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Review: Axcell 65' Hybrid-Air Power Catamaran

Discussion in 'General Catamaran Discussion' started by YachtForums, Oct 2, 2011.

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  1. Axcell 65' Power Catamaran
    Hybrid Air-Lift System Gives Rise to Efficiency

    by Capt. Chuck Gnaegy and YF Publisher Carl Camper​

    Remember that wild, young 16 year-old neighborhood kid who was forever
    winning boat races with cast-off hulls and engines he rescued from junk piles? You envied
    his daring and disorderly creativity and wondered whatever happened to that tinkering kid? ​

    Well, that kid is all grown-up now, owns a very successful business and has returned with yet another one-off design that will captivate imaginations, striking fear into the hearts of complacent boat builders who thought they were on the cutting edge. While the basic cat design may harken back to the ancient Hawaiian-Polynesian Islanders; or further, to Julius Caesar’s double-hulled war machines propelled by 300 sweating oarsmen; the Axcell 65’ Catamaran registers as a wildly up-to-date successor, and then some! This curvy feline boasts a patented “Hybrid Air-Lift Technology”™, which is poised to pounce on traditional hull forms. She’s a one-of-kind, precedent-breaking advance in marine science and she's purring sweetly into a new realm of efficiency.
  2. Now fast forward through 13+ years of design studies and pre-engineering, plus computerized 3-D modelling; that same wild kid we mentioned above is now president of his own company, MACS Research Inc., which is primarily involved in counter-intelligence products. He is inventor Bruce Barsumian, who has brought to the yacht market his extraordinary brain child, the stunning AXCELL 650 Motorized Catamaran. In collaboration with the award-winning yacht designer J.C Espinosa, of Stuart, FL, this marvel has blossomed into reality. Their input and imagination delivered a modern, strikingly fashioned visual impression, something lacking in most catamaran offerings. At 65’ her 20’8” beam boasts room that would easily require 75-100’ in a single-hull motor or sail yacht. In fact, the beam is so spacious between her twin hulls that a full beam master stateroom with a king-size berth, plus heads/showers is located on the lower main level; spanning the sponsons.
  3. So, that “Wild Kid” – now quite well grown-up – turns out to be a serious and successful Inventor, Engineer, and Boat Designer; along with his primary profession in counter-surveillance-detection-equipment. He brings new and refreshing processes to challenge what everyone “knows” about fast boat design. Now, his new ideas are certain to startle a few minds along the way; and perhaps begin many another inquisitive foray into the future of yacht design. Here, in a startlingly new yacht is original thinking; freshly generated creativity. And, what might be next for his fertile imagination?
  4. We must understand that no highly creative mind is satisfied to hang up a prolific imagination after one triumph. The creative brain, the fertile, imaginative genesis that stirs our creative natures, hardly ever stops, especially for one with an excellent foray into creativity. And so will it be, one suspects, with inventor Bruce Barsumian. Even now he may concede he feels the stirring of perhaps an even more challenging venture. And so he allows, with an almost secret, slight smile.
  5. Barsumian's original brainchild was a 48' cat, but as imagination becomes reality, sometimes a change in size and the scope is required. According to Bruce... “We started at 48’ but then it got to 52’, and at 60’ things seemed to work out so well; so we did it.” And then that modest, guarded smile begins to creep across his face, as he allows - or should we say imagines - “an 80-footer would be a nice jump, with a full beam master”
  6. High above and topping the curvilinear windows are Axcell 650’s dramatic logo signatures; emphasizing her ultramodern concept and resolution. Complicated but fascinating, her originality might quite well promise a spanking new, inventive approach to hull efficiency. Designer/Inventor Bruce Barsumian included ideas from his studies of SES (Surface Effect Ships) as well as U.S. Navy applications. He built a 16’ prototype in his basement to prove to himself the idea was sound, but it took the building of eight different models to convince himself he had discovered the brand new approach he was trying to achieve.
  7. A highly distinctive feature of Barsumian’s design shows a set of signature exterior “Gills” along her sides. Highly functional, they have two vastly differing but nevertheless important duties. The four forward slash-segments provide openings for lift fan intakes, while the two aft segments serve the engines’ absolute needs for air refreshment. If that sounds overly complicated, hang on; Axcell has the completely understandable answers.
  8. Her main aft deck is endowed with a roof overhang, comfortable lounging areas and a convenient outdoor grill & wash basin with a hinged hatch/cover when not in use; plus storage lockers. Although the aft deck is brief, the Axcell's sizable beam in conjunction with a full width swim platform makes a great gathering place, underway or at dock.
