Bill Gibb, owner of a GForce “Wahoo” (Schionning designed / Current Marine build 46’ performance catamaran)
“For the last 15 years I have been an avid Coastal racer in Southern California, with many line honors and a few records on Afterburner. Afterburner is the fastest sail cat on the US west coast at 52’, no bridge-deck cabin, an 82’ mast and a lot of sail. For several years I had been thinking that I was getting too old for non-stop adrenaline rush, hull flying excitement. I had kept my eye on the boat market and ran across a website for Wahoo. She has to be the prettiest cat I’ve ever seen. Investigating I found that she had been built in carbon and was a high performance cruiser. I didn’t want to step down too far with my next boat. I wanted a boat that could sail well, be truthfully quick, not need a lot of crew, and have some comfort. I didn’t want a condomaran. As the deal was closed and my plans developed, I ended up having her shipped from Cape Town to Tortola BVI. From there I and a revolving group of friends sailed her back to Southern California in a number of “legs”, thru the Panama Canal, and up the Baja Bash. It was the adventure of a life time as I learned to cruise in exotic locations, flying home every now and then for family and work. Took us 9 months.
Cruising is not racing and I have not raced Wahoo yet. But I will soon, as I intend to continue coastal racing as a hobby. My future cruising will be close to home, local islands for a weekend or week. Local racing is handicap racing, and to get rated I will need to weigh Wahoo in race trim. We are estimating about 13,000 pounds. The G-Force 1400 design is brilliant. I wouldn’t change anything. Current Marine’s construction of hulls, structure and mast are excellent. She is a stiff boat and we took her thru some pretty rough conditions where she performed like a champ. Our first long leg was about 200nm to weather as we crossed from Tortola to Guadeloupe in 25 knot trade winds and 6’-10’ seas. My first mate (and cruising coach) explained how sailing to weather is not “cruising”, but Wahoo handled it well. Later on the downwind leg to Bonaire we were having dinner in the cockpit, when I noticed we were hitting 20 knots boat speed now and then, surfing down 10-15’ waves. Wahoo tracked straight and smooth on rails under the autopilot. Our first day out to Bonaire we had a 300nm 24 hour run. My first mate then explained how these were not leisurely, prudent, cruising speeds and we slowed down. She feels light and nimble under sail, the helm is nice and firm. We again sailed to 20+ knots boat speed several times in Pacific squalls. We sailed her several times in 35 knots plus TWS. We suffered big head seas on several occasions. We did a lot of motor sailing off Baja. All good. Her high bridge deck and high bow buoyancy help a lot. She was always well behaved.
I am quite happy with my new boat choice.” – Bill Gibbs, Wahoo, Ventura, California