Chris Salthouse is in charge of M/V CHASE ONE. This is a 58-knot tender that can support the AC72 for 14-hour days without a return-to-base. And, perish the thought, right the AC72 should they capsize.
In the Diane Swintal interview “Chasing the Big Cats: ETNZ’s Chris Salthouse and 1200 Horses” Chris tells the story of the design of CHASE ONE and how this remarkable boat does her job. Excerpt:
Salthouse has carved out another niche with the team, putting him in charge of a pretty cool new toy – he worked with Pete Melvin of Melvin & Morelli Design & Engineering, one of ETNZ’s AC72 designers, to come up with a state-of-the-art catamaran chase boat that meets the daunting task of keeping up with the team’s America’s Cup boat.
“We started with a blank piece of paper, and a budget,” explains Salthouse. “The old Protector boats were great for working with Version 5 boats; they could go all day at 12 or 13 knots. With these big boats, it’s one thing to be able to go fast, but you’ve got to be able to go fast for long periods of time. With the 30-day rule between now and February, the days on the water are going to be long, 12 or 14 hours. If you’re doing 30 knots all the time, you have to have something that’s efficient and fast, with a range capable of being out there all day to support the boat.
“You’ve also got to have a boat big enough to carry all the spares to keep the boat on the water. We can’t keep coming back to the dock, so we have to carry sailmakers, hydraulic guys, winch guys, engineers, designers – all these guys and all the spare parts, like boatbuilding parts, sailmaking parts, wing repair parts, rigging, all that stuff. That’s what drove us to design a catamaran, the need for something fuel efficient and light, something that would go quicker than what we had and could carry more gear.
CHASE ONE was naturally built by the famous Salthouse family yard: Salthouse Boat Builders