BY APB Staff on 11 Feb 2019

The weekender catamaran from Fast Forward Composites took to waters off the island of St Thomas, USVI, where it will stay to be fitted and test-sailed

The Eagle Class 53 from Fast Forward Composites sailed for the first time, with its Hybrid Wing and jib in a gentle 8 knots of breeze, on flat water off the island of St Thomas, USVI.

The project for the most revolutionary catamaran began four years ago and has now come to fruition for Tommy Gonzalez, owner and president of Fast Forward Composites. The boat was conceived by professional sailors and designed by an international team of designers, engineers and naval architects.

Eagle Class 53 Sails For The First Time 3
(Photo: Richard & Rachel / Ocean Images)

The Eagle Class 53 is the ultimate weekender, as it is equipped with the latest in foiling and wing technology and capable of navigating at top speeds with unrivaled comfort and luxury. The vision is simply to deliver the technology and performance of a competitive racing boat to the recreational sailor.

Only three crew sailed: Tommy Gonzalez and Randy Smyth (Hybrid Wing co-designer and test sailor), whom where elated with how well the sail went, and they were joined by the new crew Amber Bowman. The day started at 4 am to step the rig, and in the afternoon breeze they sailed for the first time with wing and main plus jib.

Eagle Class 53 Sails For The First Time 2
(Photo: Richard & Rachel / Ocean Images)

The Hybrid Wing will stay in place thanks to its revolutionary ability to feather through 360 degrees when the boat is moored or docked. In the 8 knot light breeze they achieved speeds of 10 and 11 knots. 

The boat will now stay in St Thomas and have its final furniture fitted to the cabins and deck area, and be test-sailed in all kinds of breeze, over the coming few weeks.

Eagle Class 53 Sails For The First Time 1
(Photo: Richard & Rachel / Ocean Images)

Tommy Gonzalez commented, “It was a great push, got out a lot of kinks. I learned a lot. She glides and moves effortlessly across the water so we’re very happy. It was easier than we thought. I’m exhilarated for the guys who work at the factory and also relieved that the owner is going to be very happy.”

“Once we’re fully comfortable and up to speed with the Hybrid Wing and C-foils, we will be fitting our T-foils for full foiling”, added Gonzalez.

A smiling Randy Smyth also added, “Today was a big day. We’ve waited years for this. The Fast Forward Eagle Class 53 finally hit the water, the wing up and all the sails up. It was a fabulous day with only three of us out there. It was like a dream come true”.