The world debut of the world class New Zealand shipyard “CIRCA MARINE” of their new 24M Ocean going world cruiser.
CIRCA Marine, which built Steve Dashew’s FPB program, has teamed up with renowned naval architects, LOMOcean.
With the first 24 metre launched, and the second being built, it is easy to see why this match of industry leaders is producing incredible results.
What sets these builds apart from other comparable blue water cruisers is the shipyard’s relationships with its clients, and the goal to provide a fully customized space within the parameters of the hull. Each client is different with their own requirements and cruising styles.
Deon Ogden of CIRCA, who oversees the relationships with the build team and clients, says, “We try to say “no” as little as possible. If it can be done, we will move mountains to achieve what the clients are looking for.”
LOMOcean has designed a hull so efficient, the fuel figures are staggering. The first 24m has been spec’d with twin SCANIA 250HP, which may not seem a lot of horsepower for a boat that is nearly 26m (LOA has a gross tonnage of 70,000kgs, and almost every luxury imaginable. But this behemoth burns less than 8GPH (total) at a cruising speed of 11.5 knots.
It doesn’t compare with other production boats in its class. That’s not what CIRCA is either - “a production boat builder”. CIRCA is able to customise the layout and interior and some aspects of the exterior to suit the owner’s exacting standard.
The first two builds are vastly different. The first has an open, free flowing approach with just the two large cabins, and a clean, bright white interior. The second boat (currently in build) commands a more contemporary approach with exotic woods and designer furniture on the direction of the Belgium owner’s interior designer. It comfortably maximizes passenger numbers with four cabins plus an internal staircase to the fly bridge. In short, you really can configure the layout and cabin numbers to the owner’s request, which is the beauty of these boats.
CIRCA is all about customization, extensively researching its customers’ requirements. The long-range cruising market has some heavy hitters, but all seem to use the cookie cutter approach - one or two layouts and then an options list. If you’re lucky you can pick your carpets and benchtops. This project is similar to building a custom interior from one of the few northern European super yacht builders just on a smaller scale.
The beauty of customization is the customer can see true value for money, and owners can use their wealth of experience and cruising knowledge, guided by the build team, to produce something special.
It’s not just the styling and the custom layouts and final spec that that set these boats apart - that’s the tip of the iceberg. These boats are built tough, all boats have the same 12mm hull plates and 8mm topsides for strength, and the hull structure is designed and built to exceed LR Special Service Craft code with G6 notation (unlimited offshore). It doesn’t stop at the aluminium either. All the thermally toughened safety glass meets ISO offshore standards for thickness and strength. Combine these standards with 5 watertight bulkheads would give any seasoned mariner undertaking long distance offshore passages comfort that the safety, reliability and comfort of these vessels are paramount.
When it comes to build quality and innovation, Director and Naval Architect Craig Loomes gives full credit to CIRCA.
“Circa have done an incredible job on the construction and the technical systems on board. They are world leading and exemplify the high standards the yard sets for itself,” he says.
The systems onboard are from world leading manufacturers such as Maretron, Simrad, Furuno & Victron, forming comprehensive but simple to operate modern, technical complete vessel systems with built-in redundancies to provide self-sufficient reliability for serious offshore adventures.
The technical spaces of these boats have benefited from years of proven experience and input from the yard and customers. Each space like the interior is bespoke and designed to be easily accessible, functional and intuitive, including the safety of well thought out back-up systems and components without excessive complexity.
They are designed to cruise for extended periods to remote locations and harsh conditions. The bare finish of aluminium is raw yet sleek, and all part of the original design brief. The aft deck is spacious to allow for outdoor entertaining and dining, with the aluminium canopy offering protection from the elements and additional dinghy storage.
The large flybridge provides the primary helm with room for guests to enjoy the uninhibited views in comfort and can be (offered) designed with or without a full walk around. The aluminium canopy also provides a spacious outdoor upper deck, great for casual breakfasts in the sun or evening wine.
Minimal maintenance on the exterior gives the owner more time to enjoy the lifestyle than worry about paint care, however if the custom OEM patterned aluminium finish isn’t for you, then CIRCA is happy to discuss other options such as vinyl wrapping or fairing and painting the vessel.
