ILIAD Catamarans has made a stunning impression on Asia-Pacific’s yachting scene with nine of the long-range performance power catamarans sold since the brand’s 2019 launch.
The ILIAD 50 was first of the range to be launched and was unveiled at the 2019 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, with the inaugural model selling to a keen couple just minutes before its official christening.
Four more ILIAD 50s have since been sold plus two ILIAD 70s following the larger model’s launch at last year’s Sydney International Boat Show. The upcoming ILIAD 60, due for release in late 2020, has already had two orders placed.
Mark Elkington, CEO of ILIAD Catamarans, said the brand’s first-year results have been an amazing testament to the years of research and development invested in the range by its internationally accredited team of designers and naval architects.
“While we wanted to first and foremost create a range that allowed buyers to design a power boat that suited their unique needs without the exorbitant cost, we also have employed the finest minds in naval architecture to ensure each boat delivers outstanding passage-making performance,” Elkington said.
“We set out to develop true long-range power catamarans that make no compromises, and each cat has been designed with an emphasis on safety, strength, stability and economy.”
The catamarans are particularly unique in that clients are able to customise many aspects of their chosen model to reflect their individual style and needs but without the epic cost involved in changing aspects of most production and semi-production power catamarans.
Clients are free to choose their own preferred layout, interior finishes, electronics package, fabrics, engine options and more, at an extremely cost-efficient rate.
All of the ILIAD catamarans are also sheer achievements in power cat design, delivering safe and comfortable offshore performance with some of the longest-range capabilities in their market segment (2,500-6,000nm), he said.
The ILIAD brand results from a successful collaboration of Riccardo Bulgarelli, Global Marine and Xinlong shipyard, with all entities bringing a wealth of expertise to the project.
The range is produced at Zhanjiang at YuanHe Xinlong shipyard, one of the few established shipyards in China that constructs premium-quality explorer-type boats for the world market and uses only the highest quality of internationally imported materials.
Its impressive facility near Hainan overlooks the famous Zhanjiang Bay Bridge with waterfront launching access and boasts an expansive team of internationally trained staff who have already made waves in the industry with the construction of Bering’s luxurious 65ft, 77ft and 80ft motor yachts.
The mastermind behind the design of the ILIAD range is Bulgarelli, the renowned naval architect who worked in Italy for many years for some of the world’s leading shipyards before establishing his own design office in China.
Bulgarelli has designed and project-managed the build of many exclusive custom vessels as large as 112ft for successful export to the world market. Global Marine is currently developing a strategic international dealer network for the brand.
Recently appointed Asia-Pacific dealer Multihull Solutions purchased the initial prototype based on the ILIAD philosophy and design. Multihull Solutions has a strong reputation in the Asia-Pacific region, and wanted to be confident it was the right product to add to their range.
The prototype was extensively tested with sea trials and ocean passages across the South China Sea, meeting head on with conditions that would challenge any ocean-going craft.
Multihull Solutions General Manager Andrew De Bruin said the Christmas typhoons that hit Vietnam were a real test for the boat.
“The crew got caught for 24 hours in up to 7m seas with winds of 70-80 knots before they made shelter. However, they felt very safe and comfortable on this boat, even in the most intense conditions”, Andrew said.
After clocking 1,000 engine hours and almost 10,000nm, the data from this prototype project was analysed by all stakeholders, including the design team, and implemented across the ILIAD range to ensure the market would receive a boat that was up to the planned demanding standards.
“This project, while costly, was worth every dollar and hour invested. We wanted to get this right, not sell the first boat to a client and see them go through the typical ‘first-boat debugging’ challenges,” Andrew said.
“Multihull Solutions has handled dozens of new model releases over the past 12 years, and we wanted to ensure we approached this project differently and learnt everything possible to fully understand the systems, make recommendations, and minimise compromises that are evident in all boats, then give feedback to the builders and design team.”
Many engine options are available, and ILIAD catamarans all come with standard inclusions, including dual-control electronics as well as systems for fuel transfer and blackwater and power management.
Each model also features flybridge hard tops, resin-infused hulls in full vinylester resin, Tecma fresh-water flush electric toilets, bathroom extractor fans and an ocean of other premium-quality fixtures as standard inclusions.
