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A rebuilt (tennant) catamaran called Slime has proved a winner for Mahurangi East boatbuilder John Hughes.

John and his wife Juliet raced for four and a half hours across 50 nautical miles (93km) of ocean to take out the first leg in the SSANZ Safety at Sea Triple on July 9.


no stranger to racing, having won the Coastal Classic between Auckland and Russell nine times on the catamarans Split Enz, and After Burner which he built in 1986.


he hopes to compete in the Coastal Classic in October this year with Slime followed by the Summer Series with the New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club.



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Started life as a demountable Tennant Bladerunner (as was Ultra Violet and Afterburner initially) and was meant to be exported but lived in a box for many years when first built due to some dispute or goings on. John got it going in the early 2000's and won a few Coastals in it and then spent the last 10 years refitting and turning it into a cruising boat with inboard pods but obviously still bloody fast


Here she is in Coastal, probably 2001, we were in front at that stage but she cleared out soon after. Back then she was very simple and light, 3 sails, alloy rig.


Nothing to do with Twisted Sister. Suzy Wong or any other Turissimo


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sh*t - the more you look at her - the more you realise just how much work's been done.  That is one complex aft beam, sexy new inboard pods ala Manic and TS, gang plank, new c/boards moved outboard.

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Scottie said "sh*t - the more you look at her - the more you realise just how much work's been done"


Yes and John is a perfectionist as well as having the skills of a master craftsman, actually,, I suppose you can't be a master craftsman without being a perfectionist........



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sawyer 46?


Double Illusion- rename -TL Systems - Strongly rumored to become - Tardis on the ramp at Wapiapa Landing. She is on her Journey to Blair Boats Shed for a makeover.
Built 20 years ago, she is a well built wood boat, innovative and fast.




John Sawyer lives on the Coromandel Peninsular (in New Zealand) and has
indeed designed and built two similar catamarans around 40ft. The first
was called Double Exposure when launched and had some modifications done
to it over the years. John designed and built a lot of it while he was
employed as the Master (captain) on Bulk Carriers. He carried the timber
on board and built all the frames during the voyages. The boat is what
is commonly called stringer frame construction with (I think ) 6mm ply
over Kauri frames with Kauri stringers. Very well built.

Open deck design but with Cantilevered accommodation inboard of each
hull behind the main beam. The main beam is big enough to sleep and
crawl through.

The hull design is rounded vee relatively deep by modern standards but
exceptionally smooth riding.

I spent a number of years crewing on the boat when it was owned by Rex
Gillfilan, who had the transom extended, a hard deck fitted and some
other minor modifications. So the boat is now around 47ft long (John had
extended a couple of feet already). The boat easily cruises at 12 to 15,
goes 10 to 12kn upwind in any sort of breeze, tacks through less than
90deg and has done 24kn for an hour or so on a two sail reach with me at
the helm.

I understand Double Exposure, also known as TL Systems was for sale
again. Have a look on www.trademe.co.nz

John's second boat is similar in that the hull designs are almost the
same ( a bit more buoyancy in the stern than Double Exposure). The boat
is called Fair Curves and is a bridge deck with a wing mast. Sails
exceptionally well too by all accounts. Fair Curves was for sale, I
don't know if she still is.

Does that help?


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Yep when I had TL Systems I took a friend sailing and he liked it so much that he bought Fair Curve from John Sawyer, Fair Curve is now I believe based in the Bay of Islands and has had a lot of work done including fitting 2 new diesels to replace the Yamaha 9.9s . TL was indeed super smooth at speed in rough weather, I remember sailing single handed from Tiri to Kawau and back in 25 kts NE breeze ,even with a metre or metre and a half of chop, I just kept going backwards and forwards at 18 to 20 kts without even spray coming on deck, "such fun", as Mirandas Mum would say.

In similiar wind in a Farrier 43 cat which are great boats there was some fairly heavy bangs from the flat section on the bottom of the front third of the hulls, TL was more of a smooth knife than a sledgehammer through the water. Seemed a bit too light for trips to Fiji though as was designed for coastal sailing.Still my favorite ex boat , a great family cruiser easy to sail fast and plenty of room.

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