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 on Queensland’s Gold Coast with winds of 10 to 12 knots in a shimmering bright blue-skied day we headed into the Broadwater. The first thing that strikes you on boarding is the impeccable finish on this boat. For the test sail we had the two builders, Roger Overell and Nathan Stanton, myself, Eden Lynch and our photographer Michael.
We motored out of the Coomera River from the Hope Harbour entrance. The two 20hp Volvo sail drives diesel engines and gear folding propellers achieving 6.2 knots of 2600rpm.
We turned south into the light but increasing south-easterly breeze and raised the main assisted by the 2:1 purchase on the halyard with only the top two metre needing to be winched. then unfurled the genoa and set off to windward. With the slightly steadier wind, the boat soon reached six knots.
This boat has also two sail reached at 13 knots on the local waters of Moreton Bay in 25 knots of wind. The current owners rule of thumb for boat speed is one knot above half wind speed. this boat has only recently been fitted with a spinnaker and its performance is expected to be even better.
At the steering station on the starboard side of the cockpit, I could reach all instrumentation, throttles, gears and steering wheel from a comfy helmseat. standing or sitting at the helm station I could clearly see the sails ahead and by standing on the footrest I could see both bows, which was great for berthing the boat. Maneuvering the boat while under power or sail was very good apparently due to the generous rudder blades.
Large stub keels also helping the boat to point well and yet still maintain good speed to close the distance on several yachts ahead.
We go about and head north with the breeze toward Tipplers further up the Broadwater. Time to relax and take a better look around the boat.
The flared hullsides certainly give a feeling of being onboard a boat of much bigger size, the interior having 6’3” standing headroom with ample space to walk past another sailor without needing a shoehorn.
The port hull is generally the owner’s quarters with a queen size berth forward, navigation station amidships with another double cabin aft.
Accommodation would suit six to eight people with an airy saloon that will seat them all completing the massive interior.
The flooring in the navigation and galley areas is laid African Ash and Rosewood. The Lightwave has permanent shade over the cockpit, walkthrough transoms for easy access, 750mm of bridgedeck clearance for seaworthiness, and a wide beam of 6.67m for bluewater cruising.
Several configurations have been used for the existing boats. this owner opted for a triple spreader rig from S & H Spars in Labrador, the deck gear from Lewmar and the sail wardrobe from Gary Martin Sails.
We decide to head back once abreast the new Couran Cove Resort on South Stradbroke Island. As we tacked back towards the Coomera River entrance I enjoyed steering as the helm was very responsive and the boat tacked like any monohull.
At last we turned onto a beam reach back up the river and glided effortlessly towards the marina.
The Lightwave, in my opinion is a testament to a great deal of hard work and good tradesmanship, which after two and a half years of development has resulted in the most boat for the length that I have seen.
As we motored back to the berth, a thought passed through my mind regarding a road test on a Porsche sports car where the drivers said “do I have to hand this back?”
The Lightwave is constructed using Divinycell H80 foam core ranging from 15mm to 25mm in the hulls/bridgedeck and H60 and H80 from 10mm to 25mm in the decks, all depending on load and position.
Most fibreglass cloth is stitched 45×45 600gm DB in varying layers with extra 1000gm quadraxial and uni’s in high load areas. Vinylester and epoxy resins are used below the waterline to prevent osmosis. The end result is quite light but very strong.
Some of the special features I noticed on the test boat that set the Lightwave apart from other similar boats were:
- All bulkheads are foam sandwich (light and stiff)
- Cockpit lockers have smoother interior liners (no seams or cracks to leak)
- Foredeck storage bay – anchor locker, fully moulded incorporates gas bottle storage, anchor winch mount and chain locker as one piece
- Her flowing exterior lines resulting from no hull/deck join because of unique moulding and construction process
- Fully moulded wrap around windows which are bonded on. Hence no fastenings to leak or look ugly
- Integrated hardtop/targa over cockpit for permanent protection from the elements that also look good (Optional side covers drop down in seconds to further improve protection)
- Forward trampoline tracks integrated into hull and deck construction to eliminate corrosion and leaks from alloy tracks and fastenings \8 the foam cored interior saves approximately 480kg in weight over a standard plywood interior.