Morelli And Melvin 65

Morrelli & Melvin has introduced a series of energy efficient design innovations and building techniques to its latest design.

By working closely with Westerly Marine, Morrelli & Melvin has incorporated new building efficiencies to the construction process. These innovations are proving to significantly reduce labor costs and improve construction quality. The team has achieved a significant cost savings that can be passed along to the owner.

Design evolutions, both visible and hidden, are abundant in this design. Morrelli & Melvin’s uniquely shaped wave-piercing bows and complimentary underbody save weight and windage but most importantly reduce pitching motions. Reduced pitching motions improves comfort aboard and also reduces resistance in a seaway.

Steering system improvements include an innovative dagger rudder system with simplified and lighter weight components and a special fairings to minimize speed-robbing turbulence around the rudder. By lifting the dagger boards and rudders, this design can operate in waters as shallow as 3′ (1m).

It will be more cost efficient and environmentally sound to operate the speedy sail-powered catamaran than previous designs, because of the lightweight materials used and the energy-efficient systems that are being employed. Lightweight, pre-preg, vacuum bagged carbon fiber is being used for the structural components. These are the very same materials used to build aerospace parts. Nomex honeycomb has been used for the interior structures. Topping it off are IQ Solar’s custom-built, marine-grade solar cell panels combined with an advanced electronic control system.

IQ’s solar panels are smaller than those traditionally used on boats. They have a lower profile and can be shaped to the contours and outline of the cabin top. Rather than having an entire solar panel rendered inoperable because a portion of it falls in the shade of the boom or another structure, Morrelli & Melvin is incorporating the IQ system to ensure that more solar cells are working in all conditions.

Morrelli & Melvin co-founder Pete Melvin has been staying abreast of the latest in green and energy-saving technology. For the last year and a half, he has been riding a lithium-ion battery-powered motorcycle he built that is capable of going 60 miles per hour and that has a range of 50 miles. It costs $.25 to charge his silent battery-powered cycle; a far cry from what it would cost to operate a gasoline motorcycle. All the while, Melvin has been testing Massachusetts-based Genasun’s lithium-ion battery management system. Satisfied that it is safe and reliable enough to work on his motorcycle, Morrelli & Melvin has specified a Gensun battery management system for the catamaran’s bank of lightweight, high-tech, lithium ion batteries.

A small and light weight DC generator is used in lieu of the typical heavier and bulkier AC genset. The system charges the batteries directly without having to convert AC to DC power, thereby reducing energy losses. Main power requirements on the boat such as refrigeration, instrumentation, and lighting are all DC eliminating the need for large inverters to convert DC to AC power.

The steering station is located in the aft cockpit. The main and jib sheets are led aft, making it possible for a crew of one or two to reef the main and furl the headsails from the aft cockpit. The other advantage of this layout is creation of a spacious saloon and aft cockpit. This layout is perfect for plying the oceans of the world, which is the intention of the owner of the first boat to be built.

“Our performance catamarans are fast and efficient. As engineers, we are always thinking out of the box and looking to other fields to introduce weight-saving concepts, structural improvements and greener and cleaner technology to our designs. Overall, the improvements translate to building and operating cost savings and customer satisfaction,” said Melvin.

Westerly and Morrelli & Melvin announced the construction of a sistership in April. The second owner was also attracted to the advanced rig, hull and appendage package and sturdy construction and quality installation systems. The cabin areas will be modified to meet the second owner’s specifications.

Lightweight, strong, durable, good looks, comfortable, fast and efficient are trademarks of this new cat that is catching the attention of many prospective owners.

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