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Heliotrope 48: The Designer's Insight
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Heliotrope 48: The Designer's Insight
Heliotrope 48: The Designer's Insight
Heliotrope 48: The Designer's Insight

Heliotrope 48: The Designer's InsightThe design of H48 was developed by the Albatross Marine Design team in close cooperation with the Bakri Cono Shipyard with feedback from European and Asian brokers. We tried to fit into the market niche below 50' where the craft would still be affordable as a family boat, but could also be used as corporate vessel. In terms of styling, the H48 was designed for those who want to stand out and be seen in the marina, but with high degree of practicality, thus attracting both "exposure" and "practical" clients.

The powercat market trend in Europe is more about "platforms to carry furniture" though many Australian powercats are more performance oriented, but Spartan. We tried to straddle these two extremes, stressing performance and seakeeping together with ergonomics and comfort. We also provided allowance to carry additional weight - it is wellknown that many owners order options to build and add extra equipment, tanks, etc., during the service life of the boat. Of special concern to us was the exterior styling and interior ergonomics: we were not looking at squeezing and adding the maximum number of bunks and bathrooms. The flybridge and saloon on the new H48 are spacious and great for indoor/outdoor picnics and barbeques with the usable area much bigger than any known comparable boat of its size.

The hull shape of the H48 is the quintessence of AMD's experience with the catamaran providing a soft ride and fuel efficiency in a wide range of semi-planing speeds. CFD (computational fluid dynamics) codes were applied to optimize the hull shape. Seakeeping was a primary concern and vertical accelerations were reduced by 30-50% compared to monohull craft of comparable size.

For the structure, its high-tech sandwich laminate with the use of FEA (finite element analysis) methods, which allowed us to detect stress-concentration hard spots and add extra reinforcement where necessary. The structure was specially designed with the vacuum infusion method - all components of the composites were carefully controlled to obtain the highest strength and the lightest laminate.