sailing the first hh44 catamaran

First Ever HH44 Hybrid Electric Catamaran

It’s finally here, the first sea trials aboard the new HH44!  The anticipation has been palpable, and we feel a bit like kids on Christmas morning.  Hoping we get everything we’ve asked for and a few surprises too.

Because this is a brand-new design from the ground up, not simply a variation on an older model.  And while this may not be our boat, it’s mighty close.  And the owner of hull number one, S/V BLISS, along with a long line of future owners are all eager to see how she will handle.

These sea trials are all about testing the boat and the systems in every way.  Will she point, how is the motion and noise, how much regen will we get…so many things!  HH will push everything to the max to ensure the vessel meets the safety and strength of their design specs.  Which includes flying a hull!

Needless to say, we are pleased as punch to be a part of this whole process and spoiler alert, she does not disappoint!

We are over the moon about the boat, all her potential and of our course, finally having a home again.  It’s so close we can taste it, or maybe that’s just the leftover salt on my lips…

jason wynn sailing hh44

nikki wynn sailing hh44

hh44 sailing with the wynns

jason wynn sailing hh44

Flying A Hull Is About Safety

Flying a hull and foiling is going to become more and more standard as boats evolve.  We’ve already seen it with racing and it is the natural evolution as designs improve.  But, it sounds scary to some and reckless to others.  But with HH, it’s all about safety.  Paul and I talked about this a lot during our factory tour:

HH designs their boats with a high power to weight ratio, not with the intention of flying a hull, but to give the boat great light air performance (sailing on light wind days is certainly safer). The ability to fly the hull is by-product of that.  And as we say in the video: most HH owners aren’t racing and will never fly a hull on their own.  But, without that high power to weight ratio, a sailboat will never perform well in light air.

HH engineers, perhaps even over engineers, everything!  The structures, the appendages, the deck gear, the ropes and the sails are all spec’d to handle the maximum possible load that the boat can produce (which occurs at hull fly).

So during sea trials, in order to test everything and make sure the boat is strong enough, and up to HH standards, the boat must be pushed to the MAX.  Skilled captains (such as Chris and Ben), have the task of taking all the equipment to maximum load.  But flying a hull on the HH44 is a seriously skilled effort.  They had to throw out the reefing guide and work hard, and you can see their concentration in the video.  Flying a hull isn’t something that is easy to accidentally do.

Which is why you won’t catch us, or most other HH owners, ever doing so.  But it does give us peace of mind knowing our boat is strong enough to do so with extra safety margins built in.  (Just incase we ever get caught in freak squall or a massive storm)

The alternative to flying a hull at sea trials, are AWS (Apparent Wind Speed) limits which are set by the builder (and its what most builders do).  Which is why it’s important to follow reefing guides set on cruising boats or you risk a dismasting, breaking equipment, structural failures and so on.  But according to HH, this should never happen on one of their boats.  Because they have already tested it at max pressure to make sure the boat doesn’t break.

If it’s safer to build a boat stronger, then why build a boat to AWS limits?  Simple:  It is cheaper (and lighter) to build a catamaran with AWS limits. Everything can be downsized: equipment, mast, rigging, sails, and even the structure can be built cheaper with less laminate and lower quality resins.  But this isn’t the route HH takes.  And for us, it’s that design and engineering philosophy that really sets them apart from other catamaran manufacturers.




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Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (21)

  • Terry

    The best video you have put out. I’d like to see a video of just the boat sailing, lots of drone shots and music. Your excitement is catching. We’re ready to see your boat tested.

  • Bernie

    Awesome video, incredible sailing and monster smiles all around the vessel! So was part of the 10 days for the commissioning crew, sailing from the factory to France?

    • Curious Minion

      No, Bliss wasn’t finished in enough time to sail her to the Cannes boat show, so she was shipped over. Plus, that’s about 11,000 nautical miles, give or take a few hundred. It would take more like 2 months than 10 days. More than the commissioning crew signed on for I’ll bet!
      Curious Minion

  • MarkByron

    Just say WOW!!
    Amazing video too!

  • Hank

    You have come a long way from the Bounder! It has been awesome following along on your adventures.

  • Alan Solomon

    Wow. Incredible video. Great and continuous action. You must be so excited. I am excited for you. Worth the wait. Flying high on a beautiful day with great seas.

  • Mark Davis

    Loved the video. Is there a provision to close in the helms during inclement weather?

  • don wilson

    so excited for your new boat after this video. Rock and Roll!

  • Ed Grant

    WOW! I am so excited for you kids, what with your beautiful boat almost ready to pick up! It was amazing to see how technical all of the line handling was with the crew on board. What a great way for you to experience a preview of your own. It was hard to believe that just the two of you will be able to control so many things all at once, but I have faith that you will be perfectly adept at doing so. Thanks for sharing this fantastic cat with us!

  • Randy Fox

    Where’s the back scoops allowing for all the easy land excursions?

  • David Lintner

    Excellent. I’ve never seen smiles as big as yours.

  • Paul

    Does HH expect to be able to fly a hull with your version of the 44 since it has minikerld and winglets instead of daggerboards??

  • Peter Lawson

    Thanks for the video. Well done.
    What is the exact Highfield dinghy model shown on the HH 44 hull #1 and what dinghy motor has Nicolai selected?
    Peter Lawson

  • Tim Janes

    so here is a dumb Question when they are doing the break in , if something breaks who pays for it and any idea how long will that delay the finial pick up or receiving the boat?

    • Curious Minion

      There’s no such thing as a dumb question! I believe the boat is still officially HH “property” when the sea trails happen for exactly that reason. With Hull #1 of any new design, the engineers have reasonable expectations of how she’ll perform, but the final proof is in the pudding as they say. It’s in the company’s best interest to hand over a boat that is as perfect as it can be made, so by retaining ownership they’re assured that they can fix any issues that crop up in sea trials. As for delays, that depends on what they break I guess! If this video is any indication, they didn’t find any huge issues with Bliss.
      Curious Minion

      • Deresky Martin

        There are also insurance and certification issues that mandate a formal “trial” to prove the fundamental sailing and operational systems. In some countries this is pedantic inasmuch as you have to show the nav lights work with and without the motors while underway in more than a moderate chop.

        • Curious Minion

          Thanks for that additional info. Makes sense that they’d have to do that.
          Curious Minion

  • Doreen

    Just WOW! I bet your faces hurt from all the grinning.

  • Mike McHale

    So excited for you guys can’t wait to see the new boat. It was a great video the crew were so professional Nikolai is got to be head over heels, and the same thing is going to happen to you. Glad to be a patron and will continue to support in the future, thanks again.
    Mike McHale

  • Fred Bugden

    Impressive boat . You guys chose wisely.


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