MC50 Revealed at the factory

In February 2018 John Cowpe went to the McConaghy factory in Zhuhai, China, to take an in-depth look at the dream performance MC50, before it is shipped to Europe.

John explains, “McConaghy has an amazing pedigree for building high quality, strong, racing boats. We went to inspect the interior of hulls 1 and 2, as they’re targeting the luxury end of the market – and what we saw did not disappoint.

“What was impressive with the fit and finish, was that there was no sign of any fibre glass in the interior, it’s all finished, upholstered and detailed to a high level. The door framing, the doors and handles, the headboards… the whole package has come together beautifully with the help of Design Unlimited.


“Partnering with Design Unlimited to do the final finish (the design, feel and look of the materials used on the vessel) was a masterstroke. The concept of the boat puts it in a position that not many other cat producers in the world sit in. There are a lot that sit in the ‘high volume, value for money, comfortable’ quadrant; but very few sit in the ‘sporty performance, high quality, luxury’ quadrant. This sets it apart from most other offerings on the market.

“What will ensure the success of the vessel are the ways in which it differentiates itself over any other cat in the world. One of the most obvious of these differences is the flybridge. This could be described as the first connected flybridge in a catamaran. The flybridge itself is wrapped around over the top of the aft deck. You have twin carbon steering wheels, which are a McConaghy icon and a nod to the high performance aspect of vessel.


“There is wrap around seating for your guests, who can look down into and feel a sense of connection with the opulent saloon. And skylights in the roof add to that connection to the entertaining area below. The stairs leading up to the flybridge are beautifully constructed clear coat carbon with courtesy lights showing the way.

“At the aft of the platform is the tender lift system which creates a really nice flow on effect from the saloon to the open aft deck that can be lowered into the water and used as a beach platform when relaxing at anchor.

“The saloon itself is very open. There are no pillars obstructing the way to the back deck. Instead, there is a strong carbon frame across the aft of the vessel. Normally you can’t have doors that open as wide as the saloon on a 50ft because of the strength needed, but McConaghy has used a carbon frame across the back that takes the stress, to allow for fully sliding doors that appear frameless and open right up to either side. This allows for uninterrupted views when closed, or for easy passage way.

“The indoor/outdoor feel of the boat is accentuated by side windows in the saloon which slide all the way forward. So you can be sitting in the saloon, going fast under sail, with the feeling of being in a New York apartment. A lovely combination of speed and luxury.


“The boat is all controlled from sexy carbon wheels. And it is easy to sail fast or short handed with a self tacking headsail, with the mast further aft, and an easy to reach boom.

“Traditionally when you try to move the mast aft in a yacht, you need a compression post. Jason Kerr and McConaghy have designed a solution to that – the mast on this boat does not come down into a compression post into the saloon. Instead, at the top of the post is a ball and socket which then goes to a compression post angled forward out of the saloon, not taking up space. The forces are triangulated in a clever engineering solution. This really opens the boat up, allowing for a huge saloon for a 50ft yacht.

On John’s second visit to the factory, clients commented on the “…high end feel of the saloon, and the way they integrated the galley with a huge island bench to great effect. There are a lot of seating and relaxing areas. It works incredibly well.”

In the 3 cabin version, John noted the quality of the finishing touches – “In the master cabin in the starboard hull, they have used walnut and light materials, giving a sense of richness and high quality.

“Hull 2’s master cabin has a seating area, a good sized double bed and shower forward, and is very nicely finished. It will be completed with light oak, but we have a number of choices and colour pallets from Design Unlimited for clients to choose from.”


John notes that the M50 is not as cavernous as pure cruising cats, which is a nod in the direction of speed you get with this boat.

“The challenge with this vessel for the design and build teams was to achieve an acceptable weight ratio so it would be a beautifully performing boat while carrying with it the lux fit out.

“To achieve this they have used lots of carbon in the build, a material that McConaghy are famed for as world innovators in carbon construction. And the wood used is all incredibly light as it’s foam filled. This creates an interior with a beautiful feel, that still gets a tick for performance.”

If you’d like to take a look yourself, MC50 hull 1 will be shown at La Grande Motte in April, and then at the Cannes Yachting Festival in September. Contact us for more information.