High-tech techniques have allowed British company C-Boat to design a 17m chase boat tender that performs nearly as well as the company’s 15m design – even though they use the same propulsion.
C-Boat designs and builds light, stylish boats using advanced materials and racing yacht construction techniques. It has built a C-9M chase boat and last year was commissioned to design the C-15M (project now on hold) – for which the company carried out extensive tank testing and research to achieve a top speed of 50 knots. The C-17M design commission is a development of the range.
‘The client was looking for something a little bit bigger,’ says Angus Blair, co-founder and designer at C-Boat. ‘The C-15M design had quite large engines for the size of the boat and our research found you could make the boat larger and still get a good performance with the propulsion package.’
‘So we worked on the basis of what we did on the C-15M partly to try and reduce the costs of this larger boat – we used the same specifications and the same propulsion package,’ he says.
This was possible because the C-15 was made of carbon fibre and its hull design was optimised for speed in conjunction with Humphreys Yacht Design, which works on C-Boat’s naval architecture.
‘We designed the C-15M to be very light, so the extra two metres don’t actually add a huge amount of weight. You get a speed reduction – you’re bringing the top performance down below 50 knots – but we felt it was still good performance,’ he says. ‘You get a bigger boat that has an even better sea-keeping ability.’
Indeed, Blair estimates the C-17M will achieve a top knot speed in the ‘mid-40s’. This is especially impressive since length and beam were not the only additions to the boat’s design.
‘He wanted to take a boat to a different area,’ says Blair. ‘They’ve come from having a very open boat and that’s great for areas like the Mediterranean, but if you’re going to take it to colder climates it’s not practical. So he wanted more of an enclosed boat.’
Blair therefore designed a glazed superstructure in three ‘shells’ (inspired by the armadillo’s exo-skeleton) two of which rotate to totally or partially enclose the boat. The shells are supported internally by a carbon lattice, which reduces the thickness of the glass needed and consequently the weight.
Inside the ‘armadillo’ is side bench seating, which can be adapted to form a comfortable dining area. Forward is the helm station with twin passenger buckets on the starboard side and the single helm on port. The aft end of the boat is dedicated to sunbathing. It features twin Yanmar 6SY-720hp and twin Kamewa A32 water jets.