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Loads of amenity - Goes like a cut cat

by John Curnow, Global Editor, 17 May 00:00 BST
That Shooting Brake feel is very evident with the Cure 55 © Cure Marine

As the first Cure 55 steps ever closer to being splashed, I could not help thinking that it was a lot like the Ferrari Purosangue. More space than your typical two-seat hypercar, yet with the punch to dispatch distances and pretenders with complete ease. Little wonder Ferrari elected to call it a Ferrari Utility Vehicle, rather than just a mere SUV.

Equally, with the Cure 55, "cruising cat" is just not where it is going to be at. For now, I have elected to go with CAV for Cure Action Vessel, for exactly like the Italian Thoroughbred, the Cure 55 is set to be the paradigm shift.

We'll see if the name for the niche sticks, but for now it is important to get an update on just exactly where Cure Marine is at with their extensive, and comprehensive digital cookie cutter.

In what is an exciting time for Cure Marine, and after swallowing up the factory next door, there are now four Cure 55s in various stages of production. Hull #1 actually looks like a boat, with its 'lid' very much now giving it the appearance of a Shooting Brake, which the FUV also certainly has. Once the two-pack paint goes on, it will really look something.

Now as a bit of a spoiler alert, see the pictures below of the recently launched Cure Custom 70, Noire, to get an idea of just how much some colour and sun can do to deliver a heap of real presence.

A few things become very clear, very quickly. After what might have seemed an eternity measuring, scanning, and checking (much better to measure twice and cut once, after all), things are now moving a pretty rapid-fire pace. Next, everything is within the very narrow set of tolerances, which are often just two millimetres. Hulls #1 and #2 are virtually identical, which speaks volumes to the cookie cutter principle, and also means Hull #1 is no mere prototype, and just the first of a generation.

Soon Hull #2 will leave the core (bridge deck) mould with the outer topsides and bulkheads part of the total structure, which will probably be about the same time as paint starts to go on Hull #1, and then Hull #3 will begin in earnest.

The componentry for everything up to Hull #4 is also well under way, with a lot of it completed and in boxes awaiting utilisation in the process. So much more of these craft are made as it goes, rather than placed in at the end, with things like the deck soles being a classic example.

Why is this so crucial? Simple. It means that there is inherent integrity, and the nine-month build time would appear to be accurate, for not only will Hull #1 splash in the last quarter of 2024, but it is also likely that Hull #2 will make it into the drink before Christmas.

Effectively it goes something like three months in master construction (the three main moulds), three more in assembly and preparation, then another three in final fitout.

Business Development Manager, Lee Randall, commented, "We're very proud of the fact that we're able to sell the first four boats to technical people. These are clients that are able to interrogate a set of plans, and specifications, and then want to be involved with Cure Marine to build their dream boat. It's lovely to work with clients that have got such foresight. Once the first boat is in the water the sales process will no doubt become far more emotive!"

The white boats with grey accents will very much be on trend, that's for sure, as well as being on brand, too. With a clear coat over the top, the boats are certainly going to be a glamour. "We're very proud of how little fairing compound is actually being required, and even more excited by how much is coming off as it gets sanded," said Randall.

Whether something is structural or soft mounted is all part of the plan to keep noise to a minimum. No rattly old car here. It will be more like it has been turned from a single billet of unobtanium for that premium, luxury feel. In short it will either not move at all, or if it has to, it will be soft mounted (bonded) in such a way as to remove noise from the equation.

Alas, this is one of the core benefits of a totally carbon structure. Remember the Cure 55 has a lot of glass, which is heavy, and this is one area where fit and finish are absolutely crucial, along with structural rigidity and outright strength.

The first Cure

Noire, the Cure Custom 70, was always intended to be a mothership like no other.

Randall commented, "She's a big girl with plenty of horsepower, so we're taking the time to work her up rather slowly. Noire's major goal in the next few months is Hamilton Island Race Week. She's already made 23.7 knots in sea trials, and the couple that owns her have already used Noire for cruising, as well.

"They've done a really great job of specifying and briefing, and as a result have a boat that is capable of racing, but is also the adventure machine they really wanted. We are very lucky to have Ben Kelly from North Sails and Chris Anderson from Rope Solutions as partners in the project, along with Mark Edmonds who really got the boat to the sailing stage.

"Having Noire out there now is also really fantastic for our global audience. People are reacting well to the idea of buying a boat out of Australia, especially with the reputation our industry enjoys.

"Following on from that, and in terms of the Cure 55, we presented a slightly different value proposition. We presented a boat that was built in Australia, had a focus on functionality, but was still a work of art," added Randall.

The Cure 55 has not deviated from the plan in terms of her North Sails package, Hall Spars rig and Harken for the majority of the deck gear.

The first few are Diesel only, but as always there remains the opportunity to investigate electric propulsion, which kind of brings the next point into the light.

Bright Spark

Long term anchorability, as in the power to sit on anchor with no requirement to run the genset, was a key element of the master plan. It is with this subject that there have been some further developments, which is no surprise given the rapidity with which this sector changes by the week.

There is now 29kW/h of stored power in LiFePO4 batteries, and remember, if it says 'Life', then that is exactly what it is intended to enhance and preserve! There is also 3.95kW of solar, as standard, and both of these are up on the original estimates.

Another benefit of this is the move to instant hot water heaters, which saves on space and the all-important total mass. There is a 15,000kW inverter to power all the AC gear, so run everything you want, for just like the boat itself, there is power to burn. It also means there is as much future compatibility built in as is known at the time, and this all plays into long range and long term cruisability, which were the original mantras for the Cure 55.

Id est; freezers running, hot showers, watermakers gurgling away, dishwasher on, TV all day, and if the sun's out, who cares?! You'll be sitting at quiet anchorage with a glass of 'isn't this grand' for days and days, and all done without running a smelly...

So we get to the final point

And that was it had to go like a cut cat. Here's the thing, however. Imagine it is not so much about powering it up with extra rag, as it is about controlling the throttle position, so as not to bounce off the rev limiter. This is a wildly interesting proposition for a performance cat, that also happens to be a luxury apartment on water.

Very high passage speeds were always the mandate. The vessel can race, and even lift a hull in light displacement mode, but that is a bit incongruous with couples' cruising and enjoying the journey just as much as the destination.

Getting bounced around, having tonnes of water over the deck, and being glued to the load sensors so as not to redline it is not ideal. It is tantamount to ploughing into black ice or aquaplaning in our Purosangue. So certainly not ideal. Thrilling? Perhaps. Not where you want to be living, however.

Bouncing off the rev limiter is also tiring, and you can destroy the valve train in the process.

Target speed, given wind and sea state, along with your passage plan. Yes. This is the answer, and coming off the gas rather than being at wide open throttle could take a bit of getting used to for many a sailor. Alas, having the power also means knowing when to apply it.

"With the Cure 55 you can really exploit more of an available weather window," said Randall. "Especially with the technology we've got in our fingers these days, there should be no excuse for getting beaten up."

All I know is it will be exciting to finally establish what all the numbers for the Cure 55 will be. Not too long to wait now.

If you want to see what is happening in the other Hemisphere, go to the top of the SailWorldCruising home page and the drag down menu on the right, select the other half of the globe and, voila, it's all there for you.

Finally, stay safe, and let's see where it all goes,

John Curnow
Global Editor,

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