By Zuzana Prochazka

Drawing on their experience with 72-foot foiling America’s Cup catamarans, Morrelli & Melvin have conceived the California 45 with the objective of bringing the excitement of world-class racing to the club sailor. McConaghy is the builder behind the hydro foiling MACH2 Moth and was selected as a partner due to their experience with cost-effective composite construction and performance solutions.

gino morrelli

Designer Gino Morrelli has been involved in such sailing successes as Playstation, but this project is intended for sailors who are "past your rock star years."

When asked about the impetus for this particular design, Gino Morrelli says, “I wanted to design a boat for guys like me – old. Hydro foiling boats firehose anyone on the other side of that trampoline and it’s just uncomfortable once you’re past your rock star years.”

Morrelli laughs when he says this but there will be multiple comfort-oriented features throughout the boat. High coamings and a solid aft deck will keep the worst of the foil spray off the skipper and crew. Electric winches and an ergonomic deck layout will help as well. The all-carbon cat, which is loosely based on Morrelli’s Formula 40, will have a rotating mast and two cabins below mostly used for storage. Best of all, the cat will be transportable in containers so it’ll be easy to get one to the starting line of regattas around the country or the world.

Morrelli, who is behind such renowned go-fast designs as Playstation, is excited by the prospect of having a one-design class of cats that are expected to sail at speeds of 30-plus knots. He anticipates several to be built by September 2014 at roughly $800,000 each.