Last updated: 12 Feb 2024 | 37 Views |
The popular Australian-designed and built Scimitar power cat has relaunched with two new models debuting with Yanmar power at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show this year thanks to the ship design and building expertise of the Aus Ships Group in Brisbane.
While the Scimitar has been well and truly brought up to new millennium standards, (the fit out reflects its practical recreational boating origins, but now with far more class), those with an eye for detail would have noticed a fabulous upgrade in the engine rooms as well.
Powered by pairs of the brilliant 195mhp Yanmar 4LV195E-A common rail engines, Scimitar Boats has built new sedan and flybridge models, (still utilising the very successful hull design of the original Scimitar), that are sure to take the Australian and New Zealand recreational power cat market by storm – if not internationally!
Tommy Ericson, Director of Scimitar Boats, bought a second-hand Scimitar, the tooling, moulds and the rights to the hull design some years ago, which he then used as a test platform to implement design upgrades and improvements. In fact, Tommy and his team have been working to modernise the look and integrate new technology into the Scimitar design since 2017.
The multi-awarded Ericson said he was “inspired to revive an updated version of the Scimitar” 1010 because of his own experience with the brand and close ties with the co-founder, Bryan Bradford.
The Scimitar 1010 was the brainchild of two experienced boaters and businessmen, Bryan Bradford and Greg Byth. They took their concept to designer/builder Peter Brady to bring their ideas to fruition and the first boat entered the water in 1997.
Winning Australian Cruiser of the Year, the design attracted a large number of orders and continuing acclaim.
Unique in the marine industry, the original Scimitar 1010 Flybridge was the brand’s single model, named for its 10.10 metre hull length.
Built for Australian private and commercial clients, a number were also exported to the US and South Pacific. Around 65 original Scimitar 1010’s were built between 1997 and 2012.
Says Tommy Ericson of the re-design process:
“Having known Bryan for many years, our conversations always came around to the Scimitar and how successful it had been.”
“I spent some time sketching ideas for how to ‘modernise’ the boat and bring it into the current day, whilst still maintaining the classic, non-pretentious look, feel and practicality. This led to our acquisition of Scimitar.”
Concurrently, Tommy located a second-hand Scimitar in Papua New Guinea and purchased it as a test platform to implement the upgrades and improvements he had in mind.
“Doing the delivery voyage from Port Moresby to Brisbane in 2018 through some challenging conditions gave me the real-world experience and exposure to the performance and capability of the vessel.”
As a builder of quality commercial & luxury vessels, the team at the Aus Ships Group have always been happy with the engines supplied by Power Equipment. It was a natural choice then for a builder of Aus Ships’ caliber to go with the dedicated marine engine option of Yanmar for the Scimitar upgrade.
Says Tom Ryan, Technical Manager of Scimitar Boats: “We like the Yanmars, and as boat builders we particularly like the fact that the 4LV fits well in this hull. It’s the engine we’d recommend in these.”
Coupled with Yanmar’s own VC20 electronic controls and 2.43:1 gearboxes, the 4LV195’s are giving this new Aussie classic abilities and fuel consumption the older Scimitar owners could probably only have dreamt of, (sub-40 litres per hour combined at a fast cruising speed).
As a semi-displacement design, there are practical limits to how hard the hull can be sensibly pushed. The Yanmars are giving an easy 16-20knot cruising speed and 25knots at WOT however.
If you can beat those numbers with that horsepower and frugality in a 36 foot power cat these days, you’re probably relying on magic!
Scimitar Boats describes the new design of the Scimitar as retaining the “functionality, reliability and feel” of the original design whilst creating a new benchmark for Australian-built power catamarans.
Certainly, a walk through the new Scimitar designs is showing just that. Open, light-filled spaces on board remain, with finishes that are not only practical, but designed to stand the test of time. Finishings are cleverly used – for example wax-treated oak framing around glazing is easily maintained and incredibly stylish, whilst a highly resilient natural-look floor covering material in the saloon and berth areas, (impervious to most realistic impacts and a covering used often in commercial high-traffic fit outs), not only looks a million dollars, it feels luxurious under foot. The new Scimitar 1010 sedan and flybridge designs are an incredibly successful marriage of new technology and common-rail Yanmar power in a re-imagining of this modern Aussie classic. A 58ft design is also underway at the Scimitar design studio, so stay tuned as its engine preference is yet to be decided.