Two ideas spawn one result, or is that question?
by John Curnow on 14 Feb
Oceanis Yacht 62 Vicsail Sydney http://www.vicsailsydney.com.au
Previously we have looked at the significant changes occurring in the cruising vessel market. Whilst rallies now have awards for fastest passage, and that in and of itself is creating more than enough of a stir, larger and larger craft are hitting the water. They are purpose-designed for two-handed, or certainly short-handed sailing, and offer apartment like interior space. It is utterly amazing…
Specifically, we first had One lump or two?
, and then there was Getting Bigger
- one of which from the latter just took out the Euro Luxury Cruiser of the year. Namely Beneteau’s semi-custom Oceanis Yacht 62, and it is priced from under €600,000. Bavaria’s C57 has just been shown for the first time and is their biggest boat to date and has a voluminous interior and tremendous sailing spec sheet in comparison to its rivals. However, with the R55 now taking their powerboat offerings into hitherto unforeseen territories, you can imagine that the yard with all the technology in the world will soon jump over 60 feet, as well.
Some have been doing it for some time now, think Amel 64, Swan and Oyster, and others not so long (CNB 76, X6, and Solaris), yet now everyone is rushing in to a market (55-80’) that sells 120 boats p.a. – globally!!! And then there are the multis with Gunboat, Tan, HH and so on, and their build/sale numbers to date make the monos look positively gargantuan.
Awesome design from architects, industrial and interior designers, even folk associated with powerboats appears to be de rigueur now. Oh yeah, and the underwater thing is taken care of by renowned naval architects, so it goes as well as it looks, perhaps even better!
Sailing without crew, certainly most of the time, seems to be paramount. This necessitates gear to run all the systems, which will be vast, extensive and sizeable, so as to contend with the loads and usage. This tech means you will have downtime at some point, hopefully when you have flown back to work, but you cannot get away with the fact that there is every chance a full-time Nigel will be required, and if they are not with you on board, then you’ll have to fly them etc. So yes, there will be costs for your express journeys to relaxation, entertainment and fun.
OK. So the bigger, or is that huge boats, certainly start to offer unbelievable space and the construction methods offer an internal vastness that was not available from materials and techniques even as little as a dozen years ago – well certainly at a respectable price. They have dash, comfort and ride, too.
Ah huh, but now cats and tris (the Pterodactyls), are hammering around the place, point well, and earlier safety concerns have been overturned (pun fully intended BTW), with monos now suffering the stigma. So if monos have got bigger in the chase for pace, then the multis have got more radical, and to my eye at least, way sexier. True, it was not hard, but vessels from the new crop are not pigs with lipstick. They are catwalk models in their own right.
You cannot argue with a multi for the time at the destination. The space, shallow draft, living space, variety of offering, all rooms with a view (and headroom), and so on is a real boon. Now they go like stink to boot. Ultimately, whether it is one lump or two, as we have said before, no matter what you do, after 15 knots you be totally GABO (Got A Bit On), you’ll be wet (to varying degrees depending on the type of craft), so too for all your gear, be checking your 24-hour runs (recently François Gabart set 778nm for a multi and Alex Thomson was 536nm for a mono, BTW, with single-handed used on purpose), and also running watches based on experience and ability to drive and trim successfully.
The drinks will get spilled at anything past eight knots, and food will be sucked out the stern with gusto, just like the serviettes you wanted to give everyone, as the apparent builds and builds. For information’s sake, the guys above averaged 32.4kts and 22.37kts, respectively! Perhaps these craft will all end up like all the über SUVs, such as GLE63, X5M, and Cayenne Turbo S? Every now and then you’ll give it the beans, subsequently ooh and ahh in utter expletives, as you marvel at their supreme awesomeness, but by and large you’ll be doing 40km/h on the school run like everyone else. Time will tell…
So yes, there are plenty of questions out of it all. Is the answer simply, go yachting?! Well certainly if your budget is in this bracket then you and your guests will have a wicked time. Please ensure you consider all the associated costs, timing issues and overall skills you will require. In this way, your pleasure will be maximised, and that really is the final statement on it all, or certainly should be.
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