NorCat - Norwegian Catamarans by Reidar Uthaug


NorCat are catamarans by Reidar Uthaug, builder of the successful 36ft catamaran "Fanitullen".

Currently under construction are the new NorCat 37 - a high performance catamaran for club racing and coastal cruising.

The first two boats will be built by Lasse Tønnesen and Reidar Uthaug.

UPDATE - Jan. 2012

Thanks to everyone who has visited this homepage repeatedly without finding any update for a period of four years, here are some news and a few new photos:

Both boats, "UFO" and "Blaa Recept", have every summer been cruising Norway, Sweden and Denmark as well as taking part in some major Norwegian regattas and so far they have met our expectations on all points.

In 2009 we took part in the International Multihull Meeting in Copenhagen: "The Norwegian boats did very well including BLAA RECEPT, Norcat 37 with skipper Reidar Uthaug. VÅGHALS, TRT 1200GT with skipper Odd Marius Rosvold, and LIFE, Seaon 96 with skipper Anders Lindskog. It was a fast race with up to 15 m/sec wind".
Crewing on "BR" to Copenhagen was my long time Brit/ Canadian friend Roy Mills now living in Comox, Vancouver Island BC, Harald Andersen building a 44ft Farrier catamaran in Arendal and Reidar Salvesen building a 46 ft catamaran nearby Oslo; on the return were Roy Mills, Harald Amble owner of 37 ft Searunner "Jenta mi" and Øystein Karlsen also building a 46 ft cat nearby Oslo crewing. We all enjoyed sailing along the W coast of Sweden and Roy was impressed by the great number of boats we met. We had mixed weather varying from sunshine to very nasty with cold rain and winds from fair to gale. On our way S we had to stay in Varberg for one day when the wind was gusting to almost 30 m/s, on our return we were forced to do the same in Strømstad where the storm arrived just as we tied up to the marina. Spray was all over the harbour and some of us had to be on deck all night. This night cargo ship "Langeland" sunk at the Koster fjord where she was seeking shelter from the wind, her crew of six were killed. Also this night Panama flagged bulk carrier "Full City" stranded on rocks on the Norwegian coast spilling lots of heavy bunker fuel in a sensitive wildlife area.

Even when heavily loaded for cruising the boats have proved to be fast, on summer holidays speeds of 18- 19 knots have often been recorded and summer 2011 "Blaa Recept" did the crossing Skagen (Denmark) to Lysekil (Sweden) in less than three hours even if the wind went very light when approaching the Swedish coast. Almost every place we visit people give compliments for the design of these boats.

The boats have proved to be very competitive in racing as well and UFO has recorded a top speed of 25 knots (gps indicated a peak speed of 29 knots, probably wrong).
"Blaa Recept" got a new powerful main from GM-sails in Australia for the 2011 season and in the Færder Race 2011 "Blaa Recept" was the fastest of the multihulls and the second fastest on elapsed time out of all boats taking part (ca 850) only beaten by TP-52 "Wolfpack" (ex "Fram XVI", the King’s boat). "Blaa Recept" also won the 2011 two days "Ulabrand Race", max boatspeed 19,7 knts. UFO has been racing with her very competent family crew, I have had the great pleasure of having Reidar Salvesen and Guy Bøhler as regular crew, for the Færder Races topped by one of these: Joachim (owner of 40ft cat "Kauri") from Berlin three times, Norbert (owner of my first boat "Fanitullen") from Hamburg twice, Roy from Canada (previous owner/builder of 36ft cat "Gilbert & Sullivan", now owner/ builder of modified C-class cat "Rose Maybud") twice, Ariel from Amsterdam twice - all being very, very qualified multihull sailors and keen racers.

For the 2012 sailing season we will add a hard/ soft top to the boats. This has been my intention since I designed the Norcat and these days we are building moulds for this cabrio version. Due to this it is rather unsure if we will take part in the Færder race this year, our priority is making the boats ready for the trip to IMM at Rostock, Germany next year.

Even if the boats are built very light they have no sign of weakness, nothing has broken so far. The spreaderless wingmast is stiff and strong and is supported just by forestay and two shrouds. Summer 2011 UFO heavily loaded with cruising gear sailing at ca 19 knots dig her bows into big waves so the sea was up on the jib without any problems or tendency to pitchpoling. Blaa Recept has sometimes been hull-flying very close to capsizing but the big flare, in addition to us releasing the sheets of course, has stopped the boat from turning over; hull flare not only makes the boat voluminous, it also adds safety to the boat I imagine.
Well known multihull pioneer/designer James Wharram once wrote:
"The visual feeling of space is achieved by flaring out the gently curved V-eed hulls, getting greatest width at shoulder height. Flare with overhangs give easy, gradual lift going through rough seas, prevent pitch poling and with the lower traditional freeboard keep the decks dry."
He also wrote that V hulls were safer than U with vertical topsides. I applaud this as hulls with big flare are almost V hulls when windward hull is high-flying.


UPDATE - Nov. 2007

During the two years gone since last update of this homepage Norcat 37 has not only proved to be a fast and comfortable cruiser, but has also started to show it's potential as a racing multihull.

Færder race 2006 "Blaa Recept" was 3rd multihull on elapsed time only beaten by Seacart "Camilla" and TRT-1200 "Våghals".

Færder Race 2007 "Blaa Recept" did very well untill the wind died completely, only faster multihull was a SeaCart.

