Multihull madness #2, the Stealth 540 delivers

Stealth 540 BenE c Panbo

I actually turned down a short trip on Earthrace Tuesday, but it was partially because I knew I’d be spending yesterday on the Stealth 540, an experience I’ve been scheming about for months. What a blast! This boat has interesting electronics and electrical systems (like a 3kw Victron inverter/charger able to make up for a modest generator and shore power setup), but they’re overshadowed by the hull and power train technology. Time and again we passed boats of similar size and luxury appointments but with significantly greater horsepower and diesel thirst. Like the pair below, which we left in the (Q-SPD generated) rooster tail at 45 knots. At about 17 knots the Stealth raises up a foot or two on its foils, leaving minimal wetted surface. The main foil also provides some shock absorption in waves and seems to help the boat carve turns. Truth be told, it drives like a big sports car. The “HYSUCAT” system has been around for many years, but my impression is that Stealth has really put it all together. (Now, back to Maine; bye, bye, Miami.)

PSs 2/23–25: The guy above (who’d really like to rip that wheel out of my hands) is Bob Kyle, owner of Yacht Share, where you’ll find some recent pictures of the 540. I will be writing up the boat test for PMY, by the way. And here’s the home site for Professor Hoppe’s HYSUCAT designs, with a video of the Stealth 540’s first trials in Cape Town at the top of the list. And finally, sail boats can be fast too, as nicely illustrated by this entry over at the nicely reborn blog Navagear. It’s expected that a sailboat will break 50 knots this year, and it will probably be on hydrofoils.

Stealth 540 45k2 c Panbo

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Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

1 Response

  1. Seems like some of the high performance sailing catamarans could benefit from a hydrofoil setup like this?????

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