In order to accommodate the new AC72s, Morrelli & Melvin has designed a new 45 foot, 1200 hp tender/chase-boat for Emirates Team New Zealand. The new high-speed catamaran design fulfills the demanding tasks of supporting the America’s Cup 72′ catamarans. As Pete Melvin summarizes,
The purpose is a tender and chase boat for the AC72 catamarans. The speed and ride quality has to live up to the task of following an AC72 around for an entire day, at up to 40 knots, without fatiguing the crew. The boat has to tow an AC72 at 25 knots, and also be able to right an AC72 after a capsize. And it has to look great too.
The scope was to conceive, design, and engineer the boat from A to Z and concept was developed in collaboration with ETNZ and Salthouse Boats.
The new tender will be powered by four 300hp Yamaha outboard motors to achieve speeds of more than 50 knots. Its fiberglass hull will be topped with inflatable tubes allowing it to slip in beside the AC72.
Accommodations on the ETNZ boat include a protected main deck cabin, head, and large storage area under the foredeck. Another version has been developed that has a stateroom with sleeping accommodations under the foredeck in lieu of the storage area.