The hulls of the Diam 24 One Design may be white, but the boat is a black sheep in the sportboat flock. As an alternative to 20-something keelboat lookalikes, our 2017 Boat of the Year and Best Multihull is an overdue addition to the one-design menu. The judges’ choice for overall winner was unanimous. “This is the first time in many years where a boat that looked really sexy at the dock actually outperformed everything on the water too,” says judge Tom Rich, a veteran boatbuilder. The sensation of wind and water rushing beneath the Diam’s trampoline is an experience that will leave first-timers wondering what took them so long to try a multihull.
“It’s designed to be technically accessible and not too complicated to sail,” says Duncan Ross, who represents the Diam 24 One Design’s French builder, ADH Inotec. “The systems are simple. It’s built for racers looking for something a little more exciting but [who] want strict one-design racing.”
If Ross’ pitch sounds appealing, you’ll be into it for $60,000. The boat is delivered with everything required for class racing, including all the cordage, the anchor, the Torqeedo 3HP, three sails and a launching trolley. Simplicity is everywhere in the boat: The 258-square-foot full-batten main is on a Spectra knot-lock halyard, the roller furling genaker halyard is on a constrictor and is snaked in a bag on the trampoline when stowed. The single self-tacking jib sheet led to the forward end of the cockpit.
The Diam 24 One Design is new to the United States for 2017, but it’s been on the European multihull scene since 2014. Production of the 1,100-pound VPLP-designed and polyester-built hulls started in 2014 with 25 boats. The Tour de France à la Voile sailing circuit ditched its monohulls and anointed the Diam 24 One Design its official boat in 2015, which spawned another 30. Thirty more are on deck for the 2017 edition, and new and used boats now reside in six countries.
Ross brought one demo to the States in mid-2016 to pique American interest, and he had the judges’ attention as he briefed them on details of the boat. “Its sweet spot in 12 knots of wind is 13 knots uphill and 15 knots down,” says Ross. “It’s not designed to go 35. It’s not meant to be radical. Just fast, simple, safe and fun.”
The Diam 24 One Design is engineered to come together quickly — it’ll take less than an hour from fully dismantled to sailing, says Ross. Two people are required to mount the wave-piercing floats onto the main hull. After that, lock down four toggles, attach the trampoline at four places, sleeve the two-piece carbon rig, crank it skyward on a winch, strop the shrouds, bend on the sails, and go.
And go the Diam 24 One Design did when the judges hooked into a 10-knot wind streak during their light-air sail. With significant rocker in the main hull, the judges felt that the bows swept through tacks well in light air. There is sufficient buoyancy in the wave-piercing bows, allowing the boat to track with no flex in the platform when going through motorboat wakes. “The boat was dynamite to sail,” says judge Chuck Allen. “The long cockpit in the center hull lets you sit comfortably in the middle of the boat if you have to, and it feels a bit like a sportboat in that way. But in real breeze, you’re going to be sitting out there on the float and loving it.”
While unsure of the American sailing market’s embrace of this foreign one-design, the judges felt the package itself presented perfectly. Sailing is supposed to be fun, the judges said, and it will be with the Diam 24 One Design.
Boat of the Year + Best Multihull
Diam 24 One Design
The judges liked:
Three to Four
Price as tested