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Malcolm Tennant


Noted Multi-hull designer from New Zealand. His first major success was a design to the newly formed International A Class Catamaran rule. Thirty-two of these boats were built, and they won a number of National & International titles. In 1969, Tennant designed the first of his larger boats, the catamaran “Vorpal Blade”. This was one of the first catamarans of this size to use alloy cross beams. In 1972, he produced the ‘Bamboo Bomber’, which employed an early use of stressed plywood construction, and the use of a wing spar on bigger boats. The GREAT BARRIER EXPRESS of 1973 is Tennant’s best known and most popular design with more than three hundred built. It inspired many others of this type that appeared around the world for years to come. This was followed by a number of other smaller series production catamarans including the ECLIPSE and the ESPRIT that were alternatives to the Hobie Cat craze of this time. Over the next couple of years the ‘Turissimo-9’ the ‘Turissimo-10’ also went into series production in a number of countries including New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, France and the United States. The ‘Wild Thing’ trimaran was introduced in 1983, the first multihull in the world to be designed for, and built in, the strip plank cedar composite construction. In the same year, Tennat designed his first power catamaran. Over his carreer, Tennant designed more than 250 boats, mostly multihulls, from small racing craft and folding trimarans up to large passenger carrying ferries, and contributed hundreds of general and technical articles in both local and international boating magazines. His expertise was recognised by invitations to speak at a number of symposia around the World.


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