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 generation Powercat recognises the space benefits of the multihull concept boasting large internal spaces including a master stateroom with island style bed and walk in robe, guest cabin with ensuite, and a third double cabin.
Lightwave Yachts are renowned as the ‘innovators’ in the industry and their new 46’ Powercat is no exception. Standing out with unique design features like their ‘raised helm position’, which provides all the benefits associated with a traditional flybridge, without isolating the captain from family members and guests. The high speed displacement hull is fitted with twin 160hp Volvo diesel engines using 2 litres per nautical mile at a speed of 15.5 knots – with fuel economy like this, it makes the perfect long range cruiser or liveaboard.
In the eyes of the very wealthy the classification of Super Yacht means everything is big, the length of the waterline to the cost of an expensive array of furnishings, plus a luxuriously appointed master cabin and an engine room filled with big and thirsty engines.
Sure there are a number of these impressive Super Yachts located in various ports around the world, and they justifiably attract attention and turn heads whenever they gracefully motor or sail from port to port.
But in all cases, the owners are forced to agree that size, power and prestige, comes with a cost and owning a real Super Yacht is super expensive with each nautical mile presenting a big bill for not only the cost of entertaining personal guests, but also topping up the fuel tanks.
The Super Yacht building industry particularly in America and Europe, has enjoyed an unparalleled growth over the past decade with the billionaires and millionaires accepting the advantages of taking a break from making money to spending some ‘petty cash’ and enjoying the healthy benefits by taking time out to experience the value of a carefree, aquatic lifestyle.
Yes, there are Super Yachts, and then there are yachts that are just super. In most cases, the word super has a totally different meaning which is all relative to affordability.
It is in my view that the classification of Super Yacht should only ever be applied to a vessel that has the design, construction integrity and sea comfort to provide the owner with an affordable bottom line in relation to cost.
Therefore, it is possible to own a Super Yacht with a user friendly waterline length measuring between 13 metres up to what the owners of the ‘Big Boys Toys’ rate as their personally selected version of a Super Yacht.
Really the belief comes down to a matter of choice with the number of smaller luxury catamarans adequately filling the needs and performing to the requirements to qualify as a Super Yacht.
They can also represent a wise investment, while complimenting the advantages with living in a penthouse type environment where the view changes from the dining table or the super comfortable cocktail lounge each time the anchor is lowered.
As expected, the competition to establish a healthy cash flow to help sustain a necessary ongoing research and development program has played a big role behind the excellent choice of both sail and motor yachts being meticulously built, and now being rolled off the production line at a number of Australian leisure catamaran building companies.
One of the most recent success stories has evolved from Lightwave Yachts, a Gold Coast boat yard which first started operations in a small rented shed just over a decade ago to now be riding along on the crest of the wave with the identity of being recognised among the best in the industry turning out high quality catamarans.
They have sensibly covered both worlds building a motorised passage-making catamaran for the owner who wishes to cruise in a straight line, and the owner who prefers to make lower cost passages sailing free with the wind.
In both cases, Lightwave Yachts have built an impressive fleet with satisfied owners taking real pride helming their yachts on the various inshore and offshore courses along the Australian coast and beyond.
Sensibly, they have chosen an appealing brand name ‘Lightwave’ for the impressive range of sailing and power catamarans built at Coomera, on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
Lightwave Yachts collective desire to build quality has never been compromised establishing the growing company as a major player in the customized multihull boat building industry.
Ongoing market demand has forced Lightwave into renting more floor space to meet the recent sales of the spacious ocean sailing and motor voyaging catamarans designed by Tony Grainger.
The hands on sailing careers of the experienced designer Tony Grainger, who is forever thinking outside the square, and the company principal and Brisbane to Gladstone Race champion, Roger Overell has created an efficient, no fuss (light wave wash) catamaran.
Last February, the progressive Lightwave Yachts team of skilled fibreglass boat builders was committed to a heavy workload applying their skills to an impressive new model, the Lightwave 45’ Sports Cruiser, the largest of their sailing catamarans.
Since then the same team have completed the first twin Volvo 160 Hp Lightwave 46’ Powercat, which made her Australian debut at the 2006 Sydney International Boat Show in early August attracting wide interest and glowing reports.
This stylish new model, following on from the success of the smaller Lightwave 40’ Powercat, has become another winner with sales contracts under negotiation well before the neatly built prototype power catamaran was extracted from the mould.
Lightwave have cleverly combined the important features of space, comfort and performance into a sleek eye catching design measuring 14m overall and a beam of 7.3m incorporating 2.0m head room clearance in the hulls enhancing the live aboard appeal with spacious cabins, bridge deck saloon and galley.
The selected layout includes a master stateroom with an island style bed and walk in robe, guest cabin with ensuite, and a third double cabin. This ideal three double cabin fit out allows three couples to enjoy the comforts of the vessel when not on watch. The interior design incorporated all of the special feminine touches that allow for easy care when tidying up the cabin and making the bed.
This feature had no association with the performance, but the simplicity of the task allowed the ‘house wife’ to slip into relaxation mode when her duties were complete, and the vessel was again in ship-shape condition.
Perhaps this chore would normally go unnoticed, but not so by the skippers ‘first mate’, who from the outset needs to be confident that her onboard duties would not only be simple, but easy as well. The interior design blends seamlessly with the sleek exterior offering a surprising amount of user-friendly space throughout.
Sailing and economical motoring performances have, and will always remain as the most important features, however Lightwave Yachts have not lost the direction to maximize crew comfort with the interior fit out which can be changed to suit personal demands.
There is the welcome impression of space when first stepping aboard from either the port or starboard hull with an easy companionway leading to the bridge deck saloon area, which also includes the helm, navigation station and general dining and entertainment area.
The ergonomically planned galley situated in the starboard hull is fitted with a Broadwater gas oven, grill and hot plates, a stainless steel refrigerator with over 120 litres of space, and a stainless steel sink serviced by a hot and cold mixer tap, with swivel spout. There is an abundance of space for food preparation and is handily located with easy access to the saloon.
A combination of satin finished Rosewood and Silver Ash timbers enhances the hardwearing white fiberglass mouldings, which combined with the soft touch vinyl headlining presents an elegant finish to the interior.
But there is more to this outstanding floating ‘home away from home’ package. The shower compartment is sensibly separated from the full vacuum flush toilet system by a stylish glass door.
Then there is the roomy master cabin, which has to be viewed to be believed. The queen size bed and walk-in wardrobe takes advantage of the space benefits of the multihull concept.
All of the features included, provide an uncompromised standard of comfort from bow to stern, with the entire motor away standard package of the Lightwave 46’ Powercat priced at AUD$790,000.00 including GST, representing excellent value when compared with an upmarket beachfront holiday unit. The value of the initial investment takes on an upgrade when you consider the ever-changing environment depending on where you decide to drop anchor.
Collectively, the latest Lightwave 46’ has followed on from the traditional skills employed in building a respected name in the industry. More importantly, it shows all of the qualities expected in a new generation voyage making catamaran.
Her long range cruising speed of 9 knots with the engines synchronized at 1800 rpm and returning a very economical 10 litres per hour combined with a peak speed of 21 knots and a fast cruise rate of 15.5 knots, qualifies the new Lightwave 46’ Powercat in a category of a Super Yacht with her super style and super performance.