Gunboat is probably the most famous catamaran brand out there. This company has lived in the fast lane since it was launched by the original founder Peter Johnstone.

gunboat 68 dashPhoto:

The US company that created the luxury super-fast carbon catamaran market segment was purchased by Grand Large Yachting, the group behind Outremer, in 2016. And so the latest chapter of this famous brand began…

They have since launched the Gunboat 68 with multihull design gurus VPLP, with an 80, a 72 and a 70-footer to follow. The brand is in rude health.

Let’s take a look at some of the iconic cats that they have designed over the years.

Gunboat 62

gunboat 62 tribe
Gunboat 62 Tribe. Photo

Designed by Morrelli & Melvin, this is the series that launched the Gunboat catamarans brand. Read our full Gunboat 62 Review here.

In 2001 they designed a pair of 62′ performance catamarans for Clint Clemens and Peter Johnstone. These two yachts were built by Harvey Yachts in Cape Town, South Africa .

Peter Johnstone subsequently formed a company called GUNBOAT to produce the boats and two more 62s were built by Jaz Marine in Cape Town .

Light, simple, and fast, the GUNBOAT 62s set new standards for multihulls and carved out a luxury performance cruising category of catamarans the world had never seen before.

62-01 Tribe
The original Gunboat! This trailblazer is an icon and set the bar for the luxury performance catamaran market. Chris White was the first out of the blocks with a forward cockpit with his Atlantic Cats, but the Gunboat 62 sets the standard for luxury and innovative construction techniques.
Built by Harvey Yachts in Cape Town.

In 2014 Cruising World named TRIBE as one of the “40 Greatest, Most Influential Cruising Boats of All Time” and Yachting World in 2016 ranked TRIBE as 6th among “50 Yachts That Changed The Way We Sail.”

62-02 Chim Chim
(ex Cucu-Belle, ex Safari)
Built by Harvey Yachts in Cape Town in 2002.

gunboat 62 chim chim
Gunboat 62 Chim Chim. Credit: Morrelli & Melvin

62-03 Zenyatta

(2003 ex-Prana, ex-Lickity Split 2)
Zenyatta is available for charter. Head to or contact us for further information. She was built by Jaz Marine in Cape Town in 2003.

62-04 Mach Schnell
(ex Elvis, ex-Looking For Elvis, ex-Icon)
Gunboat 62 Mach Schnell is owned and skippered by Kent Haeger. She took first place in the multihull class in the Nanny Cay Cup in the 2019 BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival. Mach Schnell finished in a time of 0:02:00:39, beating Triple Jack’s 2015 race record around Tortola.
She was built by Jaz Marine in Cape Town.

Gunboat 48

gunboat 48
Gunboat 48 Malolo, photo

A very successful range that was built from 2004-2009, again designed by Morrelli & Melvin. My only problem with these boats is that they did not build enough of them! Head to our Gunboat 48 catamaran page for further details on this boat.

The 48s feature three queen berths, an office (or fourth berth) and two heads.

The living area is simple and well ventilated with the salon, helm and galley all inside on the main deck. She has a well-protected, cosy aft cockpit and the whole idea behind the design is for simple handling for short-handed crews without compromising on the performance.

48-01 Malolo
(ex Cream)
Built in the Gunboat Yard, Cape Town, South Africa. 2005.
malolo gunboat

48-02. Dancing Bear
(ex-Lickity Split)
Built 2006.

48-03 Traverse
Registered in Key West

48-04 Vela
(ex Falcor)
Now owned by surfer John John Florence, based in Hawaii

48-05 Blast
(in Dubai?)

48-06. Osi (ex Spirit of Africa)
Spotted in Vilanova, Spain where she was for sale as Spirit of Africa.

Gunboat 66

gunboat 66 slim
Gunboat 66 Slim

Customers wanted to add more interior volume and kit to the 62s, so the original Morrelli & Melvin design was lengthened to 66′ and the GUNBOAT 66 was born. Morrelli & Melvin fine-tuned the structures, rigs, and layouts to optimize this design from 2006 to 2012.

Read the full Gunboat 66 Review.

66.01 Coco De Mer

66.02 Outnumbered
(ex Flash, (ex-Panthera, ex-Mayhem, ex-Sugar Daddy first to circumnavigate)

66.03 Moondoggie
(ex Tiger Lily, ex-Gazelle)

66.04 Phaedo

66.05 Laguz

66.06 Slim
(8/2012 – finished at Jaz Marine)

66.07 Gaia
(ex Extreme H2O)
(finished on West Coast at Westerly)
gunboat 66 gaiaPhoto credit:


Gunboat 60

gunboat 60 alaiaGunboat 60-04 Alaia

The Gunboat 60, designed by Nigel Irens, evolved from the 62 and 66. Electric quick sailing performance with an all carbon and epoxy construction, she set new standards in luxury.
Read our Full Gunboat 60 Review.

