Whitacre 47 – Genesis of the Design
The Whitacre Catamaran line of offshore performance sailing catamarans are being developed after being intimately involved with some of the highest tech performance cruising catamarans on the market. Whitacre Yacht Design evaluated the increasing complexity found on these boats and suggested that there was a need for a simpler performance cruising catamaran. Design development began with longtime friend and college mate, TC Skeels and his wife Kelly Rinehart, and brand and marketing development soon followed with Pacific Cruising Yachts. Whitacre Catamarans was launched in Jan 2019, with the Whitacre 47 as the first model.
While the leading/bleeding edge of technology looks very cool on paper or dockside, it can become an issue once it’s out in service, especially in the hands of an owner operator. The increasing tech found in the boats Whitacre Yacht Design was working with began requiring full time crew for the cats as small as 60’.
The increased tech not only requires additional skill by the operators of the boat, but it adds cost, complexity, and weight to the boat; none of which are desirable when one’s budget is constrained. In addition, when the tech fails to work properly, it can reduce the time one is able to use the boat for what it was intended – sailing!
A look at the boats available on the market seemed to indicate a gap in the performance cruising cat market at a length around 45’. Most of the available 45’ – 50’ cruising cats had become over outfitted with both tech and amenities, essentially stripping them of the “performance cruising label”. Hence a return to simple, lightweight, and minimal tech was envisioned for the Whitacre 47.