High Performance Sailing Catamarans

About Raku

Raku is a range of cruising catamarans that began life as a series of concept sketches and renders in October 2008. The concept evolved into Raku 48 designed for Radim Zizka in 2011 and built in the Czech republic. We incrementally progressed the design concept and in 2016 we designed another Raku 48 for Troy Forrest, this time built on the Queensland Sunshine Coast.

It was in late 2019 that we felt confident we had all of the right fundamentals in place to create a range of cruising cats that would lay claim to a space that has been seriously overlooked by the bulk of the world's catamaran designers and manufacturers. 



That space was for a range of sleek, modern cruising cats that feature light weight, minimal windage, sleek modern styling, good load carrying capacity and excellent sailing dynamics; Features that would inspire long distance voyaging and long term live aboard cruising on the world's oceans and seas. 

It was a space we had already successfully explored with the Chincogan and Lightwave catamarans, and others before and after. A space that was ready for some fresh styling and some new ideas in construction that would allow greater design flexibility, and in most cases allow the cats to be built efficiently without the cost and infrastructure of a female moulded boat.

Raku Concept Model October 2008

The design work was a process taking the best ideas and technologies from our earlier designs including the two Rakus already built, and on creative thinking that would ensure the new designs would be up to the minute and well prepared for the journey into the future.

In the first half of 2020 we began to roll out the drawings, specifications and renderings for the range of cats we now call Raku 2020 to indicate these are new designs. In the future they will be simply know as Raku.

Raku 2020 is made up of six different models from 32' to 52' LOA, all built on comprehensive detailed electronic models.


We're in the process of creating plans, cutting files and design documentation for the Raku series and the process of incremental refinement in Raku design will continue as technologies evolve and as we get feedback from our customers and the professionals we work with.

With Raku we are confident that we have a range of cruising catamarans that will establish a benchmark in design well into the future for those who seek to travel at sea in multihulls.

Want to know more? Read on or email us with your questions. graingerdesigns@gmail.com

Tony Grainger, August 2020

Raku 48 Mint competing at Airlie Beach Race Week 2020. Mint was designed in 2016/17 and built on the Queensland Sunshine Coast. Raku 48 got some tweaks in the process of creating the Raku 2020 design range but otherwise the platform is the same.

Why Raku

Raku Construction

Most of the composite surfaces that build Raku are created quickly and efficiently with large CNC panels accurately manufactured to fit the boat and curved in only one plane.

We incorporate moulded surfaces for hull shoes and where they're important to Raku's unique style. Compounded hull forms give us the freedom to use our expertise in hull design to optimise performance and comfort at sea. 

Compounded forms (curved in two planes) in the decks and cabin enhance the style and help to define Raku as boat that has been designed and built with care and attention to detail.

Producing curved surfaces does not have to be complicated, expensive, or time consuming. Compounded shapes are formed by various means including strip planking and moulding panels over temporary forms using CNC panels with just a light laminate on one side of the core that is later reinforced with an additional laminate. 

The panels and hull shoes are all created with PVC cores, fibreglass skins, and epoxy resins. Carbon fibre is used in the rudders, daggerboards, chainplates, forebeam, bow prodder and structural beam caps.

Raku Style

 We travel in search of beauty and our mode of travel should be beautiful too. In design we work with sketching, sculpting and 3D modeling to create elegant designs that express the way we feel about the ocean environment and the freedom we inherent from the power of the wind. The style of Raku is more than a shell that's wrapped around the technologies and spaces that make it a sailing boat. And neither is it a form simply designed to suit a particular build process.

It's a form created in the process of integrating the living and working spaces, the construction methodologies, and the dynamics of an efficient sailing machine, especially the passage of water and wind over the surfaces we create

Raku's lines convey the pride we take in our work as designers, and the pride you take in the design you have chosen to sail.

Raku Performance

There's no experimenting needed in this quarter. Hulls from Grainger Designs have been performing at the pinnacle of design technology on the Australian racing circuit for more than thirty years. Our designs have been the preferred choice of many of Australia's leading racing skippers and their various trophy collections are drawn from the Brisbane to Gladstone Race, the Bay to Bay, Surf to City, Airlie Beach Race Week, Hamilton Island Race Week, Marlay Point Race and various other racing series including the Australian Multihull Championships which have been totally dominated by our designs over the last ten years or so.


Good hull designs is a matter of spending the time and effort to balance optimise the forms that affect performance and sea handling.

A well designed hull will have good pitch resistance, easy penetration of waves, low resistance in a range of conditions, and the right amount of buoyancy to float on its intended lines.

For more on this topic see the article Why Hull Shapes Matter

and this one: What makes Max Fast

Raku Engineering

Good engineering is critical to any transport vehicle. For a vehicle that functions at the interface of two very different and highly active fluids the engineering work is an exercise that must produce robust long lasting structures that are light, stiff, and don't cost too much to build.

Engineering is not just material science, it involves the geometry of the platform, determining the loads, and the way the loads are distributed throughout the structure.

 We work with structural considerations and engineering as an integral part of the design process, making use of the best available knowledge to find reliable cost effective solutions in the choice of materials and the engineering details that are critical to the structural integrity and longevity of the craft.

Custom engineering packages are available for CE compliance and other certification requirements.

A Platform for your own Creativity

We provide a range of interior layout options, but you're free to create your own so long as changes don't adversely affect the outer form or move the position of bulkheads and other components that are integral to the structure.

The bulkhead between the cockpit and the saloon provides two options. The first we call the "classic" with a fairly conventional opening that provides shelter and a range of o

ptions for the galley and settee arrangement. The second we call the "open layout". It features a wide opening between the saloon and cockpit, and it can feature a continuous floor between the two spaces if suitable drainage and reinforcement is provided for the wing deck structure.



Standard Raku has daggerboards but fixed fin keels can be fitted if preferred. 


The standard helm station is located aft, but can be moved forward onto the bulkhead if preferred, and tiller steering is an option on some models. The sail plan can be augmented by adding a taller rig, a longer bow prod, or a carbon rotating wing mast.


If Raku is not quite right for you, you are welcome to contact us about a custom design better suited to your vision.

CNC Panels for Raku Construction

A number of panel systems are available for Raku construction including the

Duflex kit system available from ATL Composites in Australia and VDL Composites in Germany. These kits are from 1.2m x 2.4m pressed pressed panels which are joined to full length on site using a convenient scarf join built into the panel.



Full length one piece CNC panels are also available in VE or epoxy resins. The panels can be up to 12110mm long to fit  a 40' container (Raku 40 is exactly 12m LOA). For longer hulls we can add a joining piece and make a rebate in the panel for the taping.

Make Raku Real

 Depending on your skills, your motivation and your financial resources you can build your own Raku with or without a kit, manage your own Raku project with your own employees and contractors, or commission a professional yard to bring your project to life.

You are welcome to contact us for advice on how to go about the project. Contact us for plans prices, kit prices, and for builders who may be able to price a custom build.




Raku Builder Support

Every set of plans comes with a Copy of the Guide to Yacht Construction in PDF format

Our goal is to create pathways that simplify the process, and we welcome feedback suggestions from our builders to help us know what kind of experience you are having in the build process.

If something in the plans is not clear or you have a suggestion for improvements in our documentation we encourage you to get on the phone or send an email to let us know.

Raku 48 Mint sailing on the Queensland Sunshine Coast