Builder appointed for SpeedDream prototype

Build to start of 27ft version of the SpeedDream100

Tuesday September 20th 2011, Author: Brian Hancock, Location: United States

SpeedDream started as an idea, a simple notion that with some creative thinking applied, that a purpose-built monohull might be able to reach, and in some cases exceed the speeds enjoyed by a similar size multihull. Well that notion has turned into an obsession to not only build a record setting monohull but to change the way we look at boats and their relationship to speed.

In the two years since first announcing the concept behind SpeedDream we have been surprised by many things so we were delighted when, after a global search for a builder, we discovered the very best place to build the boat was right here in our own back yard. We had received inquiries from as far away as China and made our own overtures to South Africa and Russia, but it was Lyman Morse, an enduring Maine Boatbuilder that impressed us the most and so it’s with great pleasure that we awarded them the build contract.

Lyman Morse has been building boats continuously since the company was first formed in 1978 and the roster of new builds and restorations show an eclectic mix of old Maine craftsmanship to the latest high-tech all-carbon technology. They are currently building a 63-foot Bruce Farr design for a solo non-stop circumnavigation and will slot the SpeedDream prototype in alongside with an estimated launch date of early next spring. Their modern, high-tech facility coupled with extremely competent boat builders along with a smattering of Yankee knowhow makes Lyman Morse by far the best place to build this kind of boat. We encourage anyone looking for a full-service boatyard or new construction facility to follow our lead and give them a call.

While the 27-foot version of SpeedDream100 is essentially a prototype to test the performance of some of the innovative features including the extreme canting keel that flies clear of the water when the boat heels over, it has evolved into something much more than a one-off prototype. Computer models suggest that the boat will sail at speeds easily approaching 30 knots and will be relatively simple to sail and easy to handle. With this in mind and in the spirit of free thinking, the plan now is to launch a completely new One Design class that will take over where the Melges and Mumms left off. Taking nothing away from these extremely successful classes, we think that there is room for a moderately priced, ultra high performance keelboat that places the emphasis squarely on speed rather than on tactical prowess.

There are some challenges that come with a boat that routinely sails well over 20 knots. Short tacking, for example, might be difficult. It will take around 35 seconds for the keel to cant from one side of the boat to the other, so a quick tacking duel up the windward leg is out of the question.

So some new thinking was applied, and with an eye toward the ski industry where slalom racing is extremely popular, a new SpeedDream SpeedWay was conceived. Instead of racing a traditional triangle with a hired gun at the helm, two SpeedDream27s will enter the start zone. Their task, based entirely on speed and skill and not the vagaries of wind and shifts, will be to get their boat around the course as fast as possible. Short, intense, speed-timed races, and many of them over the course of a day, will turn up a winner that knows how to maximise the full potential of their SpeedDream27.

In fact we plan to not only borrow from skiing, but also from the highly successful Extreme Sailing Series as well as Nascar to create a whole new experience for sailors who are out for the sheer thrill of the ride.

The SpeedDream prototype will be launched early 2012 and will be tested in the warm, relatively flat waters of Florida. Thereafter the boat will be available for demo-sails. We believe that the best way to get intimate with the new SpeedDream27 is by taking one out for a spin. In the next few months we will roll out some creative ideas on how we plan to establish the class, ideas that include Shared Ownership as well as the creation of SpeedDream agents that will provide an 'arrive and drive' experience for sailors seeking to leverage their ever-shrinking leisure time.

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