Even during a pandemic this is an exciting time for CIRCA. While the border is currently effectively closed, the Government is preparing to start reopening the country to travellers in the first quarter of 2022.
This hurdle has been easily overcome for both offshore owners of the first two CIRCA 24m, who are more than happy with the lines of communication and up-to-date progress reports.
CIRCA has experience working remotely with offshore clients, building 17 passage makers in the past few years. Is has moved with technology and developed methods to bridge geographic constraints to keep clients well informed and involved in their builds.
“It can be a very daunting process building your dream boat in another country,” says Mollymawk’s Owner.
However, the process has been very enjoyable and the relationship between CIRCA and myself has been second to none.
This new model from CIRCA will tick a lot of boxes for the long-range cruiser enthusiast. The CIRCA 24m currently forms the base point to expand the model range. There is also a 20M on the drawing board. With a slightly shorter build time, a larger version is also being contemplated, giving more volume and opportunities to house a larger family or optional crew.
Also on the table, with preliminary designs, are low-profile versions of both the CIRCA 24m and CIRCA 20m and plenty of scope to expand the range to larger sizes. Enquire today for build slot availability or more information.
The ‘New Normal’ Covid world we are all now living in has certainly made a lot of people take stock of their lives and seems to have caused a growing number to think about what’s important to them. This time to reflect and plan has given opportunity to dream about changing their lifestyle, consider their future plan and outlook on life.
Over the past 12 months or so we have been having more and more conversations with people from all over the world about this very thing, usually the conversation will start with “We have been thinking about up sizing (or down sizing) our current boat in the next 2 -5 years ’ so from that initial starting point we go on to talk about what they really want to do with the boat, what is their operating profile, we discuss the merits of one hull form over another, how much accommodation, the value of eco technologies such as kite sails or hybrid technology, accommodation, range, speed and of course, budgets and timeframes.
We have found over the last 12 months the delivery and lead times of imported items into NZ has been growing as production output around the world has been affected by various lockdowns and shipping difficulties which has also impacted on our delivery timeframe.
With the roll out of vaccines around the world and countries beginning to open up their borders, cruising options will expand to accommodate peoples plans and dreams within the next couple of years.
So if you are seriously considering going cruising in 2 to 4 years time, then you really do need to start talking to us now. The typical timeline for a new build involves around 2- 6 months of design and specification work we have to undertake before the actual build can start, and with the current build time for a new Circa 24m of around 20 -24 months its easy to see that if you want to be enjoying the boat in 2- 4 years, then the sooner you start the ball rolling the sooner you will take ownership of your new vessel.
In todays high tech world the ability to communicate and share drawings, progress photo’s and video walkthroughs, negates the closed borders during the build process essentially bringing the build to you. Here at Circa we work with our clients to ensure that they are kept well informed and current with all aspects of the build making the build truly a team effort.
We have been fortunate here in NZ to remain in production with only small interruptions of short covid lockdowns, our confidence is high that this pattern should continue especially as our vaccine rollout is now well underway.
Time goes really quick when you have a deadline in mind, don't allow perceived barriers delay your dreams becoming reality, contact us now.
This is who we are, this is what we do.
Over the past few weeks, we have spent almost 75 hours putting Mollymawk through her paces and have now and amassed a great deal of information and raw data. We are really happy with the performance data recorded so far and will be publishing it all soon, but thought we’d give our followers a brief synopsis of where we are at.
The hull design has proved to be very successful, and a big shout out to the team at LOMOcean Marine for the work they have done delivering the vessel and the performance to our specified brief. The hull is efficient and slippery, which is something to be aware of when approaching a dock. The hull comfortably pushes through a head sea as the fine entry slices through the waves with ease, the motion is very soft with the stern stable and offering just enough resistance to deter pitching without being so stiff to create any accelerated motion, ensuring a soft predictable ride into head and quartering seas.
On one day we had a gale blowing 40 knots, with 3m – 4m swells, where we took the opportunity to run over some shallow water of 10-12m deep, where the swell was standing and almost breaking. We ran this area at all angles including beam on the hull performance is confident and reassuring, when beam on to these steep swells the hull just lifted with little or no heel as the wave passed under the hull. The question we are always being asked is “will it surf?” Well, we are finding surfing is very easily achieved, and with adjustments of fore/aft trim with ballast fresh water tanks strategically placed for this purpose, optimising the trim to suit the wave period and size, really enhances the hulls ability to hold the wave for extended time periods.
