pH Series – Trailerable High Performance Catamarans

pH Series – Trailerable High Performance Catamarans

pH Catamarans from Phillips Boatworks are the culmination of decades of multihull sailing, charter operations, sailmaking, rigging and boatbuilding experience. The pH Series Suite of hull designs feature common themes of being extremely lightweight and durable; easily trailered and road legal; and finally very agile and easily managable high performance. In essence, all of our designs are made for people who really enjoy a fun and responsive boat that is easily managable and economical to keep and travel to exciting sailing venues, often where no other sailboats can venture. This opens a new realm of adventure opportunities at attainable expense and make the pH Designs something the sailing market will greatly appreciate and enjoy

Three Great Designs

pH 10m Catamaran

The pH10m was developed and brought to market at the 2017 Annapolis Boat Show as the Stiletto X Series. Company Founder and Principal, Jay Phillips, had just jumped off the Gunboat 55 program and was keen to take that level of design and rigging technology and merge it with the theme of the old but cutting edge Stiletto 27 design from the 1970s. The project meandered a bit larger than hoped and turned into the Stiletto X Series Catamaran which was 10 meters, and engineered for foiling by Americas Cup and Gunboat designer and engineers Schickler Tagliapietra (ST Design). Getting a factory going and 4 hulls built was a great learning process in which Phillips gained the confidence needed to take the best and leave the rest! The outcome of the lessons learned resulted in the new pH10m, a brilliant lightweight, high performance, shallow and demountable/trailerable 10 meter Catamaran.

pH 850 Catamaran

Keeping with the same themes of trailerable, shallow, fast and affordable, Phillips Boatworks designed a smaller, smarter and easier to build design that could target a lower price point. The pH 850 is 8.5 meters and when completed will sail and travel better than larger 10 meter version–but at the expense of some of that bigger boat feeling found on the pH10m.

pH-850 design

Catamaran Powerboat Adaptation

The hull shape of the existing 10 meter molds lends itself nicely to a powerboat design. The lightweight construction techniques would mean incredibly high effieciency and it could even run on foils like models developed by the NZ Americas Cup Syndicate. This would likely be more successful in the current environmentally concious climate, than the sailing designs.

Team New Zealand Chase Boat

The Difference

Based somewhat on the iconic Stiletto 27, but then re-rigged and engineered to the modern day CE Specification with contemporary styling, the pH850 and pH10m come from thousands of days experience running this particular style of boat. Capt. Phillips career actually began running daysail charters in 1990 on a Stiletto 27. After years of diverse experience in some of the most well know performance and cruising proving grounds, Phillips eventually settled down with his family and desired to stay on the water professionally sailing, but in a way that better suited staying near home with his wife and kids. On the Outer Banks, the Phillips Family now consists of 2 Captains and 2 Junior Sailing Instructors with one more working her way up the family tradition ladder at 4 year old now. They run the Community Sailng Program and have 3 Stiletto 27’s for daysail charter as well as a Sabre 42, Melges 24, a 46 Deltaville Deadrise and numerous smaller boats at the Hatteras Island Sailing Center in Buxton. There are several reasons Phillips family loves these boats enough to be one of the very few motivated to create an updated design, to list a few of the features:

  • Faster is more fun! All boats have their niche, but the pH Series is exciting to sail. It is responsive not only on the helm, but powerful enough to be very close to the performance experienced by professional racing crews. When a puff hits, it takes offs instantly.
  • Demountable is more economical. Having to stay in a slip and only relocate via a delivery crew across the water is expensive, a whole new level of expensive and cost restrictive to the middle class family budget. Being reasonably fast to get on a trailer is a huge plus for the adventurous traveller. Bahamas, Sea of Cortez, Great Lakes, Pacific NW, etc are all on the reasonable radar for our designs.
  • Hard Aft Cockpit – Unique to the Stiletto and pH designs, there is an entirely hard aft cockpit tray. Any trampoline in place partial or whole and it starts getting very wet in the back of the boat when the wind and waves pickup. The Aft Cockpit lifts up and above the hulls for trailering. The 19.5′ wide 10 meter version is much more complicated than the smaller 8.5 meter version, but still not too complicated to be easily managed. The trailer mechanisms are indespensible for making the trailering easy. A dry hard cockpit aft makes for a much more comfortable experience, especially for parents and grandparents or anyone with disabilities.
  • Nothing beats Prepreg Construction – In 1976 Stiletto was the first to take aerosapace composites to the boat production industry. Funny enough there are still few if any manufacturers showing off prepreg hull construction even today. The composites are flexible, light strong and durable…. just like composite aircraft. Nothing has a better strength to weight ratio and this is why it still seems to be the realm only of high end racing programs.
  • Going where no boat can go! – The lightest possible hull weight translates into the shallowest draft. pH850 is 8 inch draft and the 10 meter is 12 inch draft. Its not very stressful trying to get into non navigable waters. If you run aground the boat is easy to push back off. For Charter, there are countless waterfront venues that dont know its possible to have a daysail operation, so they are more than welcoming for someone to try!
  • Living the Dream! – Sailing for a living is even more possible and reasonable when the maintenance cost is low, insurance is reasonable, and the operator can come home every night. There are few boats when located right that exhibit sailing in a better light. This helps bring new blood to the sport and industry!
  • Comfort and Stability – Cats are more stable than monohulls and trimarans. There is more open deck space so people can spread out comfortably on cushions, trampoline or on deck. The large open trampoline with some strategically placed audio, makes for the ultimate relaxation experience….. but not quite so perfect on a trimaran because when you tack, the old side starts getting wet and you have to switch sides again to the high side. Also the trimaran cockpits are cramped like monohull cockpits.
  • Daysail Charter Market – Phillips has long used this type of boat as a fun daysailing charter vessel. If a boat isnt earning its keep then its really not as affordable.
  • Family/Friend RAID Adventures – Perfect with sleeping above and below deck, when mixing the easily beachable catamaran with a little camping off the boat and on the beach, it really is a blast. Building memories with friends and family instead of spending all the time in the boatyard is the objective.
  • Simple and Elegant – Keeping the boat light, simple and utilitarian is the best strategy for this style of boat. Complexity turns into more weight, less performance, and more work/repairs. Getting on the water in minutes instead of hours makes after work sailing much more feasible.
  • Foiling is not out of the question. Our hulls are designed to get up on the foils at the lowest possible wind speed. Foiling is cutting edge, exciting and fun, but also risky and expensive when things go wrong. These are big boats to foil, but there is no better boat than a ultra light prepreg carbon catamaran for the task!

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