This Cat Combines Looks and Performance with Comfort and Ease of Handling. Construction of the first Alpha 42 is underway at Alpha Yachts in Patchogue, NY. This high performance cruising catamaran, which has several innovative features hitherto unavailable on a production cruising multihull, was designed by Gregor Tarjan, President of Aeroyacht Ltd. in Setauket, NY and engineered by Marc Anassis, NA, President of Alpha Yachts.
“This boat is a collaboration between Marc and I,” said Tarjan. “Marc engineered the boat structurally and did the hydrodynamics. I’m a yacht designer by trade, and I designed the exterior, interior, and every angle and color. Aeroyacht is the biggest multihull dealer worldwide. I’ve worked with customers from all walks of life, and with different boatyards and their considerations for this market. I selected the best design features of the 11 brands that I represent, and tried to incorporate them into this boat.”
The first thing you’ll notice about the Alpha 42’s sleek lines is the reverse angle, wave piercing bows – the first on a production cruising cat. “Reverse bows basically extend the waterline without adding weight and they reduce pitch,” said Tarjan. “Other benefits are a much more comfortable motion at sea and reduced windage. Wave-piercers are also easier to steer and maneuver in waves. I collaborated with Pete Melvin of Morrelli & Melvin for the reverse bows on the 110-foot catamaran that I’m building in collaboration with Wally Yachts [the Aeroyacht 110]. The Alpha 42 is the ‘baby version’ of the 110-footer, and we’ve moved the mast further aft to keep the bows buoyant.”
“I basically designed this boat for myself,” Tarjan continued. “I can enjoy the performance, and it’s comfortable for my wife and two sons. We have very advanced hull shapes, and the boat is light enough to give you a good, spirited sail. You can sail around the world on it, and it’s a great boat for first-time owners. Half of the people I sell a boat to have never sailed a boat before, and many buyers of the Alpha 42 are couples who are downsizing from larger monohulls.”
The Alpha 42 will undoubtedly deliver class-leading performance, although it’s designed for easy safe handling by a cruising couple. “A multihull is very different from a monohull,” explained Anassis, who has built more than 850 boats from 31 to 95 feet. “If you’re caught with too much sail up on a monohull in rough weather – say 35 knots – it will heel and load the mast, but it will ‘breathe’ and relieve the pressure. A cruising cat doesn’t heel and won’t let the wind off, so it has to be very strong…but it also has to be very light. Our boat is built to strict American Bureau of Shipping standards.”
“The boat has hybrid composite construction,” said Tarjan. “We’re using a Kevlar matrix to make the boat stronger and lighter, and the bulkheads are all stitched. We drill holes in each bulkhead and ‘sew’ fiberglass strands through the holes so there’s no way it can separate. You can order this boat with keels or daggerboards, which is also unique in the world of multihulls.” With a special cross-drilled Divinycell foam sandwich core, the boat is virtually unsinkable. Auxiliary power is provided by two 30 horsepower Yanmar diesel engines with sail drives and 2-bladed fixed propellers. Options include 40-horsepower Yanmars and 3-bladed props (for either the 30-HP or 40-HP powerplants).
Buyers can customize their Alpha 42’s interior layout. The Owners Version has a full-length master suite in a 3-cabin, 2-head layout, while the Charter Version sleeps up to 8 in a 4-cabin, 4-head configuration. “We have an open-plan interior, and this is one of the first boats in the world to have optional side-opening saloon windows,” said Tarjan. An integrated forward trampoline lounge has seating for six, and the optional folding bimini provides full weather protection.
The Alpha 42’s standard rig comprises aluminum spars and stainless steel standing rigging, an integrated carbon fiber bowsprit, a full-batten, square-top Dacron mainsail and a self-tacking, furling Solent jib. The Alpha “R” Version Pack (which includes the aforementioned twin performance daggerboards) adds a rotating carbon mast, carbon boom and Kevlar shrouds. Alpha Yachts’ rig and sail consultant is Paul “Whirly” Van Dyke of North Sails, who holds several multihull world speed records. “Whirly is a good friend of mine,” said Tarjan. “He was Steve Fossett’s first mate on Playstation and he’s a very knowledgeable rig specialist.”
Alpha Yachts has received several deposits from buyers around the world, and the first boat is scheduled for launch this spring. Tarjan and Anassis are particularly proud of the fact that the Alpha 42 is being built in the USA. Furthermore, Anassis demands that everything used in the boat’s construction – from Fiberglass® to stainless steel screws – is American-made. “I want to see a certificate of origin,” he asserts. “Otherwise I won’t buy it. We do it this way to leave a ‘Made in America’ legacy for our children and grandchildren.” For more information, visit alpha1composites.com and aeroyacht.com.