How it all began ...
My vision was to build a boat ...
... that offers maximum safety, is easy to transport, and combines several kinds of sport. I also wanted the boat to be manufactured industrially in order to manufacture at a consistently high quality and to keep the price at a low level.
I was in the lucky position of owning a successful company - SANO GmbH (www.sano-stairclimbers.com) - and in 2007 I was able to hand over the helm to my managing director. As a result, it was possible for me to invest all my energy in the development of the XCAT. I have had the vision for this boat for a long time. It all started when I trained for my yacht sailing licence on Lake Mondsee in Austria in 2001.
You have to be driven by enthusiasm to develop things that enthuse others
I was completely obsessed with sailing. It is awesome the way a sailboat accelerates as soon as the wind reaches it. But I could see disadvantages too. Sailing is only great when the wind is perfect - not too light and not too strong.
I soon arrived at the point where I had to decide: should I buy a boat, or rent one? However, neither option was really satisfying for me. Either you have to pay for expensive moorings and annual maintenance and you are stuck in the same lake, or you rent a different boat each time and have to continuously adapt to a new setup. Then of course there is the next classic problem: you plan a weekend on the water, get there and there is no wind. Or the area is not suitable for sailing all the time. You would still like to take a boat out on the water though and take some exercise.
The design task: develop a boat that does not exist yet
Safety was also a big issue. Unsinkable would be ideal. Stable in the water - not susceptible to tipping.
These considerations finally led to a list of design specifications that defined how my ideal boat would look. And as the designer/engineer, I have always tried to put myself in the customers position to understand how the ideal boat for you would look. With the XCAT it was really easy, because I wanted to have a boat like this myself and there was nothing like it on the market that covers all these factors.
If true innovation were so easy, then everybody would do it
It turned out to be quite difficult to take all these specifications into consideration. First of all there was the forwards rowing requirement. Since 1920, numerous patents have been registered for forwards rowing systems, but none of them offered a serious solution for feathering the oar blade. Row&Sail has built a small but motivated development team. Following three design ideas and 4 actual prototypes, we found the perfect solution – RowVista® – forwards rowing with awesome rowing performance including manual feathering at any time without losing power.
At the same time we were working on an unsinkable, rugged and twist-resistant boat with solid hulls (we dispensed with the inflatable idea from the start - we didn't want to build a dirigible). On top of that it needed to be quickly assembled and no individual part should weigh more than 17.5 kg so that really anybody can carry it, even on their own.
The XCAT Sail option came afterwards. That was a real challenge: It should be able to be installed without tools and fit the basic boat without any kind of modification. In addition, it should be easy to sail so that even beginners can handle it without fear. Other obligatory requirements were that it could be rigged quickly and is able to cope with a strong wind.
Finally we managed it and now proudly present the XCAT – the Multi-Sport-Catamaran.
Industrial series production for consistently high quality
To manufacture the hulls of the XCAT we developed and built machinery ourselves. As a result we at Row&Sail are currently the only company worldwide that can produce a hull in an industrial process with an expanded polyprophylene (EPP) core inside an impact-resistant high density polyethylene (HD-PE) shell. The foam core and outer shell of the XCAT, polyprophylene and polyethylene, are also very easy to recycle.
The advantages of industrial production are clear: we can start up production at any time and achieve consistently high quality.
Production and development in Austria
At our headquarters in Lichtenberg bei Linz in Austria we get a buzz from our daily work of innovating and manufacturing new products.
The best people make the best products. Our people are dedicated to the details and are enthusiastic about making the very best product.