Maine Cat P-38 Catamaran Power Boat

Maine Cat owner Dick Vermeulen asked for our assistance designing a power boat to add to his successful line of sailing catamarans. From his preliminary sketches we developed a hull for a 38' displacement power catamaran. We modeled it in MultiSurf, checking the hydrostatics and hull coefficients regularly. After four major revisions of the lines we achieved the initial displacement, hull coefficients, and appearance Dick was seeking. We then exported a 3D IGES file from MultiSurf, which Janseneering, LLC, used to machine a mold for a 1/10th scale hull.

Dick and his crew fabricated a very nice model from the mold and we took it out on the Medomak River, on the central Maine coast, for evaluation. Finding patches of smooth water, we towed it at varying speeds to observe the motion of the hull and the extent of wetting of the bridge deck while underway. After this first towing trial Dick widened the hull by a scale foot, and removed the central vee under the bridge deck. He was happy with the results when we towed this new model, so he decided proceed with building a full-size hull.

We exported another 3D IGES file from MultiSurf, this time of sections for a core-strip mold. The crew at Maine Cat fabricated the new hull over the winter of 2006 in time for a test run in April 2007. Unfortunately, the diesel-electric propulsion system provided for the boat was not up to the job of powering it to its estimated full speed of 20 knots. Repowering the hull with diesel engines was put off so that other boats in Maine Cat's regular line could be completed and delivered.

Estimates for production of a 5-axis machined mold of the hull were requested, but in the end Dick opted to begin a minor redesign of the hull. When we complete this work the strength and seakindliness of the hull will be improved. There will also be sufficient space for a traditional diesel drive. We will also be modeling the lower superstructure and deck, from which a full-size mold will also be built. As soon as time permits, a new hull and house will be fabricated and, following further testing and evaluation, full production of the new boat will begin. Click here to download the photographs of Maine Cat P-38.

Background photograph by Alison Hudson