Yanmar Powers Opulent Cat – Stefan Ackerie

Opulent Cat 1

In Queensland, boaters don’t come with a much bigger profile than flamboyant hairdressing entrepreneur, Steve “Stefan” Ackerie.  Well known for his string of records in offshore powerboat racing on board his pink race boat simply named Stefan Shampoo, Stefan has a public profile to match his high-speed ocean exploits.

But while his days of offshore racing may be behind him, Stefan Ackerie retains a passion for powerboats and speed.  So when his latest creation, a state-of-the-art $10million power cat was unveiled at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show, it understandably attracted a huge amount of attention.

This cat is like no other.   It is lean, sleek, opulent and hugely efficient.

And amazingly this giant composite cat hull is powered by a pair of Yanmar 6LY2A-STP engines.  The notion of these modest production engines, producing a comparatively tame 440 MHP each, powering a 25.6 M (84’) boat weighing 26 tonnes is nothing short of staggering.  Then consider a top speed of 27 knots (50 km/h) and the performance data takes on a new dimension.

Aptly named Hairazor by her owner, the project commenced as a new build about six years ago but the owner’s business floundered.

Stefan Ackerie stepped in and picked up the partially completed hull at auction.

Bringing his wealth of offshore race experience to the project, Stefan Ackerie personally directed changes to the hull and design.  The boat was stretched by 1.5m and the interior was completely cut out and started over with a revised layout.  Then more subtle but nonetheless vital changes were made to the hull shape.  The profile of the sponsons was altered and the tunnel depth deepened.

Stefan was seeking the ultimate in hull efficiency and buoyancy.  Offshore sailing legend Duncan Van Woerden, a man who has brought his composite hull design and construction techniques to offshore racing yachts headed up the project at the Stefan Racing workshop.

Opulent Cat 3

“Hairazor is built to the same specification and techniques as an offshore racing yacht,” Duncan said.

“The hull is light but extraordinarily strong.  This is a fully epoxy construction with carbon fibre, Kevlar and balsa used in the laminate.”

Throughout the boat, efficiency is the objective.   Hairazor weighs in 26 tonnes dry, but a comparable fibreglass hull of the same length would be around the 75-tonne mark and require a pair of 800 hp engines to achieve the same speed.

Nestled into the aft end of the sponsons are Yanmar 6LY2A-STP engines, one per side.   Each engine is fitted with a ZF transmission ultimately turning 24” pitch, 5 blade propellers; counter rotating of course.

Yanmar engines were specifically selected to power this exceptional vessel.   The Yanmar 6LY2A-STP engines came out in front of competitive engines on the crucial power to weight issue.  The installation envelope, (a vital factor when installing engines into the narrow confines of a cat sponson) also proved to be superior.   And just as important, overhead access for servicing made the Yanmar 6LY2A-STP a sound choice

Yanmar’s 6LY2A-STP engine is a turbocharged, direct injected, intercooled, in-line 6 cylinder displacing 5.813 litres to produce 440mhp (324 kW) at 3300rpm. With a dry engine weight of only 535kg (less gearbox) the 6LY2A-STP delivers industry-leading power-to-weight Yanmar diesel performance.

In the performance stakes, the Yanmar’s deliver the right kind of power.  Hairazor cruises comfortably at 2200 rpm for a speed of 17 knots, (31 km/h).   With 4800 litres of diesel fuel on board, Hairazor has a cruising range of 2500 Nm.  Flat out the hull is good for 27 knots (50 km/h), a speed that can be sustained all day long and one which has owner Steve Ackerie considering some inter-capital speed record runs.

Opulent Cat 2

Onboard Hairazor is as opulent as it is impressive.   Sleeping ten (including two crew), Hairazor is white throughout the entire boat.  From the stylish bridge, through the lounge, staterooms and the galley, white is the only colour used.

In the engine room, a Mase IS20T gen set provides all the onboard electrical power.  While there is an abundance of LED lighting, electric doors, fridges and the like, the boat is very efficient on power.   However, the air con system, an essential for the Queensland climate, demands the additional electrical power from the Mase.