Green Marine, one of the world’s leading builders of lightweight, composite racing and super yachts, has announced that it has a ground-breaking 78-foot (24-metre) catamaran currently in build at its facility in Hythe, England. Designed by renowned multihull naval architect Nigel Irens and designated the APC (Advanced Premium Catamaran) 78, she will be the first of a new breed of catamaran that bridges the current gulf between stripped-out racing boats and sedate, heavyweight cruisers. The launch date is set for mid-2014.

With its long experience of building Grand Prix Racing Yachts and its uncompromising approach to delivering Premium Performance yachts with low-weight yet fully equipped cruising interiors, Green Marine is one of the few yards in the world capable of undertaking such a project. The APC 78 is being built in carbon and Nomex and will benefit from the yard’s acknowledged leadership in weight minimisation at every stage of the build.

“With a few notable exceptions catamaran owners have, until now, generally opted to put the emphasis on the living experience,” says designer Nigel Irens, “but all the indications are that this polarisation between ‘strictly racing’ and ‘strictly cruising’ boats is about to end. We set out to design a catamaran that would genuinely out-perform quite seriously refined single-hulled boats on all points of sailing, while nevertheless retaining the comfort of a cruising catamaran. The result will, it is hoped, be a groundbreaking boat that will sail fast (and upright), and yet will provide a superb living platform – one that is just as happy nosing up to the beach for a barbecue at the end of a long day’s racing, then heading for home at 13 knots under power.”

“With the increasing demand for sailing superyachts that are both competitive on the race course and yet fully equipped for cruising, taking the step of extending that concept into catamarans was inevitable,” said Green Marine CEO Marcel Müller. "Weight optimisation and control are critical for the success of a performance multihull such as the APC78, and these are areas in which Green Marine excels. The APC78 currently in build will, we hope, be just the first of a series that will provide their owners with exciting, sociable racing together with the capability to pack a long distance cruising itinerary into just a week or two of vacation, all in complete comfort.”