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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 […]

Multihull World. The Need For Speed. Comparing three Australian production catamarans


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.

THE PARADIGM till now has been, production builders build excellent cruising boats with the more performance oriented requirements being handled by custom designers/builders.

Change however is well and truly on the agenda and in that regard we recently examined three production boats that have broadened the focus and, as a result, the choices for owners looking for performance enhancement.

The Stallion Marine built Spirited 380 is already deservedly regarded as being at the sharp end of performance production cruising cats. Stallion, in conjunction with Allyacht Spars and Ullman Sails are however taking another step in the area of innovation in genuine performance cruising cats.

Lightwave Yachts build some excellent cruising boats with more than reasonable performance figures, they too have identified a need to offer something more for the performance minded sailor, and have recently launched a Lightwave 38 with minor modifications to enhance performance.

Lightwave has also taken control of the very rapid Raider series and in conjunction with Allyacht Spars are developing two versions of the Raider, both designed to build a strong ‘one design’ class and offer line honours performance at the same time.

The following vignettes are not designed to be in-depth boat tests – all these boats have been well reviewed before, they do however provide an insight into design considerations, owner desires and performance expectations.

Lightwave 38 – with board

Nigel and Janette have owned a string of fast boats, most recently a Corsair 36 and a Corsair Sprint. They enjoyed all their tris and gained a lot of performance as well as cruising enjoyment from their boats. Recently they decided to look for something with a little more comfort and settled on the Lightwave 38 design. Nigel however wanted his boat to have dagger board/s. This lead to significant discussions and engineering review by Roger Overell and the team at Lightwave and finally it was determined that it could be done and done in such a way so as to not compromise the strength or other virtues of the boat.

The build was also approached with an eye on weight, again strength was not to be compromised but where an opportunity to lighten the Lightwave presented it self, either through fitout or build approaches, it was taken.

The result was Cat Balou, a Lightwave 38 with a single dagger board built in.

According to Roger Overell: “We took the approach of meeting the customer’s needs, but only after we were able to satisfy ourselves that all other virtues of our boat would remain and that strength and reliability were not compromised. Accordingly we developed a process of building the single daggerboard into the pre existing mini keel. This provided a strong, almost ready made housing for the board, maintained mini keel protection to the rudders and props and ensured that the boat was able to be beached with confidence”.

Roger was happy with the design and build outcome and thus far Nigel is very pleased with the realisation of the intended performance gains. Nigel and Janette have only raced it in social WAGS/SAGS style races thus far, but he has seen his handicap tumble as the boat demonstrates its potential. The races are handicap starts and the results thus far see Cat Balou starting after Farr 1020s and other excellent monos, alongside or after Farrier 680s a Rogers 32 and a Fastback

The only boats with a later handicap start are Corsair Sprints, an F31 and an open bridgedeck Crowther.

Particularly pleasing to Nigel and Janette is the performance to windward. I had the opportunity to spend a few hours aboard on a SAGS race recently. We sailed out of Scarborough near Brisbane and proceeded to the race start. We started at the rear of the fleet and I was pleasantly surprised at the way we pointed higher and sailed faster than some very good boats, including a lot of good monos that ‘will always outpoint a cat’.

We continually made ground on the fleet and by the last rounding mark we were with the leading boats and ultimately went on to come home line ball with a boat that started a fair bit earlier than us. What was also interesting was that the race was in very light airs, traditionally not the preferred winds for a cruising cat.

It is a very impressive variation on the Lightwave 38 theme and if you are looking for a performance edge, it’s a concept well worth exploring. And underneath it all is a Lightwave 38, which means there is a strong capable and comfortable boat that can take you almost anywhere you wish to sail.

Raider One design and other developments

One of the few high performance production boats in the market is the Tony Grainger designed Raider. A 9.2m beach cat on steroids the Raider has a solid record of race performances, including two Brisbane to Gladstone OMR wins.

The Raider had been the product of the All-Yacht Spars team with Geoff and Joel Berg leading the development and sailing testing of the boats. Recently the Berg family and Roger Overell from Lightwave Yachts got together and now the Raider is being manufactured by Lightwave. One of the key developments is the development of a One Design class for this boat.

Previously the Raider 302 design, as it was known, had proven its performance credentials in offshore racing around the world, and has now been formed into a true ‘One Design’ International Class. Lightwave Yachts and Allyacht Spars are joint campaign partners, and are working with multihull racing champion, Jamie Morris.

The Raider One Design can reach speeds of 25kts offshore in 20-25kts wind. It will fly a hull in 12kts, creating a spectacular sight.

The Raider One Design is a very fast sports cat which can be demounted and towed on a road trailer. It can also be containerised so it can be delivered to overseas buyers or to compete in various international events around the world.

According to Roger Overell “The Raider One Design is intended for offshore and coastal racing and the teams compete under strict one-design rules, producing real competitive sailing and crew work. The boats are offered as a Grand Prix or Club Sports package, the design is an open bridgedeck cat, featuring 1.8m headroom in the hulls and kick-up balanced rudders for sharp handling characteristics. Construction includes premium quality foam glass construction, Carbon boards and rudders, dyform rigging and a fantastic blend of easy to operate sailing systems. Both packages offer accommodation with the Club Sports incorporating a cruising pack onto the Raider One Design hulls.”

