2 bathroom
  • Electronics upgrade including Garmin 7015 plotter/ Garmin radar; Satellite phone aerial
  • Upgrade engines to 75hp
  • Genset and air conditioning

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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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