They say great navigators are rough, Spartan. That they love the hard and pure shipboard life, strenuous and devoid of the comforts we are used to in our homes. So: either Andrea Mura, who has just launched in Arbatax his super catamaran Privilege 515 “Vento di Sardegna Explorer” equipped with every comfort, is not a great navigator, or we are facing a myth that needs to be debunked.
Scanning the resume of the 57-year-old Sardinian sailor (the only Italian in history to have won the Route du Rhum and the only sailor in the world to have won two Ostar and a Twostar, with a record still unbeaten, as well as a Québec – Saint Malò also with a record. Plus he was a mainsail trimmer on the Moro di Venezia as well as winner of world, European and Italian titles in Olympic and non-Olympic classes), we lean toward the second hypothesis.
VIDEO – THE LAUNCHING OF ANDREA MURA’S SUPER CATAMARAN
The super catamaran “Vento di Sardegna Explorer” which Andrea chose as a home for himself and his family (wife Daniela and children Lucas, almost 3 years old, and Marvel, one and a half years old) is a veritable seaside villa, and it took Mura 10 months (and 4,000 hours of work) to transform it into his ultimate boat. “With this investment we shot ourselves the cartridge of a lifetime,” jokes the Cagliari native, but not too much.
“During the Covid pandemic last year, when I could not reach my Open 50 Vento di Sardegna, we did a lot of thinking together with my wife and we understood that life is one and must be lived. I wanted to live by the sea, my wife as well. We wanted to raise our children at sea and use the Cat as a support boat to my Open 50 so that we would no longer have to take the car to get from the house to the boat but simply be able to climb over the stanchion to change boats! After initially looking for monohulls, we found this super catamaran in Spain and it was love at first sight. While the world was at a standstill because of the pandemic especially in Spain, as swaggerers but with all precautions, we went to view it in full Covid: we left by plane and came back by boat.”
A FAMILY OF NAVIGATORS
“My wife Daniela is a former Alitalia long-haul flight attendant (the most beautiful and coveted of attendants!), she navigator of the skies and I of the seas. She wanted to live on the boat, so we could only get married, but only after we passed the reentry test in a big way, after winning the second Ostar, from Manhattan to Cagliari along 4,000 miles (the first ocean crossing for Her), aboard the Open 50 Vento di Sardegna with no bathroom, no cabins and no bed, sleeping on the bottom of the boat … and that’s where you see true love!”
Continues Mura:“Lucas is almost 3 years old, we left with him on board who was only 10 days old for the Cagliari-Saint Malo transfer on Route du Rhum. He became very passionate about sailing because on VDS he was imprinted after sailing 5 thousand miles in the first 6 months, and perhaps it is because of his good fortune to have been able to experience the sea today that he has developed as well as several pediatricians say with amazement. I think I’m going to drift it shortly to start playing between sails and rudder, and the super catamaran, because of its space, allows you to be able to load it on the bow.”
What catamaran are we talking about? The model is a 2009 Privilege 515, 14.74 m long x 7.98 m maximum beam. “The boat has been around the world: with the first owner it traveled as far as Polynesia, with the second it returned to Europe. It is a truly rugged and comfortable “off-road of the sea,” of which there are only 21 examples in the world. A rare commodity, of absolute quality,” says Mura, who as we said has spent the last 10 months working like a madman to modify the boat to his needs.
“This boat will be our home and will serve as a support boat for the Open 50 Vento di Sardegna, on which I plan to start again with an ocean racing program. My goal remains, however, the Vendée Globe (non-stop solo round-the-world race). If you don’t make it, there is Plan B. Go around the world with the super catamaran. Keep in mind that Vento di Sardegna Explorer is prepared the way I like it, as if it were ready for a Vendée Globe and uncompromising, and it is almost ready to go around the world self-sufficiently without ever stopping like Kevin Kostner’s cat in the movie Water World.”
“Let’s start with the planting. It has been completely overhauled and implemented: think 35 UNEL electrical outlets, 12 V on-board computer with Max Sea routing software with 24″ HD screen, lighting implemented everywhere, displays, ammeters, voltmeters, etc.
I installed 18 90 W walkable and flexible solar panels on deck, from the Florentine company Enecom, which uses Sun Power cells. I then installed two wind generators of 300 W each from Osculati (a lot of the equipment on board is from the Italian company).”
