The MAC - Maricuda Atlantic Challenger

By Keith Henderson at March 17, 2011 08:54
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A new challenger for the fastest Atlantic crossing is being promoted by Maricuda Marine Technology of the UK. The concept is an 80 m (262 ft) wave piercing trimaran powered by twin GE LM2500 series gas turbines driving Wartsila waterjets via Renk reduction gearboxes.

It is the brainchild of naval architect and Managing Director of Maricuda, David Aitken, who is no stranger to designing high speed craft. Seven years ago he produced the concept design of 2004 Blue Riband Atlantic Challenger, a 52m (170ft) catamaran hull, powered by twin gas turbines, however the project was abandoned following the loss of a major backer.

The unusual appearance of the MAC has already earned it the name ‘Concorde of the Seas’, she has a maximum speed of around 70 knots allowing the transatlantic crossing to be made in under two days, well below the present record of 2 days 20 hours and 9 minutes, made by Incat’s MV Cat-Link V in 1998. The crossing will be non-stop so sufficient fuel for the entire 3,000 mile transit must be carried.

To avoid the danger of collision traveling at this high speed, a French system, Automatic Sea Vision, using ocean scanning technology keeps an electronic lookout and is able to pick up items such as sea containers, trees and of course other vessels. The system uses thermal imaging cameras and software that will track up to 200 targets simultaneously. Any converging objects are identified and advance warning given so that avoidance can be undertaken at a distance. The vessel has an automated fast-response hydraulic systems and dynamic attitude-sensing controls.

Maricuda see commercial opportunities for the design as: a private yacht filling a niche as a desirable ocean traveller, in a military role to provide an ultra-fast, long distance, multi-purpose response craft and carrying passengers by offering high-speed, safe, long-distance travel in all weather conditions.

How well the MAC is able to confirm the claimed features and benefits of the design will be tested in the unforgiving proving ground of the Atlantic challenge.


Drawing of the MAC - Maricuda Atlantic Challenger, a 67 m (220ft) wave piercing trimaran powered by twin gas turbines and waterjets.
Image credit: Maricuda



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