ILIAD catamarans are built to CE (Cat A) as standard, although all models can be built to any specified international survey classification and include a five-year internationally supported structural warranty for commercial operation and maximum peace of mind.
ILIAD has designed each model to evoke the comfort and style of luxury apartments with unsurpassed space in all their living areas. Conceptualised with long-term cruisers in mind, the catamarans are extremely functional with excellent flow across the various zones.
The standard forward lounge in each model provides amazing 360-degree views, and, unlike many other modern power cats, ILIAD has introduced an option for a spacious master suite in the main deck to optimise the use of space and create a naturally light, airy and idyllic retreat for those cruisers who want to live on one level.
Beautifully appointed gourmet galleys are standard across the ILIAD range, and storage facilities are in abundance for extended cruising. As with the rest of the boat, the galley can be completely customised to adapted layouts, or clients can add and remove any fixtures or styles they desire.
The flybridges can be left entirely open, or can be fully enclosed with ducted air conditioning, or owners can elect to have the best of both worlds with high-quality clears that can be opened and closed as the elements demand. Sedan options are also available if a flybridge is not a requirement or bridge height restrictions are a factor.
Wide, safe walkways are part of each design with hand rails at a comfortable height for complete security at sea, while clear, uncluttered decks and huge deck storage facilities make offshore passages practical, safe and carefree.
Just like the legendary Achaean ships of Homer’s epic, ILIAD’s catamarans are designed to face the most treacherous conditions with confidence, which is a heavily tested hallmark of the ILIAD range’s DNA. Ideal for extended passage-making cruises, each model affords impressive range and speed with competitive fuel efficiency.
The company’s standard recommended engines deliver a long-range cruising speed of seven knots at a fuel burn between 1.2-1.6 litres/nm, with a range of up to 6,000nm (depending on the model).
Well-trimmed fore and aft at all speeds, the catamarans are able to explore farther than their competitors with the protective grounding skegs making them beachable in emergencies or for servicing in remote areas.
Elkington says the ILIAD design is all about minimising the many compromises in both mono and multihull vessels for extended liveaboard cruising to more remote places to see unspoilt cruising grounds and locations that are just not accessible with most mainstream power boats.
“Firstly, we wanted to make a boat that was safe and as comfortable as can be for each model’s size, to offer more comfort for the crew,” he said.
“Multihulls were the natural choice for this project as they not only offer the stability without complex stabilising systems, but we have a separate engine room in each hull.
“In the event of water entering an engine room, having separate engine rooms offers real peace of mind. You are highly likely to always have one engine to get you to safety.
“Not many power boats offer such shallow drafts either, of 1.2-1.35m (depending on the model) while offering such volume per metre of boat. Shallow draft allows safer anchoring as you can access the most interesting bays and inlets to see places you’d normally pass by.
“Further, you have the security of a keel-skeg to protect your running gear should a grounding occur, or more likely, if you touch the ocean floor while at anchor at low tide.
“While we are not promoting that our boats are designed to run aground, the design does offer owners peace of mind if they touch the ocean floor while at anchor or while navigating at low speeds into a difficult shallow waterway or an area of poorly charted water,” he said.
Standard fuel specification by model provided can be discussed with each buyer and increased if the specific choice of model requires more range at a particular speed. But Elkington cautions that with multihull hull design, buyers cannot have it all.
“A top speed of over 25 knots does not necessarily give you fuel efficiency and longer range at lower speeds, just as impressive fuel burn figures of seven knots that achieve just over one litre per nautical mile will not give you a high top-end speed.
“ILIAD has balanced design around the best of both worlds, offering very impressive long-range fuel burn numbers of 1.2-1.6 litres/nm, depending on the model, with respectable top-end speeds of 20-22 knots; ideal passage-making speeds of 8-9 knots with very comfortable fast cruise speeds of 16-18 knots.
“Our boats will not appeal to those buyers who just want speed, bling and gadgets. Simplicity and ease of operation is our ethic, and you will see this in all our boats.
“Systems have to be simple, logical and manageable with the resources you have on board. All clients are not engineers, mechanics and electricians, so minimising complex systems is part of ILIAD’s objective. Back-up systems and redundancy can be built into each ILIAD – that’s our power of choice.”