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Spotlight – Garcia Explocat 52: The tough cat

The Garcia Explocat 52 offers buyers the ability to enjoy catamaran boating beyond the scope of normal cat cruising areas

author icon By Ryan Swift | 26 August 2021

Garcia Yachts Explocat

Garcia advertises its yachts as being capable of polar exploration – an unusual boast for a catamaran

French yacht builder Garcia Yachts, which specialises in rugged, aluminium monohull sailing yachts for adventurous-minded sailors since 1974, has dipped its toes into the catamaran market with the Garcia Explocat 52.

“If you imagine the world, you have a safe band (around the tropics), which is a sort of multihull world. And these boats (catamarans) are fantastic for that,” said Pete Goss, the legendary UK round-the-world competitive yachtsman and Garcia monohull owner. “And then, when you break out of that, you’re looking at monohulls. I think this boat (the Explocat 52), is going to stretch that band.”

The Explocat 52 is designed for multihull sailors that want to explore farther than traditional catamarans might allow. The designers built the yacht to be handled by just two people, with a well-protected cockpit and a wheelhouse in the saloon, allowing for sailing in tougher conditions. Garcia describes the Explocat as suited for sailing from the polar regions to the tropics.

In addition to the toughness of aluminium, which better protects against puncture, the 52 features watertight front and rear bulkheads. The rigid platform, generous sail plan, deck hardware and ergonomic sail handling station offering protection and visibility should make owner and crew happy while sailing far from shore. The water and fuel tanks, and the energy sources, should meet the demands of remote sailing.

The designers built the yacht to be handled by just two people

Garcia Yachts ExplocatThe square-topped Dacron mainsail is 107 square metres, fully battened with three reefing points. There is a 62-square-metre furling genoa sail and a 38-square-metre furling staysail. Fittings are available for Code 0, gennaker and asymmetrical spinnaker sails.

The 52’s external steering stations can also be equipped with a helm system, which allows the pilot to steer from a lower, more protected position or higher up in good weather. The front cockpit can either be a relaxation area or used by the crew for forward observation.

The interior design offers the standard advantages of a catamaran: wide beam and large bridge deck spaces with great visibility all around. There is insulation, equipment, woodwork and upholstery designed for explorers, in keeping with the demand for polar exploration. The interior helm station offers a dry, safe environment to steer the boat and keep watch.

The interiors have been kept simple and practical

The interiors have been kept simple and practical

The interior spaces have been kept simple and bright, and Garcia offers the Explocat in numerous configurations. The designers have made sure to keep crew and guest movement around the boat, between the relaxation and crew areas, safe and comfortable.

The aft cockpit features a simple yet functional design, with emergency supplies within easy reach of anyone in the area. A large galley is well protected, allowing meals to keep coming, even when seas are rugged.

Accommodation is simpler and sparer than one might expect from other brands, but it will do nicely for people keen on adventure.

Garcia Yachts, a division of French yacht building conglomerate Grand Large Yachting, based on France’s Atlantic coast, is represented in Hong Kong by Asia Fine Yachts.

www.garciayachts.com

Tech specifications: Garcia Explocat 52

LOA: 17m
Beam: 82m
Draught: 1.5m
Lightship displacement: 18.6t
Gennaker: 185 m²
Upwind sail area: 167 m²
Engines: 2 x 60 Hp
Freshwater (est.): 658l
Fuel capacity: 1,174l
Naval architect: Pierre Delion
Design: Darnet Design