Nutshell 26 interior going in

The Nutshell prototype is being outfitted with galley and heads. The engines for the prototype are 15HP diesels.

Submouldings ready for installation
Finish is first rate

Pics from before the intro

The Nutshell prototype is nearing completion. The hulls, deck, bridgedeck and coachroof are from female moulds. Also hatches, transoms, liner, space-frame and ceiling beams.

Looking good.

Pre-launch Invitation

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 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

See you there –

The Nutshell Catamarans Team

The flexible boating platform

Happy 2022! Hulls are complete

The hulls of the prototype are now complete and ready to receive the bridge-deck. They’re looking good in pure white.

Further finishing is required and the moulds will be polished for the first production hull. In the meantime we will start installing systems and testing the de-mounting system.

No transom as yet
Fair and accurate. Looking good!

Outboard-driven versions of the Nutshell 26

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.

Light(ish), compact, inexpensive and readily available

Noisy, polluting, high-maintenance and exposed

Outboards in the range 6-15 HP can be used. 2 or 4-stroke.

Progress on hulls

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.

Shown here the outer hull moulds

Containerisation & shipping

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.

The Nutshell 26 in a 40’ container

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.

A tight fit

Canvas enclosures

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.

A boat with the mast at the back will always face into the wind
Close up the sides, the back and the doors separately to get the right combination of protection, ventilation and view.
The roof panel also slides away opening up one side completely, independently of the other – ta-dahh! A verandah..

Picture gallery of the accommodation

True getaway for a couple (plus one)

The Nutshell 26 is designed for a couple and the layout reflects this. There aren’t many catamarans designed in this way and the usual problem is you end up with tiny little cabins and squashed bathrooms. With our route you get a queen-size island berth with wrap-around views, an en-suite shower and a separate loo, outside the cabin – so no noises or smell…
The rest of the boat is dedicated to fun. Big couch (that can sleep an extra at a pinch) full-on galley, braai and great access to the sea. All this can be completely open, covered or enclosed. The seating and trampoline up front is another sociable area. If you want to sail with a bunch of friends they need to buy their own 🙂

The layout really suits a couple

Solar panels keep the batteries topped up. The hulls house all the systems, two electric pod motors, plus storage for bikes and toys. All fresh water starts off in big tanks in both hulls and all waste water returns here. There’s plenty of room to do this and it makes the boat super eco-friendly, opening up many more attractive cruising grounds.
Also they’re unsinkable.

The hulls disconnect so the boat can be trailered or loaded into a 40’ container and sent anywhere.

It’s a big boat to trailer

OK it is not suitable for rough crossings but it will sail well with the Uni-rig and 4 hours of motoring will get you to the next bay, and back, easily. If you need to travel further you can add up to 4 additional batteries, plug in to shore power, charge via regenerative props while sailing or power slowly or motor-sail on one engine only.

Everything on a boat is a compromise.

The Nutshell 26 is big enough for two comfortably, but it makes trailering a mission. It manoeuvres well, turning on a dime, but range is limited. The pod is high off the water, giving good wave clearance (and a sense of importance), but it increases windage. At full width you could just tow it (but the cops wouldn’t be happy) and the side decks open up the living space hugely. Narrowing the boat involves a complex road trailer and at least 90 minutes of your time.

It’s a brand new concept and a brand new boat. We launch our prototype in December, in time for Christmas. Later build slots are filling up fast.

Next year we will be promoting the boat to fleet owners in the hotel, rental, charter and managed or fractional ownership industries. These boats open up a wealth of opportunities for all waterfront and adventure businesses.

That’s it, in a nutshell