Thursday, December 13, 2018


Some years ago, when I saw the drawings of this boat, designed by Maarten Voogd and proposed by a Dutch shipyard, one specialized on old school classic sailingboats, I thought: Wow! Beautiful…but one of those boats that are never going to reach the water.

I am very glad to have been wrong. The boat is on the water and it is absolutely gorgeous with a beautiful cruising interior too. It is going to make someone very happy and it is a pity the price is so high, otherwise it could make a lot more people happy, myself included. I am not saying that the boat is expensive considering the quality and the materials used, what I am saying is that such a boat is necessarily very expensive. Dreams are expensive LOL.

And this was the dream boat of the designer, Maarten Voogd that says about it: “I designed this boat on spec for myself. My brief to myself was more speed, so I could do the occasional medium distance race, and more comfort, so I can sail with my family.”

It was important to be able to sail the boat shorthanded, and that she handled easily…. so I added 750 litres of water ballast per side with additional 250 litres in the aft corner each side for downwind trim…… The biggest surprise is the actual feel of the boat,” adds Voogd. “It feels so much bigger than a 42-footer, very stiff in structure and sailing behaviour. It’s a real blast, downwind as well as upwind. So far we have achieved 20 knots of boatspeed on the IJsselmeer in 20-25 knots of TWS.”
The builder is Maarten’s best friend, van Daal and that explains the mystery of this boat being made on a classic boat’s shipyard. He says: “It’s delivering so much more than even we expected. Everytime Maarten Voogd joins us for a sail, he says the boat keeps on surprising him. 

In 30 knots of wind you never hear anything in the boat, it’s completely quiet, which is quite rare for a carbon boat. It’s so stiff, that’s one of the things we’re so happy about. Maarten said ‘I’ve built lots of boats, but never with this level of quality,’ which was a great compliment.”

For a perfect boat, perfect building methods and materials: “We CNC milled the frames, plated them and fixed Corecell foam to that, then we laminated the outer skin with pre-soaked carbon fibre, vacuumed it, and the carbon inner skin was vacuum-injected. Both skins have 0.8mm of carbon, two layers, and there are unidirectional carbon fibre reinforcements in specific areas. There is a web frame under the floor with 30 layers of carbon that supports the keel”. 

And a perfect design: Length:12.70; beam: 4.10m; draft: 2.40m with a torpedo keel; 46% B/D. No wonder the boat has a HUGE stability and can support a big sail area that makes it not only very fast but able to sail with very light winds. Don’t miss the video with the Etap, both sailing in light winds.

I like the interior that is fully customizable. If it was for me I would just add an upper central long handhold and a folding table around that mast but these are only details. The interior is of great quality and very light being the “wood” in fact cored to save weight and increase strength. 

The engine is electric but although the boat is very light, 10kw are too little, except for docking maneuvers or moving on flat water. However the system is probably autonomous in what regards energy. 

The motor works as a hydrogenerator when sailing over 5kt and that means almost all the time on this boat and due to the easy boat speed the generated energy, stored on a 8kWh Lithium-ion battery pack, will be probably enough. 

Maybe that system can be boosted doubling the battery pack, putting solar panels on the deck and increasing the power of the engine. It would be wonderful to have an autonomous sailboat with a decent engine performance, when needed and not only for short day sails. 

I really like this one, I like the design, I like the way it sails with almost no wind, I like the overall performance, the huge stability, including reserve stability. This is one that would be on my short list if I won the lottery, because costing over 600 000 euro without tax, it is really an unattainable dream. But is it not what most dreams are about?

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