The Nutshell 26 prototype (as yet unnamed) was launched yesterday at the Royal Cape Yacht Club in Cape Town, South Africa.
The prototype has twin 14hp diesels instead of the standard electric pods. We are still looking for a suitable electric drive partner. The diesel option will include twin 9HP Yanmars in future, but these had a 4-month lead time.
The twin-cylinder 14HPs are too powerful (and heavy) for the boat but make for some great drag-racing.
A better option would be a 9HP diesel to starboard and a 10KW pod motor to port. This obviates solar and big batteries. What’s missing is a fly-by-wire control so that we don’t mix mechanical and electrical engine controls – which feel completely different in use.
Twin electric is still first choice but has the overhead of solar panels (5 x 400W on the roof) and sufficient battery reserve, to counter ‘range-anxiety’. The philosophy is to oversize the motors and use full-power sparingly. I can see sailing this simple rig to be such a pleasure motors will only be needed for calm days and mooring at a dock.
Sail trials start Monday but she is extremely responsive under power and manoeuvres easily. Good visibility all round. The passarel system works a treat – extending the aft deck enormously when stowed. The sail went up easily. Once up, the halyard is removed and the heads’l remains furled. This involves popping up in a bosuns chair but this is a breeze on the spare halyard.
The walking-around space is crazy-big. The size of an average 40’ cat. Enclosed by clear, side-awnings that deploy easily and look great (thanks North Sails) the 3.5 x 3.5m space had 7 people wandering around and chatting and didn’t feel even slightly crowded.
I’ll upload a video of the launch if anyone is interested.
We are giving a sneak-peak of the new Nutshell 26 compact cat at our new factory. We will be introducing the all-new, eco-catamaran that’s causing a sensation.The builder Dylan, his team, and designer Phil Southwell will be there to answer questions.
You need to hear about this sensational micro-cat that can be towed behind a SUV, packed into a 40’ container and launched on any stretch of protected water – giving you a home-away-from-home afloat. A boat will be on display in a semi-complete form – all the GRP moulds are ready to go. Drawings schematics and renderings can be viewed and you can climb aboard and get a feel for the living space. Be the first to view this eco-friendly, compact, affordable live-aboard platform. In years to come you can tell people you saw it first.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +27 (0)82 9291167 with the number in your party and whether you are representing : The media Hospitality industry Rental Industry – vacation or watersport Boat charter industry Agents or distributors in South Africa or overseas Potential private ownership Potential syndicate shareholders Job seekers (we are looking for marketing & sales skills)
Drinks & snacks will be served Orders will be taken
We have had many, many enquiries asking if it is possible to drive the nutshell with outboard motors. The answer is of course yes, and we have always allowed for that option for protected waters without recharge facilities (or sunlight). The reality is electric motors need much less maintenance and can therefore be used in remote areas. However we understand that modern outboards are ubiquitous and there could be resistance to the unknown.
Typically outboard motors need room to tilt, a strong transom, a fuel line, a well-immersed propeller and a steering system.
We think the outboards like the Mercury 9-15 hp Prokicker or 15HP Seapro are good choices. They are light and reliable. The SeaPro has a remote steering options. Otherwise we connect to the existing steering system.
It is a pretty easy adaption and our prototype will use these engines while we make a final decision on the best electric solution.
Pros Light(ish), compact, inexpensive and readily available
Cons Noisy, polluting, high-maintenance and exposed
The plug and moulds for the Nutshell 26 hulls are progressing very rapidly in our new factory. Using our 3-axis milling machine the frames can be generated in a day.
We are still on for a December launch but the move has delayed us by about a week. Any potential buyer of fractional owners are very welcome to come for a sail on the prototype – January on Langebaan lagoon in the Cape.
Shipping in a standard 40’ container saves 60-70% of transport cost compared to sending one of these by deck cargo. This huge saving means we can ship anywhere, without undue delay, and unload using standard equipment anywhere in the world.
We have designed the mouldings so that they dismantle and fit into a container. It isn’t a trivial operation but we have guides, diagrams and parts lists to help.
We recently had an enquiry from a Swedish chap who winters in Thailand. He intends to send his boat ahead of him and keep it at his waterfront property at both ends. The shipping costs the same as the storage. That’s a win-win.
Tents! Well you either love em or you’ve actually been camping.
But marine awnings? A whole different thing. They are so good nowadays they’re pretty much a standard on any boat. Strung between a coachroof-lid and a bulwark, they stop wind and rain from ruining your evening, while still giving you that terrific view of the cute bay or harbour that you chose to stop the night in.
So given the option of enclosing a space for the times when the weather’s a bit dodgy or living within three walls when every cell in your body screams “I wanna be outside on this perfect evening”!What do you do?
Well I overstated it a wee bit, but you get the picture? Having a nice wide aft deck, on a boat designed for barmy weather, I’d rather have it open and close it up when needed.