1999: Design: Power Cat Tender


The Adagio tender “Allegro” has been a workhorse. The Morrelli & Melvin custom powercat is the most sea-kindly small tender we have encountered. Just under 13-ft, she carries 4 adults, 2 kids, and various gear on a comfortable plane. In flat water with just a driver she does about 23kn with the 25hp four-stroke Yamaha.

What is not obvious about a modern powercat design is the cushioning effect of the air-water froth between the planing hulls. We have cruised across Twofold Bay at the bottom of Australia’s “big island” in 6-ft seas plus wind chop very comfortably.

Another much-loved attribute of Allegro — the driver and passengers do not get “wet bum”, the usual outcome for those on RIB/rigid inflatable, or worse, ordinary inflatables, where driver and passengers sit on the tubes. Allegro carries four adults sitting on the center tunnel as shown in the thumbnail-linked drawing. So when we go out for dinner on Allegro, we do not have to endure an evening in salty underwear.

Other conveniences, there is a solid foredeck for boarding, which conceals the anchor locker. There is dry storage under the hydraulic steering wheel center console, under the foredeck starboard-side, and two “dry” lockers aft — each side of the engine.

There is also another much-loved convenience, an easily raised-stowed Bimini-top awning. As we get older we more and more appreciate ways to keep out of the sun — besides just keeping cool.

Sadly, we had no way to store the molds for Allegro. Someday we may build a sistership by taking a female mold off the Allegro hull. That will make it much easier to laminate her all-Kevlar/epoxy hull quickly before the resin begins to kick off. Allan Legge built Allegro as his first Kevlar uni-directional laminate — attempting to laminate the entire hull in one step. The Kevlar unis are VERY ill-behaved, so Allan ran past the “clock”, resulting in a resin-rich laminate. Next time we’ll achieve Gino’s design goal of about 78 pounds for the hull and wing laminate.

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