PlayStation makes speedy Atlantic crossing

For 24-hour-run world-record holder (580 miles, a 24 knot average speed) PlayStation, a radical Morrelli & Melvin-designed catamaran (105 feet long, 60 feet wide), the challenge is to go fast and stay together. Playstation will make another attempt at the trans-Atlantic record.

Famous ballooning and sailing adventurer Steve Fossett and crew are currently on standby in Newport, RI, waiting for a suitable weather window to arise for another attempt at the West-to-East NY-UK TransAtlantic record (6d 13h 32s).

Fossett and meteorologist Bob Rice advised the crew there would be no record wind patterns developing in the six days before July 24 and PlayStation should remain in Newport on Code Red departure Status. The delivery trip to New York will wait until the weather prognosis is more specific.

An attempt was recently made to break the record for a trans-Atlantic sail crossing. While he didn’t set a new record, his 105' catamaran, made an extremely fast crossing that left him very pleased. Among his crew on this voyage was Chuck Hawley, West Marine’s vice president of technical information.

The crossing from New York harbor to Lizard Point, UK, took place May 14-22, 2000. The official time was 7 days, 13 hours, 38 minutes and 6 seconds. “It has been a very satisfying trip—not quite the result we had hoped for—but we did sail across the Atlantic faster than most! We are only one of six boats to cross in less than 8 days,” said Fossett, who served as skipper.

He commissioned PlayStation to help expand the performance limits of sailing craft. “Our objective was to build and sail the fastest ocean-going yacht in history,” said Fossett. He plans to use the boat to challenge several sailing speed records. In addition, his Atlantic crossing time qualifies him for “The Race,” a non-stop race around the world for sailboats that will begin December 31, 2000.

Based on an advanced design by noted multi-hull architects Gino Morrelli and Pete Melvin of San Diego, California, PlayStation was built at Cookson Boats in New Zealand. The hull is lightweight carbon fiber and the sails are spectra, kevlar and carbon fiber laminates. The boat achieves speeds of more than 35 knots.
West Marine’s Chuck Hawley was contacted shortly before the voyage to fill an open crewmember slot. He and other crewmembers rotated duties during the voyage, which included standing watch, steering, reefing and changing sails, cooking and keeping the boat at top speed on its journey across the north Atlantic Ocean.
For more information on Fossett’s sailing speed records and his renowned long-distance ballooning trips, visit