Whether you're a high-speed thrill seeker or absolute beginner, windsurfing is a solo sport, but an Australian team is working on a fresh new design which changes that. The Wave Chaser is a twin-rig planing hull catamaran, designed to show how catamaran tech could combine with windsurfing to create a new, exciting craft.
According to the team at Wave Chaser, the hulls on its windsurfer catamaran strike a neat balance between hydrodynamic lift and maneuverability. They make use of a double-concave shape at the rear, which flows through a relatively flat midsection into a slight "vee" at the nose.
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Along with its blend of lift and maneuverability, the design of the hulls was chosen because of its ability to keep a 180 kg (397 lb) two-person crew balanced and buoyant in variable ocean conditions. The hulls are attached to a bespoke pair of sails, shaped with a minimal rake and short base to make sure they efficiently translate wind into motion.
"We have created a totally unique watercraft," says Wave Chaser designer, Nigel McBride. "The Wave Chaser is a twin rig, planing hull catamaran developed from windsurfer design principles. This windsurfer catamaran as we call it, is capable of fast planing on flat water, stable yet highly maneuverable, and tough enough to handle extreme wind loading and wave slam."
Although the Wave Chaser works as a twin-hull catamaran, the rig is actually made up of two separate hulls, connected up using a raised central platform. When they're attached, the two hulls create the catamaran you see here, but when separated they can be used as stand-up paddle boards or individual sailboards.
Of course, there are some downsides to running with two hulls and a big central platform. Where a conventional sailboard weighs between 6 and 10 kg (13 to 22 lb), and most stand-up paddle boards are around 14 kg (30 lb), the catamaran hulls on the Wave Chaser tip the scales at a portly 20 kg (44 lb) each. With sails and the central platform attached, the prototype twin-hull catamaran weighs a whopping 67.6 kg (149 lb).
According to Nigel McBride, the team at Wave Chaser is aiming to get the production model under 50 kg (110 lb) by making the hulls out of carbon fiber, and adopting a hollow design. The hulls can be transported using roof racks, and the rest of the design disassembles to be carried in the back of a pickup or van. Putting the whole thing together takes two people around 20 minutes.
At the moment, the Wave Chaser is at the prototyping stage, but creator Nigel McBride is already working on a production model. No information about pricing or availability has been released, as you'd imagine of a product in its early development phase.
You can see the catamaran in action below.
Source: Wave Chaser