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Kinetic 54

2021 July 1

This new cruising catamaran boasts good performance with comfortable living space

Let’s add 12 feet to the LOA and see what designers Simonis Voogd can do with an LOA of 54 feet 3 inches. I think the main difference between this big cat built by Kinetics Catamarans and the Bali 4.2 cat is that the KC54 is more performance oriented. Like the Bali, the KC54 also features a forward cockpit.

I don’t get much on hull shape details for the reviews these days. Sometimes I can glean some details from the renderings. In this case I see what appears to be a chine running from stem to transom much like the Bali has. This feature can be used to keep the BWL narrow while adding flair above the chine to capture more internal volume. I’d need a set of hull lines to be certain. Note how far aft the lowest point on the rocker is. Instead of a fixed, stubby keel, the KC54 has a high-aspect-ratio centerboard. Using the lightship displacement the D/L is 95 but we should probably focus on the cruising-weight displacement figure which gives a D/L of 125. This brings the D/L up to about where many monohulls are today. The L/B is 1.96. Bridgedeck clearance is 3 feet 2 inches.

The main cabin features a centerline steering station with access to the forward cockpit to port and a nav station to starboard. There is the option of an island style galley or a conventional keyhole galley. In both cases the countertop area is about the same. I prefer the keyhole galley—fewer drips on the cabin sole while you are cooking. There is a dinette to port and another dinette aft on the “patio” (calling it the cockpit just doesn’t work.) 

The covered patio level and main cabin level are the same so this will give the feel of a really big saloon.

Going down into the hulls there is once again the option of four nice sleeping cabins with transverse double berths forward and longitudinal double berths aft. Each pair of cabins, port and starboard, share two heads with showers. You can also add heads forward. If you eliminate the aft cabin in the port hull you can use that entire hull as the owner’s cabin with a shower forward. Regardless of the options you choose this will be a very comfortable interior.

The deck plan shows port and starboard steering stations aft and on the patio level. I like this. The wheels are well outboard and you sit snug to the rail looking right down the clear side deck. This gets you much closer to the water than the arrangement the Bali has. In my experience the closer to the water you are while driving the more fun it is.

The sailplan shows a rotating mast with the boom quite close to the cabintop. Using the area of the square head main and the Solent jib I get an SA/D of 22.75 using the full cruising displacement figure. That is a good number and this cat should zoom along in light air. There are provisions for a near masthead code zero and a masthead asymmetrical chute. That masthead chute would add a lot of horsepower to this rig off the wind.

It’s interesting that in the designer’s notes they mention the difficulty in handling the boat in tight spaces and recommend bow and stern thrusters. That makes a lot of sense to me. These hulls have a lot of windage.

I’m 75 years old now. My knees went walkabout six years ago. My back and I are not on speaking terms. I would not be comfortable anymore at 20 degrees of heel. But I think I would enjoy cruising on this big cat.

LOA 54’3”; LWL 53’6’; Beam 27’9”; Draft daggerboards up 5’6”, daggerboards down 10’6”; Displ. 42,990 lb., lightship 32,740 lb.; Sail area 1,753 sq. ft.; Auxiliary twin 80-hp.; Fuel 264 gal.; Water 264 gal.; D/L 125; L/B 1.96 SA/D 22.75

Our best estimate of the sailaway price: $2.35 million

Kinetic Catamarans USA

13326 Chuckanut Mountain Drive

Bow, WA 98232