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Old 05-12-2011, 04:43   #1
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Morelli & Melvin vs Nigel Irens ?

I wonder what you guys think about the designer change at Gunboat? They started to work with Nigel Irens on the new designs and we've seen quite a change in the approach for cabins (proper staterooms instead of tucking yourself in a cave called "queen size matresss".) but will it kill the performance? O.k. the 60's sailarea is significantly larger than the old 66 but then again, will it be the same? If you ask me, a proper stateroom is something that I just can't do without but when you pay triple for performance, isn't it a bit of a risk?

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Mehmet
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:42   #2
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Re: Morelli & Melvin vs Nigel Irens ?

From the looks of the wave pearcing hulls, I can't imagine a performance decline of the 60 vs the 66. I like most of the design, although the coach roof to my eye, looks a little funky in the rendering. The master stateroom looks amazing and the aft cabins with the portlights cut into the hull capture the latest idea in yacht design. Does anyone know why Johnstone went to Nigel Irens over M&M on this series?
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Old 05-12-2011, 18:47   #3
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Re: Morelli & Melvin vs Nigel Irens ?

Just a guess, but...

It appears there may have been a falling out between them. There is no mention of M&M anywhere in the History section on Gunboat's web site. In fact, it infers that Peter Johnstone designed Gunboats: "...Peter set out to develop his own 62' catamaran. Simply put, the 62' would apply proven durable race boat technology towards the ultimate cruising boat. TRIBE launched in 2001. She exceeded performance expectations, handled like a sportscar, sailed upwind at 15 knots, and downwind above 30. In cruising mode, she achieved nearly 400 miles on a good day, and reliably 300 miles. With a year and half spent aboard cruising with his children, Peter returned home with refinements for further Gunboats." http://www.gunboat.com/history.php

Some possible reasons...

1) Things seemed to go well when Peter Johnstone pretty much had M&M all to himself with regards to designing performance cruising multihulls. M&M were designing cruising catamarans for Leopard, but performance cruising cats only for Gunboat.

Then M&M came out with the Morrelli & Melvin 65, M&M Mala Conducta 62, and Shooting Star 50, probably direct competitors to Gunboat, or at least perceived so by Johnstone. Take a look:

MORRELLI & MELVIN catamaran - Aeroyacht
Morrelli & Melvin Design & Engineering, Inc.
Morrelli & Melvin Design & Engineering, Inc.

M&M also entered into agreement with the premier Lyman Morris boat yard in Maine to build at least one of their boats while Gunboat was closing their South Africa yard and moving production to China. Read into that whatever you want. (Quality in the mind of the consumer?)

2)Morrelli & Melvin are so busy with Leopard catamarans, their own designs, and now America's Cup boats (Morrelli & Melvin joined an international design team for Emirates Team NZ for the 34th America's Cup). They really don't need Gunboat.

Maybe Peter Johnstone's feelings were hurt.

But he should do just fine; Nigel Irens has quite a bit of pedigree!

Marshall
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Old 06-12-2011, 02:07   #4
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Re: Morelli & Melvin vs Nigel Irens ?

There's no doubt that the M&M designs have a distinct character, charisma and personality to themselves (just like German Frers') and I truly love them. On the other hand, when I look at the 66's, all I can see is cramped sleeping quarters, even for the owners. I guess this looks like an old Lamborghini's v.s. the new Lamborghini's comparison. There's no doubt that Diablo or Miura looks out of this world, but the new ones are just as comfortable as an Audi -yet still goes like stink.

...but...

I don't know anyone has noticed it, but the new GB60's saloon seems quite small for a cat of that size. The old GB's were simply like tennis courts in that area...
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Old 06-12-2011, 02:08   #5
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Re: Morelli & Melvin vs Nigel Irens ?

...yet again that might be a strategic move to make the 66 appealing versus the 60 (after all, 60's sleeping quarters are much better and it'll probably go much faster because of the reduced weight and increased sail area)...
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:23   #6
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Re: Morelli & Melvin vs Nigel Irens ?

Marshall,

I think you nailed it with regard to the split. As for smaller cabin space on the new 60, it looks like they have sacrificed living space for perfermance by moving as much weight aft as possible and minimizing structure.
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:24   #7
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Re: Morelli & Melvin vs Nigel Irens ?

Abaco;

Yes the reduction in weight will increase performance but I don't think it would have effected more than a knot or two, which is nothing considering the numbers spoken for the GB60...
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