To date, the top speed recorded as an average with and against a small tidal flow is 13.5knots (excluding surfing) The fuel burns we have recorded are showing quite a linear curve up to almost 12 knots, that allows the owner to cruise at a speed which they feel most comfortable at, with the best balance of speed and fuel burn being between 10 - 11.5 knots, but as an example at 11 knots we are burning 26L of fuel per hour.
The range of the vessel will always be decided by many factors, including the chosen cruising speed, with the 11,500L tank capacity, and with a 10% reserve the range from 10 to 11.5 knots is approximately 5250NM and 4000NM respectively.
‘Mollymawks’ owners arrived in NZ almost two weeks ago, and are now living aboard, and we are pleased to report they are very happy with all aspects of the vessel, from performance, handling and steering, to the quality of the fixtures/ fittings and all aspects of the build quality. During the build the owners were unable to visit NZ, but had seen many hundreds of photo’s, as well as video walkthrough’s & onboard video skype calls, but once aboard the vessel and quality truly came to life, but that’s another article.
We are now in the early stages of owner trials and training which will continue for another few weeks, as part of this, Mollymawk’s tanks have been fully topped off with fuel, which will allow us to gain more data on heavy departure condition performance, although we are not expecting to see any significant change in the fuel burn data.
We recently undertook the stability test, and the stability curve measured exceeds that of similar sized vessels we have previously built, both in arrival and departure loads.
Designers comment below...
"Please find attached a stability wash up based on the information provided to us Friday last week. The results show that the boat passes two well respected stability codes and with good margins."
We are now looking forward to the future launch of Circa 24m # 2 “Deo Juvante” which is equipped with larger MAN engines to meet CE compliance and the predictions show a top speed of 17 knots. We have on the drawing board a smaller 20m model, and a larger 30m -35m model in line for development on request.
For further information on “Mollymawk” data, vessel options and build slot availability please contact us.
This is who we are, this is what we do.
On Tuesday 25th May we finally got the weather we have been waiting for, a deep subtropical low east of the North Island is directing strong south easterlies and large waves over the east coast of the upper North Island. The conditions we experienced were not as extreme as we would have liked but none the less a sea that many vessels would not have been comfortable in. What we found was 2.5-3m swell with a 6-7 second period with 30knot breeze gusting to our maximum recorded gust of 39Knots at about a 60-70 degree angle to the swell. The Whangarei Ports wave buoy’s were displaying max waves of 4.5 which was typically when the wind chop aligned with a bigger set to create a larger than normal swell.
These would be quite challenging conditions for a less capable hull as it was quite messy and very short, Photo’s never seem to represent the conditions. Mollymawk handled the conditions nicely cruising comfortably at 11-12knots when heading directly into then on various angles too the sea. Not at any stage did we feel the need to reduce speed. We then turned Mollymawk to run with a following sea travelling at 13 -17knots. We found her to be stable at speed and comfortable on a wave. Being a short trip out with many directional changes we were not trimmed for best surfing or for head sea’s, rather a neutral trim. During this testing phase we are in light trim condition to test the performance of the Hull, stabiliser and auto pilot performance without the benefit of ballast fuel and water.
For the first trial in less-than-ideal conditions, we are pleased with the confident and responsive handling of Mollymawk.
Sea trials are continuing, and we are gathering more and more information and data each time we go out. All of this information, videos and data will be made public in the coming weeks.
For more information contact Circa Marine at [email protected]
This is who we are, this is what we do.
Dockside commissioning and sea trials.
Mollymawk has just come to the end of the second week of dockside commissioning and builder’s sea trials. The preliminary data collected is looking very exciting, and the fuel burn numbers really encouraging. We will continue to test the boat in a range of configurations and weather conditions over the coming weeks, after which all of the data will be released along with a full magazine article, videos, interior and exterior photos.
This is who we are, this is what we do
The big day has finally arrived, and after 2 years of construction, Circa 24m # 1 "Mollymawk" has finally made it to where she belongs. Over the next few weeks she will undergo commissioning and calibration of all of the on board systems and equipment, and will then undergo extensive sea trials in a range of conditions to monitor and record her performance and handling. She is a credit to all of the team at Circa Marine, our sub contractors and suppliers.
