The Bull 9000
The Bull 9000 started life as a project for a UK Bull 7000 owner. It was ambitiously designed to have 3 different versions (race, racer/cruiser and charter). Using the same hull tooling, the Bull 9000 had different deck tooling and modes where the ballast, rig size etc was adjusted to suit its usage. Only the race version of the Bull 9000 was ever produced.
The Bull 9000 was designed to excell upwind and is a very powerful vessel. In its shorthanded debut in 1996, the Bull 9000 comfortably won the two handed short haul course with the designer at the helm. The Bull 9000 has moderate beam, freeboard and volume and has a genuinely nice interior for a race yacht. The massive cockpit is easy to work in and fully optimised to the JOG rule, the Bull 9000 is still very hard to beat.
The first Bull 9000 was rushed into the water and without any sea trialling it was on the pace from day one, in its first NZ regatta it showed its potential despite sails that not only fall apart at the seams, but were poorly designed, especially the off wind sails which unfairly demonstrated the "Bullsprits" potential downwind. Subsequent Bull 9000s had conventional spinnaker systems, although the first Bull 9000 still sails very successfully with the original bullsprit. A Bulgarian owned Bull 9000 has also sailed half way around the world on its own keel.
In 2005 the Bull 9000 UK sponsors business failed and the Bull 9000 project was given a new lease of life by Hart Marine in Melbourne. In 1996 the first Hart Marine built Bull 9000 “"Chief Sitting Bull”" won its first regatta in style and so started a very successful period for the Bull 9000 which has consistently won many major regattas in Australia including the Australian Super30 class several times. Recent results include winning the 2007 Hamilton island cruiser/racer division.