New models with distincticely chined hulls, twin rudders or even foils
boot Düsseldorf is the shop window for the sailing industry. Where all the latest innovations can be examined is an excellent place to observe the current trends, including the trendiest and newest yachts.
When it comes to modern yacht design, “new” always seems to be an advantage New models and new trends attract the greatest attention – a number of years ago, for example, distinctive chine frame patterns were introduced in the rear section of the hulls of sailing yachts: a consequence of the particularly wide sterns, copied like so many other things from the Open 60 class – these are the boats that are sailed round the world in the „Vendée Globe“ non-stop, single-handed competition. The chine pattern was introduced here to guarantee more stability at high speeds.
Hull shapes with sex appeal Although it goes without saying that even modern, sporty family yachts do not necessarily race across the Antarctic Ocean at speeds of more than 20 knots, this hull shape definitely looks sexy. And it has another advantage that is considerably more relevant to us: much more space at the rear end of the boat, i.e. in cockpit as well as in the lockers (if there are any) and the aft cabins. This is currently being demonstrated by the new Solaris 55, a splendid yacht that is being exhibited for the first time anywhere in the world at boot 2017!
Twin rudders and dual helm stations Another consequence of these wide sterns is the twin rudder, which is almost typical in the meantime. We are also seeing dual controls in the cockpits more and more frequently in yachts – for a good reason. It simply improves life on board when sailing – best windward and leeward place for the helmsman – and in the port – clear passage between the wheels from the stern to the companionway.
Bang on course even at high speeds The twin rudders – each of which is smaller – underwater have the advantage that they keep the ship on the right course more reliably at high speed and that the leeward rudder in particular continues to work effectively, while a rudder located in the middle projects far out of the water and very quickly becomes inefficient. We are familiar with this from earlier generations of very wide sailing yachts: the normal consequence of this is a tendency to broach. The boat gets out of control, because the rudder no longer works, and heads towards the wind in uncontrolled fashion.
Bow and stern thrusters for greater manoeuvrability For every advantage there is a disadvantage. In the case of twin rudders, manoeuvrability when motoring is what is affected. A ship can be turned most effectively and within the smallest of spaces when the propeller engages the rudder directly. This is not possible with twin rudders. On modern and, in particular, larger yachts, this is compensated for by bow thrusters – to an increasing extent combined with stern thrusters, so that these yachts can be docked at right angles to the direction of the ship – almost like a ferry – at least when there is not much wind.
Many developments start on racing yachts Foils are the latest example of ongoing developments in competitive sailing. The sailing boat quite literally flies over the water with them. What was initially developed for brief sprints in sheltered waters – in the America’s Cup, for example – is now used in the open sea too: the fastest boats in the above-mentioned Vendée Globe competition already have wings that project out of the side of the hull. For practical reasons – docking with the ship alongside? – it can hardly be expected, however, that all our yachts designed for recreational sailing will be taking off in the near future. Foils have, on the other hand, already started to affect the lives of normal sailors: not only in the highly experimental Moth class, those small but fast dinghies that are in widespread use all over the world, but also to an increasing extent in somewhat larger Funboats – one example of this is the small but very innovative shipyard Quantboats in Switzerland. Let us see at the current and future boot trade fairs how this trend develops!
Customers are becoming more demnading It is a fact that we have an enormous range of different boats nowadays, in all sizes and areas. As the demands made by customers increase, so the challenges that have to be faced by designers, technicians and shipyards are of course increasing as well, however. Three impressive yachts – the Solaris 55, the X6 from X-Yachts and the Bavaria C57 (the new flagship from the Giebelstadt shipyard in Germany) – in particular are demonstrating at boot how well-prepared the experts are to tackle the challenges.
What do they have in common? Clear lines, functional, efficient, no fuss. A tendency towards cool understatement, but with distinctive designs as well as close attention to the many details, so that such yachts can also be controlled as simply as possible by their crews. So simple handling is the mission, made possible not just by technology but also by clever deck and cockpit design. These clear, tidy decks and cockpits, implemented in exemplary fashion on all three yachts, lead to greater safety and comfort on board.
State of the art in technological feasibility It is no surprise in this context that the designer of the large, new Bavaria C57, Maurizio Cossutti, is well-known in his home country primarily for designing fast regatta yachts. So here too: straight stem, straight and wide stern in addition to rigging with a self-tacking jib, for example. Bow and stern thrusters for simple manoeuvring. Like on the X6 and the Solaris 55, a fold-out stern that turns into a large swimming platform and starting ramp for the dinghy stored there. Versatility is an essential criterion for modern yachts. In other words: the ships are supposed to sail fast and well, i.e. “function” at sea, while providing the desired living space on and under the deck in the port afterwards – racing yacht and holiday flat at one and the same time as far as is possible.
New-generation yacht This concept is implemented impressively on the X6, which – after all – comes from a direct line of many internationally successful racing yachts. Designer and shipyard boss Niels Jeppesen made X-Yachts famous in the 1980s and 1990s primarily by creating numerous series yachts that won trophy after trophy. The new X6 is not a puristic racing yacht either; it is a new-generation yacht instead. Perfect solution: the handling of a very large yacht (length: almost 20 metres), that could be controlled by two people. Niels Jeppesen puts it in a nutshell: “This yacht once again has pure X-DNA!” What he means – and what is certainly true – is this: it is a thoroughly modern product, a yacht that takes appropriate and optimum advantage of all the technical solutions that are available at the present time and that is as a result the leader in every respect – like the previous X-yachts in preceding years were.
Experience yachts live at the boot Düsseldorf and compare The smallest of the three modern “universal yachts” presented here as examples is the Solaris 55, as mentioned above. It too features thoroughly modern, straightforward and clear styling. It too could be sailed by two people and it too has such core features as large deck and cockpit areas, a dinghy garage in the stern, bright and spacious but variable interior design. And best of all: you can experience all three of these remarkable yachts live at boot and compare them with each other directly! (Text: Detlef Jens)