Soyaslan - The World's Largest Wooden Catamaran
Boutique boat builder Soyaslan has just launched what is believed to be the world’s longest cold-moulded catamaran. Its striking CAT63 project measures 19.37m overall and was both designed and built by the specialist Turkish builder, with styling from Tumer Design Studio.
Regardless of the material, the ultra-modern lines of the boat are set to rivet attention in any port or anchorage. The shearline swoops from low sterns up towards the heavily flared bows of the boat, which are themselves raked aft. The white coachroof seems to hover above a pool of black glazing, with a streamlined hard-top shading the flybridge.
That such a complex design should have been built using the cold moulding construction process is a testament to the skills of the Soyaslan’s workers and the ambitions of its designers. “We have good experience in engineering and manufacturing with this method,” says founder Can Soyaslan. “We have engineered and built cold-moulded yachts which are already 30-plus years old. To date, we have produced more than 100 boats and yachts.”
Cold moulding is the method of building up a shape by forming sheets or planks of wood over a plug or frame. The individual wooden elements are glued together with high-performance epoxy and later sheathed in epoxy for protection and longevity.
“In the final look, users cannot tell the difference between a cold-moulded yacht and a GRP or metal one,” continues Soyaslan. “In practice, the durability and longevity of the hull is without comparison. Wooden yachts can last well over a hundred years, while the vibration, sound and heat insulation are much better.
Weight for weight, there is little difference between cold-moulding and GRP. But of course, wood is a sustainable material and there is also the sense of true craftsmanship that only comes from using wood. “It is not easy to explain, but you can notice/feel the difference of a wooden hull when you get onboard. It feels warmer and more honest,” says Soyaslan.
But the construction method is just one of the unique features of CAT63. Soyaslan is renowned for its commitment to technology, and the evidence is everywhere aboard. The 63ft catamaran is powered by twin Yanmar 110hp engines, hooked up to big ZF saildrives, for an 8.5-knot cruising speed and over 10 knots full throttle. There are a huge 60kWh of lithium batteries aboard and no fewer than eight 430W solar panels.
“With the current setup she can spend the night at anchor without generators, even with the air conditioning running. And with eight solar panels, we have minimised the generator usage,” explains Soyaslan.
Accommodation runs to two large double cabins and two twins for eight guests, and a further three berths for crew. Tumer Design has created an interior that feels modern and minimal, with a neutral palette of darker colours blended with colourful blue and orange patterned fabrics. Atmospheric lighting allows you to switch from a calm, relaxed vibe into evening entertainment mode, with social spaces inside and out. Naturally, there’s a large electrically-controlled bathing platform aft which carries the 3.5m tender.
Sailing should bring plenty of excitement, with a generous sailplan that includes a 100 square metre mainsail, a 58 square metre jib and a giant 145 square metre Code Zero for reaching. Little wonder the boat achieved better than 10 knots during sea trials. A stylish bowsprit offers plenty of downwind sailing options, while windward performance gets a boost from the swinging centreboards in each hull. Twin wheels are located at the forward end of the flybridge, and there is a full navigation station in the saloon below.
“Our whole team is very proud of this sleek, powerful catamaran,” says Soyaslan. “The yacht will bring her owner safely and comfortably across oceans and provide an excellent cruising platform. It is further proof that our company excels at delivering complex and inspiring designs for owners who do not accept the status quo.”