McConaghy MC50 Review

The TMG team have broken down the key elements of the Multihulls World review on the MC50 to give you the rundown on what people are saying about this yacht.


A newcomer that’s breaking all the rules

When a leading Australian manufacturer of racing prototypes (albeit one which is still little known among the yachting public) decides to position themselves with one of the leading naval architects in the cruising catamaran market, it demands attention. The entry-level craft in their range starts at 50’ and further models of 55’, 60’ and 90’ are expected. So there is an openly stated intention to get a foot in the door of the Multiyacht sector… by multiplying innovations! We were eager to discover these iconoclastic catamarans and report back on our initial thrills aboard the McConaghy 50.

Putting her to the test

Sailing aboard the MC50 is a new experience. First of all, there is the experience of discovering different, surprising and ultimately seductive ergonomics. The boat’s behaviour in light airs is a pleasant surprise! This is a big boat for its length so the contribution of the Yacht Controller (as standard!) is most welcome for manoeuvring in port. This remote control allows you to operate the engines and even one or two bow thrusters if the boat is equipped with them, from the helm-station or the cockpit. With a little practice, this imposing multihull can be manoeuvred in a small space! With the standard engines, the handling of the MC50 is perfectly satisfactory. These 4 cylinder, 2.2l, common-rail, direct injection motors develop 57hp with a consumption of 4 litres at 2,200rpm and 10 litres at 2,800rpm (maximum engine speed: 3,000rpm).


Battling the odds

Against all odds, I immediately got used to the driving position which, in the end, is more traditional than it appears. The two (superb wheels are position on either side of a generous deck plan assisted by 4 very large electric winches and the “all aft” position allows for an excellent view of the sails. Peripheral vision is fantastic!

We were to have little wind on the day of our test, but these conditions highlighted the excellent performance of the MC50 in light airs (5-10 knots true out of the south). Thanks to the super deep and fine centreboards, performance under generates dynamic support which favours good performances for such a large catamaran. The hydraulic helm is surprisingly directional, with no sensitive feedback, but it’s a real pleasure to use and there’s a good directional effect. Under the light conditions of our test, the results on the water were very satisfactory boat speed between 80-95% of true wind speed with a limousine such as this is a testament to the care taken with every aspect of the design.

The roundup

Jason Ker and McConaghy have put their signatures on an amazing multihull. The innovative and effective anti-leeway plan the quality of construction, the spectacular design, the reinvented ergonomics for handling the boat, and the high-end market positioning all aim to attract a trendy and wealthy international clientele. It could work: 5 units are already in production! The equipment choices, as with the seamanship aspects, are remarkable, and the performance in light airs is more than honourable. The refined interior design is attractive and the originality of the layout offers interesting modularity. All that remains is the work on the acceptability of a product that breaks all the rules to maintain the trend and to anchor the brand and concept in a fiercely competitive market.