Hai Feng means “ocean wind” or “sea wind” or something I can’t find on Google. But it doesn’t really matter what you call this majestic carbon beast, she’ll be fine by any name. The second 55-footer launched by HH Catamarans, Hai Feng debuted at the Miami Boat Show this year. She drew crowds—and that was just at the dock.
Unlike the first 55, Minnehaha, that had one central interior helm and a serpentine saloon layout, Hai Feng is a custom design with an open concept interior and twin aft helms stations on the bulkheads outside. Designers, Morrelli & Melvin (M&M), have been working with Chinese builder, Hudson Yacht, on this line of luxury, performance, all-carbon catamarans that will blow your hair back – both under sail and at the dock. Also in the line are four 66-footers with 77s and 88s on the drawing board. Not bad for a company that started just three years ago.
Gino Morrelli met me on the aft deck, proud of his second-in-the line baby. Unlike Minnehaha’s pale blue gelcoat and 3-cabin interior that welcomed show goers in 2016 , Hai Feng has grey/beige topsides and a 4-cabin layout. The differences work well for the boat builder to showcase the semi-custom nature of the line. The newest accommodations include a portside settee that is bisected by a door separating the saloon from the cockpit. With this door open, all becomes one with a perfect blend of open living. To starboard, the interior has a state-of-the art galley and outside, there’s a sprawling lounge. Although Hai Feng has twin helms outside, a large nav desk is tucked into the forward port corner of the saloon with an autopilot so she can be driven on passage from the inside.
Much has changed in this second launch however much remains the same. The C-curved daggerboards and T-foil rudders still offer better performance and a smoother ride in rough seas. The emphasis on keeping everything lightweight, from the luxury-finish furnishings to the cored carbon composite build remains. Attention to detail as well as weight is a must since the target market for this supercat includes racers but also couples who want to cruise comfortably. Fast and safe offshore passages can be made shorthanded (with the help of myriad onboard hydraulics) and those who want the occasional thrill of actually flying a hull on a 55-foot platform won’t be disappointed.
On Hai Feng, each helm station features twin B&G black glass touchscreen displays with instruments and engine throttles as well as controls for just about every electrically or hydraulically activated system aboard. Visibility from here is excellent both forward and aft.
The emphasis on these vessels is on lifestyle with function so no luxury is missed, from ample refrigeration space to carbon toilets. And oh yea, speed, lots of speed.
Hai Feng was delivered to the East Coast and will be summering in Rhode Island, possibly testing out her racing legs in the Caribbean this fall. For M&M and Hudson Yacht, it’s great to have a second model out to show off the design’s semi-custom possibilities. For the UK owner, it’s great to have a carbon fiber speed demon ready and waiting at the dock.
See HH55 listings on YachtWorld.