The recent generation of sailing superyachts marries luxury and performance.
Designers and builders of sailing yachts greater than 100 feet (30.4 meters) are being tasked with creating vessels that not only are beautiful, comfortable and safe, but also achieve a high level of sailing performance. The proliferation of international superyacht regattas has upped the ante for owners who not only like their yachts luxurious, but also like to best their competition on the race course. These events are proving sufficiently enticing and infectious to woo newcomers and maintain regulars year after year. Never intended to be for the hard-core racer, superyacht regattas traditionally offered owners camaraderie, fun and friendly competition. Today though, “efficiency” and “performance” are key words for the latest launches as well as those on the drawing board.
New Zealand’sAlloy Yachts has delivered a number of vessels that fit this category. It recently launched the 144-foot (43.9-meter) Encore (full report this issue). Next will be Mondango, a 185-foot (56.4-meter) Dubois-designed performance ketch with a stunning Reymond Langton interior. Mondango is for a repeat client with expected delivery of fall 2013.
Baltic Yachtsof Finland recently launched the 107-foot (32.7-meter) Inukshuk, with naval architecture by German Frers. Summer sea trials were expected to prove how well this very light carbon composite boat with carbon rig performs. Adam Lay Design created the elegant, contemporary interior, utilizing oak as the primary wood in the raised salon, master suite and two forward guest cabins. “This is not the largest yacht that Baltic has built, but in detail and quality of build, it is their best so far,” says Nigel Ingram, one of the two principals of Marine Construction Management (MCM), project manager for the build.
Next year, Danish Yachts will launch a Hugh Wellborn-designed, all-carbon-fiber model called the Infiniti 100S—a 100-foot (30.5-meter) high-performance yacht with a patented Dynamic Stability System. The 100S has a Scandinavian-inspired interior by Design Unlimited. This is the stretched version of the 36 Infiniti, which was launched last spring and successfully sea-trialed in Palma de Mallorca this past summer.
In 2012, Fitzroy Yachtsin New Zealanddelivered the 163-foot (49.6-meter) Dubois-designed, performance sloop Ohana to her European owner, who participated in the 2013 Millennium Cup. While she was built mainly for charter, the expectation was that she would achieve a high level of performance. The company also has a 121-foot (36.9-meter) fast-cruising sloop scheduled for delivery in 2014.
Holland Jachtbouw of the Netherlands delivered the exquisite redesign of the 1934 J-Class Rainbow, with naval architecture by Dykstra Naval Architects, to an owner who campaigned her at the a J-Class event in the U.K. last year, the St. Barths Bucket this past spring and the Palma Superyacht Cup in June.
Maxi Dolphin of Italy just launched the Finot-Conq-designed Nomade IV, a 100-footer (30.5-meter), for a French owner. Maxi Dolphin claims she is the fastest 100-footer in the world. She has a hull and superstructure built entirely of carbon fiber and Nomex. With a powerful rig and only 51 tons of displacement, she may be fast indeed. Her racy profile includes a prominent hard chine running from bow to stern, a lifting keel and twin rudders. She sports a modern minimalist interior designed by Pierre Forgia.
Oy Nautor AB, the Finnish producer of luxury yachts, famous for its Swan series of fiberglass performance yachts, launched eight new Swan Maxis over the course of 2012, with the milestone being Freya, a 90-footer (27.4-meter) that was the builder’s 2,000th launch. The company has created new molds for a 105-foot (32-meter) series. Hulls are under construction and the first is due to be launched in 2014.
Italy’s Perini Navi launched State of Grace in early 2013. The yacht is the first of its 131-foot (30.9-meter) Fast Cruising Series, designed in collaboration with Ron Holland and built at the Perini Navi Istanbul/Yildiz shipyard in Turkey. Constructed of aluminum and featuring just 220 tons of displacement, she is geared toward performance. Perini launched Seahawk, the first of two in the 60-meter (197-foot) series, and stepped her mast, but has not yet delivered her. The builder recently turned the hull of the first in Perini’s 70-meter (230-foot) series.
Netherlands builder Royal Huisman launched two yachts in 2012, both of which have been cruised extensively by their owners, but until now have never before been publicized. They are the 122-foot-5-inch Pumula (37.3-meter), reviewed in this issue, and the 181-foot (55.2-meter) Kamaxitha. Both are expected to test their performance prowess at the 2014 St. Barths Bucket. Under construction at the yard is the 142-foot (43.3-meter) Blue Papillon, designed by German Frers/Rhoades Young. Two projects are in their early stages: a 152-foot (46.4-meter) Hoek/Redman Whiteley Dixon design, and a 156-foot-4-inch (47.7-meter) Hoek /Rhoades Young design.
Southern Wind Shipyard in South Africa builds a series of composite performance cruisers in various lengths. Last year, it launched its S102 (103 feet/31.4 meters), Almagores II, which is the result of teamwork between Farr Yacht Design and Nauta Design. Hevea, a sistership, was launched this summer and another is scheduled for 2014.
Vitters Shipyard of the Netherlands launched Inouï this past summer. Built for an owner who likes to take the helm, this eye-catching, lime-green 108-foot (32.9-meter) performance sloop with naval architecture by Philippe Briand and interior by Andrew Winch, had her hull and superstructure constructed at Green Marine in the U.K. Her specs, which include a carbon hull, a lifting keel, a lightweight interior and a high-roach main, are bound to boost performance.
Italy’s Wally Yachts, always ahead of the design curve, last year introduced the exceptional 165-foot-7-inch (50.5-meter) Bill Tripp–designed A Better Place, the world’s largest carbon-fiber sloop, with a modern interior by Wetzels Brown Partners. She looks incredible and sails fast. Additionally, Wally launched Hamilton, the first of the 100-foot (30.5-meter) high-performance WallyCento sloops,which Wally President and Founder Luca Bassani Antivari says “cruises at the speed of a high-level Maxi racer.”
Yachting Developmentsof New Zealand last year launched the 100-foot (30.5-meter) Quintessential (Q5), one of the largest composite catamarans in the world with a 48-foot beam. Her naval architecture is by Warwick Yacht Design, her interior is by Redman Whiteley Dixon, and her project manager is MCM. During sea trials, her speed was recorded at 14 knots in 12 knots of true wind. Even in the slow, relaxed ethos of sailing, an owner’s desire to push his yacht and sail faster than a friendly rival clearly is gaining priority.