CAMELOT II Project
The Double Eagle is a catamaran designed by Susanne Altenburger and Phil Bolger. The diagram (above) is from the February 1999 WoodenBoat magazine.
Last summer, Captain Butch started researching the catamaran as a possible configuration for a cruising boat. He and I have always liked several aspects of this boat-type - the interior space can be huge and the performance outstanding - however, there has always been two aspects that have held us back: safety and looks.
Recent design advances have seemed to deal with the safety aspects - looks have remained, well... lack of character is a kind way of talking about most of the breed. Enter Phil Bolger & Friends creators of some of the most interesting, functional and high-value modern designs out there.
This design certainly has dealt with the lack-of-character piece, it has a gaff-rig (something that I will simply not do without), it is large enough for serious cruising and living/work accommodations when you get there. And, it has enough sail area to move things along. Add shallow draft and a low-aspect rig and things just get better and better. In total, many of the just plain ugly and dull aspects of the catamaran have been avoided. This is a platform worth looking in to.
Myself, I will ever give up CAMELOT. However, I am very interested in seeing what can be done to match her in the modern idiom. CAMELOT is at the end of a 500 years tradition starting when the first Caravel was built. New technologies, materials, methods require new aesthetics - this is not always easy. Finding a voice for the new materials is still a problem in architecture. To some extent in boat building, also.
So... The design challenge begins!
What should this boat do?
It should provide:
This boat should be capable of sustained cruising at 10 to 12 knots under sail. Of carrying stores for two couples as required for many months of cruising and, therefore, making any passage.
The navigation and control systems should be highly automated, and redundant, so that the boat can be sailed both by computer and hand. Boat can be sailed from anywhere including Crows Nest. Fully integrated GPS, auto helm, and electronic chart system provides global cruising capability. Near military level radar and detection/warning systems providing maximum collision avoidance and minimum undetectable approachability. Mast mounted video provides 360 degree high resolution scanning of boat out to limits of visibility. The boat has a passive theft protection system.
Hydrogen Fuel Cells, stoage and wind/solar backup system combines to provide near infinite cruising range at 12 knots under power and no practicable limits to onboard energy use. 18 knot emergency speed is possible. Retractable propeller system.
Satellite communications with high band width radio, video, phone, computer links, receive and broadcast, providing full office capablity anywhere in the world.
Liferaft, Dingy, kayak, Ultra-light flying inflatable, scuba diving equipment, built in, as integral part of the system allowing easy and quick deployment. Access to water below the boat provide from the main Cabin area.
Body shape and materials provide high stealth performance when boat is in passive mode. Hull is epoxy encased cold molded wood. Spars are composite materials. High strength, light weight, low radar signature.
Essential equipment is protected from, water, shock, movement, radiation, etc. by encased gimbaled system. Adequate storage for full equipment, parts redundancy.
On deck equipment and storage is organized and design for easy access and maximum protection from wave action. There is a built-in always available safety harness system. The deck is open and clear.
The mast can be lowered by a built-in rigging system to a built-in crutch for access to low height areas. Extended, comfortable, uncluttered cruising is possible with the mast down.
This boat is very modern and highly sensual. Streamlined forms, rounded corners, somewhat radical shapes combined with bright wood finishes and composite high-tech gear.
The hulls are refuge areas - womb-like personal retreat areas. The center Cabin is spacious, based on a 12 by 28 foot platform, with several functional sub-zones - it expresses prospect has good head clearance and a 360 degree view. If necessary, the boat can be completely sailed from within this space.
Februrary 18, 1999