  9. The extent of interior space in Axcell 65’s main salon is surprising, taking near full advantage of her 20’8” beam. The helm and observer stations are raised, granting excellent visibility all around. The salon features an L-shaped lounge that backs to the aft and port windows. Not shown are the aft windows that are raised and lowered by electric motors. Above, the Axcell’s sunroof lets fresh air in and does not buffet at speed. Opposite is a hutch that contains a 40” TV on Remote Controlled Electric Lift with Blu-Ray Player.
  10. Forward in the salon, her captain’s chair favors black leather; fully adjustable, facing a brown leather padded console with all-inclusive, lighted screens. Nearly a dozen analogue gauges crown the helm - à la 350Z style; still the best human interface and indicative of a real performance boat. The entire helm is well-conceived and properly planned with an assorted package from Raymarine, including a SmartPilot X-SOL Corepack and ST70 Autopilot Control Head, T450 Thermal Night Vision Camera with Low Light Video, a AIS500 Class B Transceiver, Port and Starboard Engine Room Color Video Cameras, Anchor/Fwd Docking Night Video Camera, AFT Deck Night Video Camera and like any hi-tech boat of the modern era... joystick maneuvering at the helm and aft deck.
  11. Four steps down, the ship’s lower salon continues its handsome setting. Her elliptical dining table sports white leather booth-style seating. Ease over to the sit-down-stand-up bar, which offers a pair of white, plump-round bar stools, in addition to a serving space at port.
  12. Her simply laid out, well organized Galley is complete for fastidious food prep and clean-up with back-to-back onyx countertop cooking and dish washing areas. A convection oven, large fridge, dishwasher, trash compactor and glass top stove complete the galley. Under and over cabinet storage is kept handy, easy to reach. This is, without doubt, a catamaran chef’s delight.
  13. Easily accessed forward of the lower salon, her Master Stateroom offers a queen-size elevated berth with marble topped mahogany cabinets, and a large vanity. There’s stowage aplenty alongside as well as beneath. Individual bed-side lights make night time reading easy, while overhead a large porthole hatch permits ambient light to shine through.
  14. The master head features a glass shower, large mirrored vanity as well as storage cabinets for towels.
  15. Squeezed within sponsons like a child’s favorite nook, the guest cabins offer double wide berths with three opening ports, plus overhead portholes and padded headboards for each double. Altogether, three ensuite guest rooms provide gracious hospitality for 6 guests, but make bed making a back breaker.
  16. Designer/Engineer Barsumian’s design sense leaps into prominence when we examine the engine room. Two CAT C-18s power this vessel, with 1150 HP ZF surface drives. The hulls feature the innovative, patented design he calls “High Efficiency Surface Effect;” a large open chamber where pressurized air is forced under the hull for an air-cushioned, hover-craft-type effect. His “HybridAir Technology Lift”™ fans on the main engines engage at 1,300 rpm, to force pressurized air into its lower pockets.
  17. The HybridAir fans are shown here, behind the engines. When spooled up, they create the air cushion, bringing air in from the exterior “Gills” we pictured earlier. These centrifugal lift fans are surprisingly quiet, but quiet powerful. They are the essential ingredient in this new age recipe, drawing a mere 3-7% of the engine's power output and turning it into an astounding 31,000 lb. of lift, which is nearly 50% of the yacht's weight.
  18. Her 15KW Westerbeke D-Net Generator, with Sound Shield, handles the house needs throughout the yacht, from basic lighting to the Axcell’s night time colorful display (shown in the Details section following the reviews)
  19. The Axcell 65 Catamaran holds a special place in the evolution of modern hull design. It is a one-off concept that combines the best of several proven technologies. It's true potential has yet to be realized, as it is still undergoing prop testing and fuel mapping. The performance of this craft confirms the viability of the system and it definitely warrants further development.

    Review by Capt. Chuck Gnaegy and YF Publisher Carl Camper



    LOA: 66’5” (Inc. Swim Platform)
    Hull: 60’
    Beam: 20’ 8”
    Draft: 48”
    Weight: 29.5 tons
    Shore Power: 50A 230VAC 60 Hz
    Water: 190 USG
    Fuel: 650 USG
    Power: 2xCaterpillar C-18
    Surface Drives: 1150 HP ZE
    Speed: Max: 34 k
    Speed: Cruise: 28 k
    Generator: 15kW Westerbeke w/Sound Shield

    For more information contact:

    MACS Research, LLC
    459 Hampton Circle
    Cookeville, TN 38501
    (931) 261-2261

  20. DETAILS​

    Here's that “Wild Kid” Bruce Barsumian, who grew up racing 13' Invaders around Pompano's Lake Santa Barbara. Like many a kid, he liked to tinker with toys and of course, liked all things fast. Unlike many of his grade school constituents, his budget didn't allow off-the-shelf parts so he fashioned fixes with a little boatyard creativity... scavenging parts from sunk boats. Look who's laughing now...
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