Production moved to Hudson Marine in China – a relationship that ultimately turned sour as there were multiple warranty claims on the boats, mainly concerning the new centreboard design. Peter Johnstone accused Hudson Wang of inferior manufacturing quality, and Wang then counter sued saying that the problem was with the original design.

Johnstone then accused Wang of ripping off his designs for his own range of performance catamarans. Hey ho. Well, in hindsight, we do now have an HH55 and HH66 on the market. A whole range of HH Catamarans have been launched since, you could say they were inspired by Gunboat!

The 60 was designed as the maximum size for an owner-operator on a long-term cruise.

60 feet is the sweet spot for many features: a smooth motion, lots of space and the ability to devour 300+ miles in a day in the right conditions.

60-01 Defiance (ex Fault Tolerant, ex Golden Gun)

60-02 Flow
Unfortunately, Flow caught on fire in Badalona near Barcelona in May 2023 and was written off 🙁

60-03 Moonwave
(more details at

60-04 Alaia (ex Jade)

60-05. Prana
(launched before Jade)

60-06. Arethusa

Never completed?

60-08 Momentum

Gunboat 55

gunboat 55 Thirst
Gunboat 55 Thirst

The Gunboat 55, designed by Nigel Irens, was the last model to come out of the Peter Johnstone era before the marque was auctioned off. Following the problems in China, manufacturing was moved to the US at a new Gunboat facility in North Carolina.

The 16.76m 55 was created to offer the ultimate performance catamaran for owner/operators by maximising the living area. She has two superyacht-style double cabins. Check out our full Gunboat 55 review where we go into more detail.

These Gunboat catamarans are aimed at warmer climes like the Caribbean with a wide open-plan central deck with plenty of protection at the front and sides around the enclosed central helm. On cooler evenings and in higher latitudes the whole area can be closed off with removable screens.

55-01 Rainmaker
(dismasted in a 70 knot squall, abandoned & adrift, later salvaged. Multimarine in the UK relaunched her as a 64′ powercat

55-02 Vandal

55-03 Toccata

55-04 Jammy

55 Thirst

Became Gunboat 57 “Vai Vai”, see below




55-09 Starrship
Custom finished in 2017 by Crosswait Composites. With two builds under their belts, there are still a couple of hulls out there awaiting ownership.

55-10 to 12
Laid up?

Gunboat 68

And so we get to the Gunboat 68 – which was designed in conjunction with VPLP and The new owners of the brand: Grande Large Yachting Group, the yachting company behind Outremer. You can read our full Gunboat 68 review here.

The Gunboat 68 is now the Gunboat 70.

68.01 Highland Fling (ex Condor)
Launched Jan 2019. Now with custom aft helms as well as the forward helm.

68.02 Dash
Launched Jul 2019

68.03 Sea Tilt
Launched July 2020

68.04 Tosca
Launched Jan 2021

68.05 Break Free
Launched Apr 2022

68.06 Convexity2
April 23
gunboat 68-05

With this successful model, Gunboat is starting to inspire all sorts of competition, like the Black Pepper Code C69, another French build. The market is heating up!

Gunboat 80

gunboat 80 highland fling
Highland Fling Gunboat 80-01

A larger model was announced by Grand Large Yachting: a big sister to the 68: the Gunboat 80. This yacht has been designed to sail faster than the wind in anything over 5 knots, with super-efficient systems and lots of solar power. The first 80 launched in June 2023: Highland Fling which is owned by Irvine Laidlaw.

Like the 68, this was designed by VPLP.  Another luxury performance yacht developed with a zero compromise approach to design, engineering, structure, build and performance. This is a high-tech, semi-custom yacht, with close attention to quality, structural integrity and safety.

It’s not the biggest Gunboat ever built though. That prize goes to Tiger Lily Too, a Gunboat 90 (see below).

Gunboat 80.01 Highland Fling
Launched 2023

Gunboat 72V

A Gunboat with a Flybridge? You’re kidding me, right? The company announced this model in 2021 and they took some heat on social media!

gunboat 72 hull #1

It looks pretty spectacular, and I understand why they have gone down this route. I can imagine they were losing customers to the likes of McConaghy and HH.

The first 72 was launched in June 2023. I have to admit, it took a while to get my head around the flybridge design, but there’s no denying that the finished product looks spectacular. It’s an impressive piece of kit.

Gunboat 72.01 Wonderful
June 2023

Gunboat 70

In January 2023, Gunboat announced their latest model at boot Düsseldorf: The Gunboat 70. This comes six years after the design of the Gunboat 68 (units 6 & 7 in build at the time of the 70 launch), plus the 72 and 80 series.

