Dario's Lab

New A Class Catamaran by CarbonicBoats – Why

   Clarity in belief and intent

This post is a personal reflection on why I do what I do, sparked on the occasion of taking on a new challenge. 
Why we take on a project is driven by our values and beliefs. 
I value quality in design and execution because it makes the user experience satisfying.
I believe that quality results from passion applied to fulfil a need identified in a community. 
Passion motivates us to go beyond the ordinary.
Understanding the need, preferably through first-hand knowledge, guides us in truly improving the user experience.
These values are embodied in the things we create, and shared by those who use them.
   Some personal background
Following is a personal account of why good design came to be a core value for me. And why I work to improve the experience of others through quality products. In ergonomics, durability, value for money, styling and engineering, quality is inherently valuable as it brings pleasure to the user and the beholder.
I discovered sailing quite by chance when very young. The beauty of a machine extracting energy from the wind fascinated me deeply. 
Growing up in Milan, I was fortunate to pass summers at the sea or lake, where I could access sailing clubs, tinker with boats, and actually go sailing.
I discovered a community of enthusiasts, people equally smitten with my obsession. I found that the exchange of learning in this community can be deeply fulfilling and forge lifelong friendships.
I was again fortunate to live in Sydney from my early teens. Here I could sail many boat types, through all seasons. I was also learning the theory, consuming books such as The Symmetry of Sailing and Principles of Yacht Design, as well as experimenting with models – something accessible, practical and of profound didactic value.
By the time I was in university I had discovered the satisfaction of offering to my fellow sailors improved technical solutions. I also learned the value of collaboration with the right people in each discipline, using teamwork to go beyond the capabilities of each individual. Always seeking out excellence. I began to think in terms of the whole project, coordinating different specialists to get the best outcome.
Tenacity reinforced my belief that any solution can be improved to be lighter, more efficient, more user friendly, and better value for money in a cyclical process of expression, learning from the work of others, and implementing the next step to advance the state of the art.

Knowledge of fluid dynamics and composite structures led me to discover aviation, a kindred discipline. Aircraft and sailboats, occasionally automotive aerodynamics, all became part of my interests and skill set.

I relished disciplines where efficiency is rewarded and the winner is the first to finish.
I pushed to get involved, to contribute, to lead. From hands-on work, to design, to fundraising, I tried my hand wherever there was a chance to create something beautiful.With maturity came understanding of the trade-offs favoured by different rules, something I have published on extensively. 
My break came when the America’s Cup was in Auckland and I knocked on every door to get the chance to prove myself. 
The roles I readily fell into were often concerned with production and management, a shift to an approach broader than strictly design.

As my passion became my livelihood, and I worked in different industries, I learned the importance of considering economic and market factors as integral to the design brief. 
Clients know that my approach puts a premium on listening to the brief and providing the best solution both technically and in terms of value for money.
   Full immersion before taking on the development of a new product
When deciding to take on a project – once the crucial ‘sine qua non’ of it being an engaging technical challenge has been met – I always do careful research to understand the ‘scene’ and potential customers. 
When developing items for production, I spend time to really understand first-hand the state of the art and determine whether a gap exists for an alternative in line with the core values of CarbonicBoats/Carbonix. 
This was the case in Marbleheads, then One Metres, and recently in A Class catamarans.
It was definitely the case with our UAV/drone work: I will only allow the company to take on a project if a clear opportunity exists to really move things forward. To reinvent a category for the better (which we have done with lightweight aeroelastic airframes and novel VTOL ideas).
A valid point of difference must be identified that is consistent with the drive to improve design and offer better performance at enhanced value for money.
   The A Class Catamaran
‘A Cats’ are a development class, with restricted length, beam, displacement, and sail area. 
There is a premium on efficiency: one must make the most of a given ‘power plant’, since sail force and righting moment are constrained.
The exact needs of this class (which is growing since the AC moved to cats) were crystallised in my view having taken on the challenge of learning to sail and race an A Cat.
I now believe there are several factors that, combined, point to a clear opportunity to take the next step in terms of performance, design, quality and value for money.
These factors broadly come under:
          The current state of the art in hull and, particularly, foil technology
          Geographic considerations in how the market is currently serviced
          Renewed interest due to the ascent of multihulls generally.
The bar is very high as the leading products available right now are excellent in terms of quality and refinement. However it appears that limits are being approached in the concept driving the configuration of the platform. An improved solution would be well received.

For this project CarbonicBoats is collaborating conditionally with a proven and well known multihull design specialist on certain concepts to be tested. The name will be announced shortly.
   Conclusion – to make the experience of sailing feel right through a product that is a joy to own
Why take on this project? I want fellow sailors to have access to a high quality competitive boat that is easy to control when pushing hard, responsive in all conditions, long lasting, and beautiful. This product will sit in the highest niche, not competing with entry-level craft but offering an extra level of performance, refinement, and beauty at a premium price point.
I believe that our approach, defined by clarity in why we are doing it, guided by a robust brief, driven by passion, and aided by powerful tools, will generate a high quality boat that makes sense and feels right.