Five years ago, racing sailor and offshore fisherman Todd Berman came up with a novel idea for a new kind of boat: a hybrid vessel that would combine the pure, clean power of the wind with the comfort and convenience of a highly efficient, easily driven motor yacht—sort of a high-seas Prius that would give its owners the best of both worlds. Berman took his idea to his friend Pete Melvin—a champion multihull racer and designer who, with his partner, Gino Morelli, has been on the cutting edge of catamaran development for over two decades—and together, the trio has collaborated on the innovative 43-foot indikon k4 hybrid cat.
In moderate breeze, the indikon will be a pure sailboat; in calm winds when the sails are furled, it will cruise at 15 knots while sipping a mere 7 gallons per hour of fuel. But Berman believes the boat will truly shine as a hybrid motorsailer when operated under sail and power. Among the hull features that enhance performance is “a unique S-shape rocker line” that improves trim angle while reducing pitching and resistance, thus increasing speed in both sailing and powering modes.
The cat also incorporates what the company calls the ISIS System, which Berman describes as “a revolutionary, patent-pending technology to help users get the most out of indikon k4. It is an on-board ‘coach’ that teaches how to apply the engines to optimize the apparent wind angle for the sails, creating the most eco-efficient ‘blended propulsion’ solution for any wind speed and angle. It’s like the control system on a hybrid car that makes decisions every second to optimize fuel efficiency and comfort, allowing k4 to go farther and faster on less fuel. ISIS simultaneously evaluates the real time conditions and the vessel heading to provide the operator a recommendation on the most efficient power mix of wind and horsepower.”
The initial computer renderings for the boat show a centralized “command bridge” with all sail and power controls at hand and exceptional visibility. The main saloon features wraparound windows, comfortable seating for six, and an optional interior helm station. The decks are wide and spacious, and the aft cockpit can be configured and optimized for different applications, including a sport-fishing model complete with an optional bait tank. A variety of accommodation plans are also offered, including one with an owner’s office complete with a suite of satellite communications equipment.
Indikon BoatWorks is currently working with the city of New Haven, Connecticut, to develop a building site along the Quinnipiac River, and is planning to launch their first boat, the k4—orders for which are currently being taken—in 2013. A larger k5 and smaller k3 models are under development. For more information, contact Todd Berman via email at [email protected]