An elegant and powerful bluewater cruising catamaran with high-tech systems that make it comfortable for doublehanded sailing
Like all modern cruising catamarans, the KC54 maximizes indoor-outdoor living, with the aft deck area and the saloon all on one level with sliding doors to open up the two spaces. Where the Kinetic excels is the wide-open view with wraparound windows in the saloon.
On hull No. 1, the saloon features an L-shaped dinette to port and a large galley with an island to starboard. Because the boats are semi-custom, there is a range of layouts available. The fit and finish is impeccable, with an overall modern look. The galley is packed with high-end appliances and storage abounds underneath the countertops. The starboard hull has two queen-size cabins and en suite heads. The owner’s suite is located in the port hull, with a large head and shower stall and an office area with the washer and dryer.
When Kinetic claims the boat is all carbon, it’s not hyberbole. The furniture is all lightweight composite and the countertops are made from sintered stone with carbon backing. There are even carbon fiber sinks in the heads. All this weight savings translates into speed, but it also makes for an easy-to-care-for interior.
It was perfect sailing weather on a warm late fall afternoon, with 15 to 20 knots from the south-southwest. Setting sail was easy with the 980-square-foot mainsail on a carbon furling boom and the halyard on an electric winch. A quick unroll of the self-tacking jib and we were off. Sailing at an apparent wind angle of 62 degrees, the boat zoomed off at 12-plus knots. The only other time I’ve seen rooster tails during a boat test was riding out on the photo chase boat.
The helm was surprisingly responsive, and that only improved the faster the boat sailed. It quickly and easily swung through the tacks, aided by the self-tacking jib. We zoomed across Chesapeake Bay, dodging the many anchored freighters awaiting their turn to get their cargo into the supply chain in Baltimore.
With a quick roll up of the jib and unfurl of the 1,173-square-foot genoa, we sailed off on a reach. With an apparent wind angle of 100 degrees, the boat still kept sailing above 12 knots. Once we worked our way down the bay, we jibed around and unfurled the 2,443-square-foot A2 for a return sail to Annapolis. The sun was setting, and it was easy to imagine sailing this boat offshore to exotic destinations.
With reluctance, we quickly furled all the sails and headed in, the twin Yanmar 80-horsepower diesels powering the boat at a quick at 9 to 10 knots. Returning to the face pier at Severn Sailing Association, the wind shift made for a tricky landing. But the Dockmate joystick system that controls the thrusters and engines made it look easy, all accomplished from the inside steering station.
For cruising sailors intent on swift bluewater passages in elegant comfort or for racing sailors looking for a perfect liveaboard boat for the Caribbean circuit or ocean rally races, the Kinetic 54 checks all the right boxes.
LOA 54’3”; LWL 53’6”; Beam 27’9”; Draft boards up, standard 4’6”, boards up, racing rudder 6’2”, centerboard down 10’3”, daggerboard down 10’6”; Bridgedeck clearance 3’2”; Displacement 35,825 lb.; Sail area 1,745 sq. ft. ; Water 264 gal.; Fuel 264 gal.; Auxiliary twin 80-hp.
Sailaway price: $2.8 million
13326 Chuckanut Mountain Drive
Bow WA, 98232