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Pete Melvin helming the highly successful
NACRA F18 that they designed and
developed.
Lia Ditton:
Did you ever consider moving to set up
camp in France?
Pete Melvin: 
Yes we have thought about this many times.
We know we are missing out on a lot of
the racing design and development activity
The Morelli/Melvin designed ‘Playstation’ built for the late Steve Fossett to break records. It was
by not being at the centre of the action in
continually developed and broke many record. On its East-West transatlantic record in 2003,
France. We still do a lot of racing and high
Pete Melvin joined the crew as a watch captain.
performance multihull design work despite
our location in California. For instance, our
side of equation. My pet peeves are that a good performing cruising cat design, simple in
A Class and Formula 18 designs have both
spec, light weight with low amenities, grows in spec and weight. I’m after more redundancy
recently won their World Championships
on systems.’
and we are doing consulting work for BMW
Oracle on their America’s Cup trimaran.
Lia Ditton:
I ask Pete what would be his ideal
Have you ever had ideas of cruising or racing round the world?
performance cruising catamaran. ‘For my
family, I would say a high performance Pete Melvin: 
cruising cat in the 50-52’ range: we would I declined to sail RTW on PlayStation because I did not think I would get much more out of
like to spend a year or two exploring the it than I had already during the Transatlantic record run. I did not want to take the time away
world. My wife wants to do that. This size from family and business at the time. I don’t really have aspirations to race around the world
is large enough to be comfortable for a but do enjoy racing on longer ocean races occasionally. It is a great experience, which helps
small family yet manageable and safe.’ improve our designs.
We establish that Pete would not be after
anything radical, only ‘details to make it just
Lia Ditton: 
right. Space for specific toys we want to
Do you think more performance cruising multihulls will move towards working with
take, a good interior layout on the sparse
racing technology, in terms of rigging and lay-up materials or do you think the cost
is still too high?
Pete Melvin:
There is so much performance to be gained by shedding weight. You can build a relatively
light weight boat with cost-effective materials but you have to be very disciplined about
what you bring on board. On our larger and higher tech cruising cat designs, we have
evolved towards highly-engineered carbon structures and race boat style rigs. These
owners typically want excellent performance and luxurious accommodations, so we need
to essentially design racing shapes and structures for these clients. These boats are getting
to be highly refined and it is great to be able to give a client what they want. You cannot
achieve the same level of performance and luxury in a monohull.
Lia Ditton: 
When you are designing Leopard cats
for the Moorings charter company have
you ever considered toning down the
polars?
Pete Melvin: 
Not really! No one seems to mind the ability
to sail fast. You can always slow down a
fast boat, but you can’t speed up a slow
one! The Leopard cats are some of the best
performing production cruising cats and this
The winning A3 A Class design
Moorings 4600/Leopard 46
has been a key selling point contributing to
their success.
26  MULTIHULL REVIEW : MAY 2009
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