The 70 has evolved from their culmination of knowledge in customisation. She looks fantastic, a great evolution from the 68.

The rig will be moved aft compared to the smaller boat for performance and optimal sail balance. The sail plan includes a larger self-tacking solent (J2) and a higher aspect main sail that is more manageable.

There will be an option to add dual aft helms, in addition to the signature inside helm and forward cockpit setup. The wheel will pivot from centre to port and starboard to optimise the steering position.

There will also be a galley-down option with crew mess, with more living space up top in the salon.

Custom Gunboats

The following Gunboats are all one-offs. We’ve included the 57 here as it was finished off after the company went into Chapter 11 and before the brand was relaunched by its newer owners.

Gunboat 57

Gunboat 57 Vai Vai

The Gunboat 57 was launched after the previous Gunboat Company went into Chapter 11. 55-05 was finished by a team of specialists who constructed a high-performance boat that could be de-powered for short-handed sailing. The 57: Vai Via, was re-engineered and custom-built for performance.

Adjustments were made to the machinery, appendages, steering, rudder bearings, rig, sail and deck plans, all with weight saving and efficiency as key goals.

Gunboat 57-01 Vai Via

Gunboat 78

gunboat 78 my catGunboat 78 My Cat

What do you do when all of the Gunboats on the market are too small for your needs? Build a custom one that’s longer, of course, and that was how the Gunboat 78 “My Cat” was born in 2010.

She’s unique: a custom-built, optimized cruising performance cat that was designed by Nigel Irens and launched in 2016. With lightweight, all-carbon construction, Gunboat performance, and a huge luxurious interior.

Her twin hulls are home to four guest cabins with their own separate heads, plus a fully equipped galley, crew mess, and cabin. The galley is in the down configuration with the crew quarters so the open living space in the salon is enormous. Launched in 2016, she has been meticulously maintained by her owner and professional captain and crew.

All that extra space on the Gunboat 78 means that there is plenty of room for all of the toys like water scooters, SUPs, and scuba.

This is a Gunboat with an extra WOW factor.

Gunboat 78-01 My Cat
Currently based near Barcelona in Spain, I have seen her a couple of times sailing around Menorca. There can be only one.

Gunboat 90

How big can Gunboats go? Welcome to Tiger Lily Too (ex-Sunshine), the one and only Gunboat 90. This superyacht was launched in 2010 and was designed by Morrelli & Melvin.

gunbaot 90 sunshineGunboat 90 when she was Sunshine
Photo: Tim Casey

The Gunboat 90 is the largest of the Gunboat fleet: she was built and launched in Cape Town, South Africa by Gunboat International in the Peter Johnstone era.

She comes fully loaded with a 60-degree rotating, high modulus, wing mast and carbon fiber rigging.

Carbon and Nomex honeycomb was used in the build with a design brief that aimed for 30 knots in smooth conditions.

Despite being 90 feet long, her draft can be reduced to less than 2 feet thanks to those retractable rudders and daggerboards.

This 90-footer set the bar for multihull superyachts.

Gunboat 90-01 Tiger Lily Too (ex Sunshine)
The one and only.


Which Gunboat Model is the Fastest?
A tricky question, as I don’t believe all of the models have raced each other. At Les Voiles de St-Barth, Phaedo, a Gunboat 66 has done well over the years, but then Flow (a Gunboat 60) won the race in 2018.
I would bet that it comes down to the Gunboat 68, the 66 and the 78 based on LOA. You’d have to bet on the boat with the latest technology: the 68.

When the Gunboat 80 launches, well that will probably take the Gold medal.

Which is your favourite Gunboat?
I am a big fan of this brand. Who isn’t? If I was to choose, it would have to be the original 62. Morrelli and Melvin nailed the look on this model. But the 48 comes a close second. I hear from a Gunboat captain that the performance and feel of the 68 blows the 62 away though.

Will Gunboat Launch a 40-50 foot Catamaran Again?
Well, I think they would be crazy not to, as the demand is there for an Owner Operator Gunboat. Gunboat is part of Grand Large Yachting now, so I guess they are worried about cannibalising Outremer sales. The sister company features heavily in this market segment with their 4X and 5X cats.
For now, they are concentrating on the super luxury segment with big boats like the Gunboat 80. Who knows? We will keep our fingers crossed.

Where are Gunboats built?
Gunboats were first built in South Africa, China and finally the United States. Since the brand was acquired by Grand Large Yachting, these catamarans have been manufactured in La Grande Motte in France, in a dedicated yard.

Other Yards

We hope you enjoyed this history of Gunboat! Take a look at these features on other multihull brands:

Fountaine Pajot


Marsaudon Composites


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Showing all 6 results