February 11, 2008 Until recently limited to military craft, the wave-piercing attributes of the Very Slender Vessel (VSV) design has now made its way into the civilian boat world in the form of the MarySlim, a stunning 72-foot, £1.5 million, long-range cruiser built by Cornwall based Multimarine Composites that debuted last year at the Royal William Yard in England. The unique shape of the yacht allows it to cleave through waves, eliminating the power-consuming, bruising bounce of other crafts, and allowing users to explore greater areas through harsher weather conditions.

Using the hull shape patented by British designer Adrian Thompson in the 1990s and the services of renowned designer Nic Bailey ( whose design credits include the pods on the London Eye ferris wheel) Mary and Richard Reddyhoff commissioned Multimarine to build the high-length to beam ratio boat after becoming frustrated with the performance of V-bottomed hulls.

Powered by a 1650 hp, V12, twin turbocharged Caterpillar engine and a Rolls Royce KaMeWa water jet, the MarySlim has a range of 1800 nautical miles, a cruising speed of 30 knots, a top speed of 37 knots and a large windscreen which can withstand the pressure of 50 tons of water. Military applications for the VSV design have achieved even greater speeds with the 53 feet long craft used by Britain's marine special forces unit since 1990 capable of more than 60 knots.

The owners may also elect instead to erect the 968.75 square foot KiteShip kite and convert the vessel into a sail boat.

Below deck, the nature of the design's narrow length/beam ration of 4.8 obviously puts limitations on the available living space, but the 72 foot craft still has room for an three berth cabins including the main en suite cabin and a six-seat dinnette underneath the three seat helm.

Of course, less energy consumption also means less environmental impact, an aspect of the VSV that Multimarine hopes to expand on. Not only does Multimarine wish to run the VSV on bio-diesel, like the Earthrace yacht, but it has coated the bottom of the boat with Ecospeed, a layer of resin and platelets of glass that inhibit the growth of barnacles and algae, thereby eliminating the need for damaging poisons.

Recently been awarded the Judges' Special Award at the Motor Boat of the Year Awards, this year the MarySlim and the Reddyhoff's plan to take on the North Atlantic and the Arctic.

Visit Multimarine Composites for further reading.

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