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 is on for the completion of 300,000 nautical cruising miles of the Lightwave fleet, including the Lightwave 45 ‘Inforapenny II’s’ world circumnavigation.
Other than that global epic, Lightwave Yachts have cruised Australia’s coastline, many of the Pacific Island groups, Asia, America’s east coast, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and New Zealand’s waters. Blue water boats indeed, and not by any means sluggish cruisers. ‘Inforapenny II’ – the first Australian production catamaran to make the circumnavigation – went up against world-renowned brands in its voyage, claiming winner of the Arc Atlantic Rally in 2008, and outshining the biggest names in the Industry in other blue water legs
The Lightwave Range
Essentially there are two basic models, the 38 and the 45. There are power and sail versions, and lengths vary by small figures here and there, but the hulls’ characteristics suit both means of propulsion, and are adaptable enough hydro dynamically to be effective through a wide speed range.
The 38’ sail and power catamarans have similar standard main engines, a pair of apparently puny 39hp Yanmars. They deliver 9.5 knots flat out, and at 7.5 to 8.0 knots – a fine cruising speed – they consume only 2.5 or 4L/hr respectively. With the optional 450L fuel capacity that gives an 800 mile cruising range – huge by almost all powerboat standards.
Range of course is almost infinite on the sailing version, limited really by how much water you consume and how much fish you catch. Broome to Wyndham? No problem at all. Cats of course are ideal for the Kimberley, being able to take the ground and stay upright. The power cat’s range can take it almost anywhere in Australia. And its bridge deck added to the traditionally vast