By the time this article is published the first pair of these boats will have had an intriguing match race in the 2008 Brisbane to Gladstone. Jamie Morris and Joel Berg will each be leading a crew on a pair of these boats. Jamie and Joel are good mates ashore but I reckon there will be plenty of willing sailing and a deep desire to get one up on the other guy.

Jamie is a multiple Gladstone line honours trophy winner with Simply The Best and Flat Chat and the equally skilled Joel is the defending Australian Multihull Offshore racing champion with AYS Raider. Jamie and Joel have worked side by side over several months building their identical catamarans.

There will be much interest in this battle and it will provide an excellent proving ground for the new one design class. The Raider is another variation on the need for speed theme.

Stallion Marine The benchmark in performance cruising

And squarely in the middle of these two approaches to performance sailing is the latest version of the Stallion Marine Spirited 380 Craig Schionning designed cruising cat.

Already a cat at the leading edge of the performance dimensions, the team at Stallion in conjunction with All Yacht spars have developed a carbon rig for the Stallion Spirited 380. Working along side these guys is the Ullman sails crew who have developed a sophisticated sail design and lay-up process.

The basic excellent design of the Stallion remains with all the positives that are offered in that package. In terms of performance per dollar in a genuinely comfortable boat, the Stallion was already at the front of the pack. This new variant will enhance the reputation for performance sailing that the Stallion has already established.

This project is not simply a case of slapping a bigger rig on a standard boat. The boat has been carefully assessed from the ground up to determine where appropriate modifications can be made. The basic premise of the Stallion as a safe easy to handle and comfortable cruiser remains and is enhanced by contemporary approaches in terms of rigs, sails and systems.

The rig for the new boat is a carbon mast developed by AllYacht Spars. It’s stiffer, stronger and lighter than an aluminium section normally fitted to this boat. It reduces weight aloft as well as reducing weight overall by around 100kg. As well as enhancing performance, the lessening of weight up high leads to a better motion and more comfort. Shrouds and associated rigging are PBO and dyform.

Sails which are capable of taking advantage of the opportunities offered by this rig are critical. Ullman Sails on the Sunshine Coast have been involved with Stallion Marine since its inception and have worked alongside the Stallion and Allyacht team to design leading edge sails that can use the new rig to its best advantage. The sails are a Fiberpath Membrane design with the fabric constructed in such a way that the fibres are aligned to the curved load paths of the sail and then laminated in that position, which means lower stretch whereby the designed sail shape is achieved and more importantly maintained over the life of the sail. A key feature and benefit of Fiberpath sails is their ability to maintain their optimum designed sail shape across a wide range of wind strengths. The sails also weigh less than traditional panelled sails and this adds to the overall design focus on reducing weight – especially aloft. Importantly on a performance cruising multi the sails can be constructed from technora and/or carbon fibres individually or blended, with these fibres offering a high degree of UV protection, and laminated with a choice of finishes from film/film for grand prix racing, film/taffeta for club racers, or the durability of taffeta/taffeta for high performance cruising. The superior lamination process formed by a latest state-of-the-art lamination machine also results in a loadpath sail that is long lasting and durable for cruising applications. All of these key features are very important in a boat that will spend a fair bit of time cruising and needs a durable, long lasting, and low stretch set of sails.

The unified approach continues through all systems, with the electronics and electrical systems being the focus of careful design thought. Stallion has partnered with Raymarine in developing a unified system that provides high levels of state-of-the-art advancement such as the small format colour screen ST70 multifunction instrument series. The whole electrical and electronic system has been carefully built to ensure that the cruiser lacks little but that each item contributes to weight saving and reliability. This ranges from innovative approaches to radio cables, instruments that need half as much power and along with other electrical careful design (LED lights etc) leads to an opportunity for batteries that can be smaller whilst providing the same cruising convenience.

The Stallion is clearly the benchmark in high performance cruising boats, and this latest project demonstrates where the industry will head over the longer term to maintain strength and comfort whilst enhancing performance and enjoyment.

As a wise sailor once said you don’t have to go fast but all things being equal it’s a lot more fun.

This new Stallion option will be on display at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show. Sounds like the show will be very interesting this year with a lot of different boats and philosophies all on show. I can’t wait to see the new Stallion; I thought the current one was pretty bloody impressive. More importantly I can’t wait to get out for a sail on one.


So there you have it. Three different boats with a common theme, more performance. I am very impressed with the level of innovation shown by our local designers and builders and strongly recommend that when you are considering a new boat you look at all the options and talk with all the builders and designers to see what developments are on the way.

Performance can be had in many ways, but there is a truism on multihulls and that is ‘add lightness’. Sometimes you can actually transform your own boat by simply unloading half the stuff that is aboard. Try it sometime and you will get a glimpse of what some of the leading edge boats like Lightwave and Stallion are like.

But to really realise the benefits of lightness you need a boat engineered from the ground up, and that’s where these designs offer performance with confidence.

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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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