Extract from IBI article 1 September 2021, by Bobby Jordan A new South African company has entered the boatbuilding market with a 30ft compact catamaran concept aimed at the European charter market.
HopYacht (Pty)Ltd is brainchild of Cape Town sailing stalwart Paul Tomes, who teamed up with DuToit Yacht Design to create the HopYacht 30. The design is billed as a slimline cat that will fit into the same marina berth as a typical 36’-38’ monohull, the company said in a launch statement issued this month.
The design brief was to combine simplicity, comfort and eco-sensitivity. HopYacht spotted a gap in the market for a charter yacht designed specifically for couples and families with young children, where a smaller more manageable catamaran design would make short-handed sailing a lot easier and more manageable in busy marinas,” the company said.
“HopYacht commissioned the team at Dutoit Yacht Design to bridge this gap, with a compact catamaran that will be exceptionally easy to handle and despite being smaller, still provide much of the luxury and comfort found in a larger yacht. The brief also included electric motors, solar power and self contained waste water.” ”The cockpit, saloon and cabin are all on the same level, and the layout and single furling sail rig are specifically designed to aid shorthand sailing.
Tomes said the idea was to offer a boat premised on the idea of holiday sailing, rather than a sailing holiday: “Traditional monohulls are great for thoroughbred sailors, where a sailing holiday is simply an extension of a lifetime passion. Holiday sailing requires a very different design approach to ensure that sailors and non sailors will happily co-exist onboard”, Tomes said. “You often hear people talk about sixty being the new forty! Our research confirmed that a significant number of European holidaymakers in their 60s, 70s and 80s, have both the time and disposable income to embrace holiday sailing. One level makes life on board so much easier for everyone at all ages,” Tomes said.
The first HopYachts are scheduled to be launched in the Mediterranean mid 2022. Tomes is currently finalising negotiations with a Cape Town builder partner to set up a new yard from scratch. Once production ramps up the facility is expected to create 15-20 new full time jobs along with the spin off peripheral employment for the marine sector in South Africa.