"This is who we are, this is what we do"
Circa 24 # 1 “Mollymawk’ has made its way out of the shed and is sitting very pretty in the New Zealand Autumn sun, and later tonight she will begin the short journey to the launching facility. Over the coming weeks we’ll keep you posted on any developments, and after sea trials there will be a full magazine article with plenty more photographs and video footage.
‘This is who we are, this is what we do”
It’s been a very busy couple of days here at Circa Marine. A big milestone was reached for Circa 24m hull # 2 ‘Deo Juvante” as the superstructure was carefully lifted into place. Construction doesn't exactly have a reputation for elegance, but there is a fair amount of skill that goes into every move, especially when coordinating two cranes!
In a previous post we looked at part of the heating system in our 24m boats, an important feature on its own, but without a well designed and installed insulation system, all the benefits from heating and cooling can be lost very quickly. We have always looked for and obtained expert advice where we need to, so Circa has collaborated with companies in New Zealand and Australia to deliver a custom insulation package for our boats.
Very early in the design process, it was established that the owner had a keen involvement and well-rounded understanding of the desired comfort levels aboard. That focus on performance – fire, thermal, noise & vibration - continued with Circa Marine’s project team discussing in-depth details of best insulation practices with the Pyrotek NC team in New Zealand and Australia.
Through an open discussion of possibilities, what could and should be done – ensuring passenger safety and comfort, Pyrotek used their extensive know-how, experience, & engineering tools for predicted transmission losses , calculated thermal performances in varying circumstances – developing a total comfort customised solution – encompassing materials for vibration damping & isolation, reduction of air-borne transferred noise and reverberation, incorporating thermal and fire solutions within the weight and cost allowances and delivered on time.
The internal aluminium plating and elements were coated in Pyrotek Decicoat T35 Thermal anti-condensation and corrosion insulation, this is a water-based spray on coating that combines thermal and vibration damping properties with further thermal and acoustic insulation such as Pyrotek Sorberpoly added above this in many areas. Machinery areas have Decidamp Soundpaint, this is a high performance, fast drying, water based viscoelastic vibration damping compound with Thermal insulating properties.
In the voids and other spaces, Pyrotek Sorberpoly and Quadzero acoustic, and thermal insulation has been installed. A comprehensive System was developed for the Engine room and machinery spaces for thermal and acoustic isolation and fire protection.
The final result is an insulation package that exceeds anything Circa has ever installed in any of our previous builds, and will guarantee owner comfort in both high latitude and tropical situations.
As part of the design process, we wanted to make sure our boats offered our customers not only safety and economy, but also comfort, so we have created an environment that will be controllable and will be a ‘nice place to be’ when exploring the higher latitudes. Circa Marine is taking comfort to a new level in our range of boats, with the addition of underfloor heating, a system we have never installed on previous vessels, yet it has so many benefits over traditional heating methods.
The heating system consists of John Guest “speed fit” Underfloor heating components combined with a high efficiency 24v DC Diesel Burner with variable output, which is fitted throughout the accommodation and living areas on the Circa 24m. This heating system is coupled with an extensive insulation package which has been developed by insulation engineers in Australia and New Zealand specifically for these vessels.
With traditional heating systems it is typical to experience hot and cold zones throughout the vessel and even within a room, especially the surfaces and floor tends to retain a cool layer of air around them and are typically cool to touch, with under floor heating covering a large surface area warmth will evenly drift up from the floor and through all the attached surfaces creating a consistent comfortable temperature that can be set to the owners preference within safe predetermined parameters.
Fwd En Suite
Won’t be long till she gets wet, the antifoul process starts soon.
Galley almost complete & mostly covered by protective coverings.
Saloon Glass installed and Helm Structure in place.
Mid Electrical locker well under way. This will be the primary electrical control hub
Once the Services are completed the finished panels will be re-installed.
Still a little way to go on the flybridge, but some good progress happening.
It doesn't look like it, but the gantry crane clears the roof by only 15mm. Deck tread due to start next week.
Fitting of Engines, Genset, Watermaker, Hot water, plumbing, and electrical, whilst providing reasonable access always presents a challenge requiring experience & careful planning.