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Eco-friendly tourism in Seychelles

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Crusoe Craft, an all-African designed and built 18-foot exploration eco trimaran, was launched in Cape Town, South Africa, this week.

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Crusoe Craft, an all-African designed and built 18-foot exploration eco trimaran, was launched in Cape Town, South Africa, this week. Inspired by traditional East African outriggers, the Crusoe range occupies a much-ignored niche in small-craft sailing worldwide: that of the inshore waterman.

Suitable for day trips or long hauls, this durable tribrid electric/low emission four-stroke, folding exploration craft can be totally customized, through a variety of modular configurations, to suit the requirements of most recreational or professional inshore water-users. These include adventure sailors, fishermen, divers, surfers, kiteboarders, photographers, journalists, researchers, and more.

All three available boat options have been configured to the ultimate trailer load weight, allowing for incredible range for size on both on-road and long-range, off-road sojourns. The vessel load capacity of 360 kg comprises a maximum of 19 sealed options and 4 self-draining stowage areas, some of which are lockable. Accessories include a breathable deck tent, waterproof stretch tent, and photography, fishing, diving, and surfing rack solutions.

“Even the entry level craft has all the upgrade attachment points to enhance the boat’s capabilities for short or long undertakings,” explained Crusoe’s founder and MD, Guy Joubert.

Eco specs include the wide-beam, flat-hull profile and a fine entry bow, which produces very little wake. Tremendous reserve buoyancy and a shallow draft (230 mm unloaded and 280 mm fully loaded) further compliment inshore efficiency for sailing in lagoons and shallow rivers. Moreover, a virtually indestructible Teflon rubbing strip keel addition means the Crusoe Craft will survive the odd reef scrape and can be dragged up the beach or slipway when necessary.

When converted to 100% “green,” all Crusoe Craft can be outfitted with a Torqeedo electric hybrid outboard, the equivalent of a 6-8 hp outboard. A bank of 2 or 4 deep-cycle batteries drives the powerful but silent electric motor and a small, low emission Paguro 3000 diesel genset (housed midships) doubles up as a diesel electric motor or battery charger on longer trips. “Optimized for all sailing conditions, we expect speeds of up to 10–15 knots in strong winds and cruising speeds of around 6-10 knots due to her fine hull shape and reserve buoyancy,” furthered Guy. “There are also a variety of paddle and rowing solutions, and with the aft guiding platform the craft is ideal for our gondola-inspired paddle systems.”

Though the Crusoe Craft can take up to a 15 hp motor on open water, the boats are specified with a 9.9 hp 4-stroke Yamaha outboard, which is capable of outrunning waves when launching through surf. “However she will still slip along comfortably using an economical 4 hp 4-stroke engine, which is perfectly suitable for longer trips,” added Guy, “Crusoe is also virtually impossible to capsize due to her multi-hull configuration and easy short-handed sail design.”

The Crusoe 18ft Tri is the concept of Cape Town born adventurer and entrepreneur Guy Joubert and his design collaboration with Wayne Robertson of Wayne Robertson Yachts. An avid free-diver, surfer, and fisherman, and frequent visitor to East Africa, Guy has taken an ancient concept and refined it to suit the modern waterman. Wayne has been involved in the construction and design of many award-winning sailing vessels and multihulls ranging from 38’ to 62’ and also manufactures composite parts for the aviation industry.

“With the Prototype and our first two orders under construction, we plan to showcase our first boat on the water at the Miami boat show next year,” said Guy, “Interested parties are welcome to join me on a demo-tour of the Eastern Cape Garden route on a Crusoe Craft on request, to explore some of our lesser-known inshore treasures.”

The operation is being mounted with Seychelles partners Derek Savy from the Elite Club DMC (Destination Management Company). Alain St.Ange, CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, said that such projects have their rightful place in Seychelles because the eco and eco-friendly is just part of not only our tourism industry, but also of our way of life.

For full specifications, further info or dealer inquiries please visit http://www.crusoecraft.com .

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.