Outback Marine Australia Pty Ltd will launch its eagerly awaited Argus E35 displacement power catamaran at the 2011 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show.
Company founder, Gary Pacey describes the Roger Hill-designed boat as ‘a coastal cruising boat that makes sense for our times’. He believes an expanding sector of the new boat market is ready for an environmentally sensible boat that redefines industry norms for configuration, performance, price point and value for money.
“Our aim is to see families enjoy the boating lifestyle, whether that may be coastal cruising or simply enjoying time on the water during weekends and holidays,” he said. “The Argus E35 was conceived to comfortably and safely explore coastal regions of Australia. It’s an affordable and very practical boat offering generous accommodation for four people cruising on a limited budget.
Hill’s brief for the E35 was to combine cruising ability for the voyage with outstanding comfort at anchor. The displacement hull measures 10.65 metres in length. Even with outboard legs raised the L.O.A. is less than 12 metres to improve marina berth flexibility. The boat boasts a generous beam of 4.7metres with a near 14:1 length to beam ratio. Relatively narrow hulls create less drag, so less engine power is required to drive the boat forward and less wake is generated. “It's good for the fellow boaters, the foreshore doesn’t get beaten up and the environment benefits by using the minimum amount of fuel to get the job done,” Pacey said.
With only 0.6 metres draft and 2.9 metres overall height (excluding radar mount), the boat can negotiate the Eastern seaboard’s often shallow river systems and pass beneath the plethora of road and rail bridges that often preclude other boats from exploring the coast’s picturesque waterways.
Rather than cramming in more sleeping cabins and heads, the emphasis is on comfort and live aboard facilities for just a few. Two generous queen size sleeping cabins are located forward in each hull. The middle section of the starboard hull houses a generous head with shower and hand basin while the port side houses a large galley boasting over two metres of bench space. The galley is complete with induction cook tops, convection microwave oven and drawer refrigeration. Being open to the saloon allows the head chef to remain an integral part of activities occurring in the main saloon. The saloon offers comfortable seating for 4 or 5 but will easily accommodate up to 8 people for sundowners. A spacious aft deck will accommodate a table and chairs for up to 8.
The E35 is designed to be powered by two Suzuki 90 HP outboard engines. These will provide a sprint speed of over 20 knots, for safe bar crossings, while the cruising speed of 8 to 18 knots will deliver an economical fuel consumption in the range of .8 to 2.5 litres per nautical mile. The high tunnel clearance of 0.7 metres is designed to avoid wave slapping throughout the entire speed range, including the often forgotten trolling speed of 6 to 8 knots.
Pacey has drawn on his extensive cruising experience and background at Outback Marine to engineer some innovative system solutions.
“Cruising people generally don’t want to shut themselves inside and run a generator all day for air conditioning. So we asked Roger to see what he could do to keep things cooler. The forward glazing incorporates electrically operated hinged windows that facilitate the free flow of ventilation through the saloon while an extended cabin brow reduces solar heat loads. The large overhang of the aft brow provides protection from the sun.”
A generous house battery bank charged by solar panels with over 500 watts capacity makes the vessel virtually self reliant for electrical power. This dispenses with the need for a heavy, space consuming on-board generator while an efficient inverter takes care of 240 volt appliances. “With energy efficient refrigeration and provision for a desalination system the boat can stay quietly at anchor indefinitely, provided the food holds out,” quipped Pacey.
Survey compliant sedan and fly bridge versions are planned for the self drive charter and owner syndication markets. An inboard diesel powered version can also be specified. The efficient and comfortable hull form has stirred interest in a fishing/dive boat layout.
Pacey said the Argus E35 comes ready to cruise at a price that will appeal to many cruising couples. The standard sail-away boat includes a coastal cruising electronics package and quality inclusions and fittings.
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