S/V TRIBE – Gunboat 6201
Design: Morrelli & Melvin Built 2001 by: Harvey Yachts, Cape Town South Africa.
LOA 62′ , LWL 58′, Beam 29′
Designed Displacement: 14 tons light ship
Design, Cruising and Racing History
TRIBE was designed by Morrelli & Melvin and built by Harvey Yachts in Cape Town, South Africa in 2001. She was hull number one of a concept that established the Gunboat brand as synonymous for the innovations it brought to multihull industry. The revolutionary design redefined the boundaries and perception of multihull sailing and created a high performance category of offshore cruising catamarans.
Historically a large cruising catamaran platform created huge moments of inertia that limited the performance and handling characteristics. The boats were heavy, slow and very limited in the sailing efficiency range up or down wind. To reduce weight and improve stability TRIBE introduced the first use of high tech composites in a cruising catamaran and creatively reallocated the heaviest essential equipment within 10 feet of the center of buoyancy. Composite standing rigging and carbon spars reduced weight aloft by almost 2,000lbs. Bow and stern sections were built devoid of any excess weight. Carbon, Kevlar and Eglass materials minimized the hull’s weight. Some of its other innovative features included hull sections designed as round & parabolic to minimize wetted surface area and produce less “bite” in turns. Narrow hulls had a 48% beam ratio versus a more common 55% ratio. Retractable high aspect rudders and retractable dagger boards adjust from a 3′ shoal draft to 15′ for upwind sailing.
The result was a 14 ton light ship hull with substantially different handling characteristics relative to previous multihull designs. TRIBE can sail upwind at 17 knots and point to 30deg apparent wind angle, tacking through 95deg competitive with performance monohulls. Reaching TRIBE can sail at 1.2x true wind in up to 20 knots of wind. VMG down wind, historically a catamaran’s weakness, is overcome by an ability to sail with 60-80 apparent in 120 of true wind direction. Generally TRIBE comfortably cruises between 15-20 knots SOG and has as exceeded peak speeds of 36 knots.
Cruising World Magazinein 2014 listed TRIBE as one of the “40 Greatest, Most influential Cruising Boats Of All Time”alongside boats like Olin & Rod Stephens’s DORADE, Bernard Moitissier’s JOSHUA, Joshua Slocum’s SPRAY.
Yachting World Magazinein 2016 ranked TRIBE 6thamong “50 Yachts That Changed The Way We Sail”.
TRIBE was built to facilitate short-handed owner operated family sailing and introduced a number of new concepts to multihull design for this purpose. Notably a forward cockpit at the base of the mast with an adjacent interior helm station allowed everything to be in the helmsman’s reach. In spite of the performance innovations there was no compromise necessary to the quality, functionality and luxury of the interior living space. TRIBE has berths to accommodate 11 passengers and host a family and it’s guests for extended offshore cruising. “TRIBE” is synonymous with family.
TRIBE has pioneered the creation of a performance oriented racing/cruising multihull segment as capable in offshore racing as it was in round the buoy regattas. It was the first of what has today become a 30 boat fleet of Gunboats ranging in size between 48-90’. TRIBE has been a routine participant racing with the Gunboat class and more recently with other multihulls as the category of Offshore Performance Multihulls continues to grow in its wake.
After 16 years TRIBE continues to represent a competitive and prominent presence in offshore racing. In 2015 she secured the multihull record for best elapsed time in both the Stamford-Vineyard and Around Block Island Races and was invited to be the first multihull ever accepted for entry into the Newport Bermuda Race for 2018. TRIBE is a regular contender and award winner on the Caribbean and New England racing circuits for multihulls.