Continues Mura: “Adding to the renewable energy sources is a 14 kW Cummins Onan generator. Keep in mind that on board we have three Inox refrigerators/freezers of 180 L each, four separate inverter air conditioners, washing machine, dishwasher, stereo system with DVD player connected to 2 TVs, custom HDMI and USB wall outlets scattered throughout the boat for a centralized high-definition connection, a 220 V watermaker of 200 liters per hour as well as a second one from Osmosea capable of guaranteeing 100 liters per hour and operating at 12 V guarantees water supply in case-very remote- of problems with the 220 V. Thanks to these two desalinators equipped with activated carbon filters at both the saltwater inlet and freshwater outlet, we can drink desalinated water without having to ship bottles of water to be increasingly Green.”
On the topic of fresh water on board, Mura is keen to point out that “only desalinated water flows in the catamaran’s water system: in the boiler, in the tanks, in the toilets. Only then is it 100 percent pure, and we won’t have problems with bacterial buildup, mold, scale and oxidation.”
Powering the catamaran is traditional: “Two 75-hp Yanmar with S-Drive and 3-blade folding propellers from Ewol, more than enough for a boat that displaces 20 tons at full load. Together with the generator, we disassembled, overhauled and reassembled them. The boat is all vinylester, so it will never present osmosis problems.
I had the two drives reinforced with a multi-axial structured coat to further stiffen them. I replaced all the sea intakes and shutters in addition to the evaporators on the refrigerators and recoiled the rudders.”
A few more numbers about the super catamaran: “The master cabin is a true suite, developed full beam, it is almost eight meters long and three meters wide: on what boat can you have a 24-square-meter master cabin? The layout then counts on two more cabins, one for our children, each with its own shower stall and separate bathroom in addition to the master bathroom.
The catamaran then has about a kilometer of split halyards, sheets, 5 lines of Dyneema drapes, etc., made by Armare to my specifications.
On the super Cat Vento di Sardegna Explorer, I applied with HD rollers for less peeling, 100 kg of antifouling Veneziani’s Eurosprint Pro, and then sand it down so that the boat can be left in the water for the next five years until the Certificate of Fitness expires, which is for five years.”
What instrumentation does Andrea Mura use for his super Cat? “being a Raymarine Ambassador I could only use full Raymarine, with hydraulic pilot and with Navionics cartography of the entire planisphere installed on the Max Seasoftware.”
“Designing sails for sea is a great source of inspiration for me to create the best sails in terms of performance and strength. Following the movement of the waves as I design and hearing the shrouds whistling opens my mind to new horizons and immerses me in solo ocean sailing, making me experience emotions that push me toward new solutions and design innovations.
I have been working for my sailmaker
in Smart Working for 15 years already with a proven, very close-knit and reliable team. For me, the ultimate has always been to be able to design at sea, and today more than ever I can do it in the best possible way, and in this technology helps me a lot.”
We come to the sails of the super catamaran: “You know how much I care about this, given my background as a racing sailmaker (designer/mechanic and tester) for over 36 years. The sail clearance I studied directly aboard the Cat with my sailmaker involves a Square Top mainsail with 3 hands and custom battens I designed in tapered carbo/kevlar, a Rolling trough, a Rolling genoa and a Reacher reel for carriers mounted on specific anti-twist custom cable High-load company Armare. Speaking of materials, I made them as if I had to set out on a Vendée to win.
I designed first of all, sail by sail, a fabric With a multi-axial structure made of Dynema SK99 encased within a double taffeta anthracite mold-resistant and UV-resistant (single for the Reacher), so as to guarantee me maximum lightness and resistance to loads with durability to run this sporty Cat to the maximum. For example, the mainsail contains 110 km of Dyneema thread brushed between the countless invisible lines of force, then I designed the wing shape of the 4 individual sails in consideration of the aero-elastic deformation of each sail, for the best oceanic performance, and finally my sailmaker after partially cutting them with the latest generation carbon plotter packaged them with the best finish.
Now what? “Now we are engaged in long sea trials here in Arbatax to fine-tune the complex equipment, but at the end of the summer we should move to Cagliari to resume preparation with Vento di Sardegna, and in any case, I repeat, my goal remains always the Vendée Globe. I am a pure agonist, those who know me know how I stop at nothing and love extreme challenges.”
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