Almost as soon as it was launched, the Sunsail 454, later nominated as “Boat of the Year” by the Cruising World magazine, became widely considered to be the model of what a catamaran should be. Indeed, just as sound buffs strive to find the « Sweet Spot » (the perfect acoustic point from which to listen to their hifi), boating experts quickly came to consider the Sunsail 454 as being the perfect cruising catamaran, offering the perfect balance between space, comfort and performance. Below we present the new, improved and upgraded version which is even more state-of-the-art and more eye-catching than ever.
All seasoned twin-hull skippers agree that you only really start to have fun on a multi-hull when you are at the helm of a 45-footer. At sea, just as in life in general, everything is a question of balance and the length of the Sunsail 454 (13.72 m overall) has proven to be just the right compromise for the architects, Simonis-Voogd, to be able to overcome all the inherent issues posed by the design of a cruising catamaran. Indeed, owners expect a boat measuring 45-feet at the waterline not only to be able to sail quickly but also to be able to glide comfortably over and between waves even in choppy conditions. This length makes it possible to design twin hulls of sufficient size to create interior volumes and, very importantly, a loading capacity that is perfectly suitable for cruising purposes.
Out at sea, 45-footers win hands down
Those advantages are obviously even more applicable to sixty-foot, or even bigger, models. However, on boats of that size, the efforts required, the complexity of the manoeuvring techniques and the high level of maintenances constraints are such that the recourse to a professional crew becomes inevitable. This is clearly not the case with the Sunsail 454, which is sufficiently compact to be easy to handle when cruising with either family or friends and yet is big enough to comfortably fit up to four double cabins with independent bathrooms in its twin hulls while still having enough space left to house a skipper in a separate cabin, if required.
Let the light flood in and enjoy the space
The Sunsail 454 interior has been completely made over, making it even more stunningly attractive than before. The whole crew can sit inside the vast, U-shaped salon, bask in the light flooding in through the panoramic windows, and, as all the seats look forwards, enjoy the panoramic view out front. As for the style, it is as up-to-date as ever. The “silver riftwood” furniture contrasts handsomely with the Corian white of the spacious kitchen and the white oak flooring. The hulls are similarly designed to let in as much natural light as possible. The beds have been redesigned to allow a more convenient, access from either side and the enlarged portholes give an even greater impression of spaciousness.
A lounge to relax in and enhanced performance
Although the modifications below deck have been introduced gradually, from one version to the next, outside the upgrade is blindingly obvious. The 454’s silhouette is stylishly outlined by the long row of steel-rimmed portholes which immediately identify it as belonging to the long line of Sunsail catamarans. The main, forward cockpit is still as comfortable as before, whether at anchor or in port, but there is now an additional, perfectly-designed upper lounge, perched upon the rigid hardtop bimini. It is located close to the sheltered helm station, where all the lines are centralized, and where the crew can enjoy a full 360° view of the boat and sails. The layout of this newly-designed space is perfectly functional. With its sunbathing area at the fore and the banquette and table at the rear (the perfect place for sipping a cocktail out in the fresh air), the 454 seems to have taken on a new, fourth dimension. However, let’s not forget there is still the traditional aft cockpit below, itself very roomy and so easy to move through or around.
The boat has generously-dimensioned sails (more than 120 m² in all) including notably, a large genoa, and so both is quick over the water and a real pleasure to sail. Various press reviews have pointed out the boat’s “ingenious hull design”, its “remarkable stability” and its ”ideal size for open-sea cruising”. (Multihulls World). Canadian Yachting raved about it being “quick, roomy and stable, what dreams are made of!” Who could put it better than that? Well, maybe you will one day, should you wish to buy or rent out a Sunsail 454?
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