The Tag Yachts 60 stood out at the 2013 Strictly Sail Miami Boat Show. First, it was the only silver catamaran at the docks, and second, it was the only one that looked like it might fly to the moon. With a rotating mast, all-carbon construction, a completely unconventional interior, and the rumor that it will fly a hull, there’s quite a bit that differentiates this Greg Young-designed futuristic cat from the rest of the pack.
“During sea-trials on a 20-knot breeze day, we had the Tag 60 sailing at 18-24 knots at 150 degrees off the true wind, with the apparent wind angle sitting at 40 degrees,” said the company’s managing director, Tim van der Steene. “It will fly a hull at around 18 to 20 knots of boatspeed.”
With centerboards, a powerful sail plan, and that rotating mast, the Tag 60 regularly sails at the wind speed and exceeds it by 20 percent. The Tag team believes the mast is the secret weapon, because you can adjust the camber of the mainsail from 6 to 13 degrees. To accelerate, max rotation is applied to generate power; then a finer entry is required to minimize drag, so the rotation is reduced. The standard sail package is a square-top mainsail, a self-tacking jib, and staysail. The headsail options include a light air jib, a Code-0, and a furling asymmetric gennaker.
There are two versions available, and this one is an all-carbon construction. That means this boat is much lighter than much of its competition. Sail controls are via hydraulic rams for the mainsail, main traveler, self-tacking jib sheet, and centerboards, and via three-speed 24V Harken winches for other control lines. Two intuitive joysticks manage the complete operation.
Twin helm stations are adjacent to the fully enclosed saloon. There is no traditional open aft cockpit. Instead there are two cockpits, one each to port and starboard. Van der Steene sees that as a great benefit because the crew can choose which side to occupy – windward or leeward, sunny or shady. In the middle is a large saloon with hard bulkheads but plenty of opening windows. Forward of that is the alley, so the whole upper level is one large great room. Below, this boat even has a sauna in the port hull.
The company was started in 2007 in South Africa, but this is the first Tag 60 to grace U.S. shores. Judging by the foot traffic aboard at the show, it seems she will continue to generate quite a bit of interest. If Tag could take all those people sailing to give them the thrill of 24 knots of speed on one hull, they might see a lot of happy faces and a few converts.
“This is a sailing catamaran for sailors,” adds van der Steene. “But it’s so easy to handle and maneuver, it’s an excellent cruising cat as well.”
For more information, visit Tag Yachts.