First day of 2007 "Ulabrand Race" Norcat 37 "UFO" saw a top speed so far of 23 knts, faster than the TRTs and a Reynolds 33 also taking part. I have been told it was a delight to watch "UFO" at these speeds lifting her bows without any tendancy to dig in. According to the skipper/owner Lasse they could have been faster reefed more down. Also in this race "UFO" was crewed by Lasse and family.

At the 2007 International Multihull Meeting (IMM) in Fredrikstad "Blaa Recept" was awarded "Most radical and innovative design".

During the years I have been contacted by people both from the USA and Europe interested in buying a Norcat:

"Your NorCat 37 is undoubtly the best looking racer/cruiser cat I have ever seen. Keep up the good work. How can I get one?" - "Awesome design and a great looking job you guys do" - "Wow, it looks like you put it all together! You built an ergonmically friendly boat that is light weight and looks great!" - "Beautiful boats, they look like the right combination of size, style and performance. I only wish there were more out there, or at least one in the US." - etc.

So far I have been negative to any further production as I have wanted the boats to be tested in different conditions before considering what to do with the moulds, as well as I have been busy with other projects.

Now when I have retired from work and got my pension I for sure will not get too much involved into any production. I might, however, consider to rent out or sell the moulds.

UPDATE - April 2005

Lasse’s boat "UFO", the red one, sailed for the first time during summer 2003. With only a jib, one rudder (in the port hull) and one daggerboard (in the starboard hull), he and his family cruised the western coast of Sweden and Denmark during their summer holiday. On their return from Denmark to Sweden they got about 30 knts wind and 6m waves without having any problems.

A few days before the boat was put on the hard for the winter we managed to sail the boat with jib and main. The boat accellerated easily and balanced very well, and when flying a hull we lifted the one and only rudder completely out of the water but the boat stayed on course. Top speed on this first day under jib&main was 16 knts close reaching in about 14 knts true wind. We could perhaps have gone faster, but having only one rudder we found this was enough for the day.

Summer 2004 Lasse & family cruised the western coast of Sweden and southern coast of Norway. Top speed +16 knts with wife helming and their two girls sleeping below decks. Even if Reidar has spent much time with other projects than boatbuilding for the last couple of years, he too managed to sail his boat with jib & main a couple of times in 2004, but unfortunately in very light winds and at a speed even monohullers wouldn’t bragg about.

Neither of the boats has done any racing so far, this will be changed this year

Conclusion so far:

The hulls are designed with the centre of bouyancy far aft, relative flat aft sections, and long bows narrow at waterline but with a substantial flare. With the sailplan further aft than usual, all this is ment to resist any tendancy to bury lee bow as the speed picks up. So far this looks very promising, but higher speed/more wind is needed to tell for sure. Neither hull flare nor bridgedeck has caused any slamming (bridgedeck clearance .75-.80m)

Experienced a violent flutter in the wingmast when tied up to a rock in about 45-50 knts wind. The mast is spreaderless and stayed by upper shrouds and forestay only. We hope to avoid flutter by adding lower shrouds for use in extreme conditions. Flutter could perhaps have been avoided this time by rotating the mast, but the wind turned all night. The sails, especially the jib, have too much draft and have to be corrected.

UPDATE - March 2002

The two first NorCat 37s are by now structurally completed, and one of the boats even kissed the sea for a few minutes on Oct 10th 2001. The empty shell weighing only about 1300 kgs floated high on water. This will, however, change with the added weight of rigging, sails, engines, interior etc.

Stipulated weight in racing mode is 2200- 2300 kgs, cruising weight about 3400 kgs.

This low weight is due to the boats being built out of multiaxial fibreglass/ Divinycell foam core/ epoxy resin and vacuum-bagged in female moulds.

These moulds have left a finish on the hulls admired by all who have seen them.

The boats will have deep daggerboards and rudders of carbon fibre. Both boats will be launched from the "multihull beach" Sollerud in Oslo on June 1st 2002, and are expected to be sailing Aug/ Sept 2002.

The final sailplan will probably be:

Mainsail 50 sqm
Jib 32 sqm
Mast 6 sqm
Code Zero 65 sqm
Spinnaker 100 sqm

Other specifications:

LOA 11.27 m
BOA 7.10 m
LWL 11.0 m
Draft 0.41/ 2.40 m
Hull C/C 5.20 m
LWL/ WLB ratio 14:1
Prismatic coeff 0.58
Weight racing 2300 kgs
             cruising 3400 kgs
Bridgedeck clearance 0.75- 0.80 m
Mast height 15.5 m
Mast, max corde 0.53 m
Bruce Number 1.8

For the moment we are building a female mould for a spreaderless carbon fibre wing mast.

This mast is based on experience gained by the Norwegian Per Ferskaug (F-28 World Champion in "XOZ"), who built such a mast for F-28 "Mirage", sister ship to "XOZ".

The mast will be pre-curved and tapered in both ends, and will be supported by forestay and upper shrouds only. Lower shrouds for use in heavy weather.

Any decision about what will happen to the moulds will not be made before we have test-sailed the boats. Most probably it will be possible to buy the boat as a kit, eventually with some assembly assistance if asked for. Another possibility is that home builders can rent the moulds, along with some assistance and supervision from us.

UPDATE - March 2000

Most of the moulds for Norcat 37 are by now completed, and construction of the first two boats started in February. Both hand lay-up and vacuum-bagging as well as resin infusion techniques will be used.

These two boats will be built out of Divinycell foam core and multiaxial fiberglass from Diab Thecnologies A/S, NGA gelcoat and Vinylester resins from Reichold A/S and Epoxy systems from Ciba Specialty Chemicals A/S.