Designing PlayStation started with Steve Fossett's simple request to investigate the best boat for racing fully crewed, non-stop, around the world as fast as possible. We designed and built the boat with the best materials available and state of the art technologies. The boat was slightly lighter in comparison to other existing large multihulls and had much more sail area yet was rigged for a small crew. We extrapolated the Velocity Prediction Programs from the 1988 America's Cup Stars & Stripes campaign and used Steve Fossett's 60-foot trimaran Lokata as a control to determine whether to design a 100-foot catamaran or trimaran. We studied weather data from past around the world races and record-breaking attempts in determining what design would maximize the multihull's speed on various points of sail.
Morrelli & Melvin collaborated with NASA's technical services in selecting the best materials for this unique vessel whose size, loads and speeds had not been matched before. We stretched the capacity of earlier Finite Element Analysis (FEA) programs. Morrelli & Melvin's catamaran designs were put out to bid and shortly afterward a project manager was brought on board and all components and trades were vetted. Steve reviewed drawings and ideas as they developed. His experience in ballooning, weather forecasting and monitoring led us to incorporate many of the same facets into the navigation area. Steve made sure we incorporated the latest technology available in computer monitoring the weather as well as rigging loads and boat performance. We installed a special pod of instruments in his berth area so that at all times he can be aware of what is going on.