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Maxiboat Without A Name - ( Article Credit - The Daily Sail )

[ 24 / 12 / 2004 ]
We speak to designer Greg Elliott and owner Charles Brown about their new wingmasted canting keel 100 footer

While the Volvo Ocean Race looks set to have six 70 footers on the start line, next year the 2005 Rolex Sydney-Hobart race will see eight, possibly as many as ten, 100ft supermaxis taking part. One of these is a new maxi that is currently nearing completion in Auckland.

The new 100 footer is being built for co-owners Bill Buckley and Charles Brown. Buckley is head of Buckley Systems, that describes itself as 'one of the worlds leading and most innovate precision Engineering and Nuclear physics companies'. He is a former New Zealand motorcycle champion and keen offshore sailor. Brown is a lawyer and Chairman of National Equity and PSB Group of Companies in New Zealand. He is also a highly accomplished offshore racer who has owned a string of boats, the most recent being the Davidson 65 Antaeus .


"She is the ultimate lady as they say," says Brown of his new boat. "We have pulled out all the stops to create the fastest monohull for her length."

100ft looks set to become a key length over the next few years with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia maintaining this as the maximum length limit but removing the maximum TCF speed limit for the 2005 Rolex Sydney-Hobart. Effectively in a year's time 'unlimited' 100 footers will be able to take part in the annual Boxing Day run south and aside from the new Kiwi maxi we can expect Neville Crichton's new CBTF Reichel-Pugh boat, currently under construction at McConaghys, to be in this same vein while the existing maxis such as Skandia and Konica Minolta are 'turboed'.

Brown and Buckley's new maxi is a design by Clay Oliver of Team New Zealand fame and Greg Elliott who caused a stir with his 50ft twin wingmasted schooner in the mid-1990s and has more recently been part of the design team that created Mari Cha IV .

The design brief was for an unlimited 100ft supermaxi that could be raced both offshore and around the cans and thus be an all-round performance with good upwind ability. "As we are not designing to any rule everything is based around what makes the boat fast and the only limiting factois are the safety issues and to make the boat qualify with the latest ISAF stability index," says Charles Brown.

Oliver and Elliott's expression of this has been a canting keel yacht with a multihull-style rotating wingmast arrangement. The boat has been built at Cooksons in Auckland and is currently being fitted out in the old Team New Zealand shed on the Viaduct Basin where she is expected at the end of January.

Compared to the Reichel-Pugh maxis the Kiwi boat has a lot more flair. "The boat is going to be sporting a rotating spar, so we were looking for a wider shroud base to support that spar," explains Greg Elliott. "I was also looking for more reserve stability in the hull so that when it was hard pressed it would gain volume. Sure, you get an increase in drag, but the stability goes up accordingly. It makes a drier boat and I believe it is a better boat at sea especially when you drive it hard because that flair gives you more lift instead of sinking and straight-lining it."

Alfa Romeo Bols Skandia Zana Morning Glory Genuine Risk Kiwi maxi
LOA 27.43m 28.3m 30m 30m 26.63m 27.4m 30m
LWL 24m 24.3m 25.4m 23.18m 25.53m 28.03m
Beam max 5.6m 6m 5m 5.25m 4.9m 4.45m 5.73m
Draft 4.4m 4.8m 4.5m 4.5m 5m 4.1/6.05m
Disp 22T 23T 26T 26.4T 21T 21.7T
Bulb weight 13.5T 14T 13.2T
Mast height (off deck) 32m 36m 38m 31.2m
Spar maker Southern Southern Applied Composites Southern Hall Southern Southern
Sail area (upwind) 402 425 379.6 402.65 420 520
Sail area (downwind) 663 1000 874.4 872.18 615 1200
Movable ballast 6T water 4.8T water Swing keel (+/-15deg) 5T water Swing keel Swing keel (+/- 50deg) Swing keel (+/- 45deg)
Extra appendages - Transom flaps - Trim tab on keel CBTF CBTF-type Single daggerboard
Builder McConaghy BoatSpeed Hart Marine Hakes Marine, NZ McConaghy McConaghy Cookson
Designer Reichel-Pugh Hugh Welbourne Don Jones Bakewell-White Reichel-Pugh Dubois Elliott/Oliver
Sail maker North Aus Doyle NZ Doyle Fraser Doyle NZ North San Diego North North NZ
Launch Aug-02 Mar-03 Oct-03 Nov-03 Dec-03 Mar-04 Jan-05
IRC rating 1.711 1.745 1.61 1.61

As the comparison table above show - she is the beamest of the 100(ish)ft maxis with the exception of Bols and comes with a metre more draft than Genuine Risk and a very scary acreage of sail.

Below the water there is a single rudder while the keel not only cants to 45 degrees but lifts as does the keel on Frank Pong's new Maiden Hong Kong . Elliott says the limiting factor to the canting angle is the amount of width available for the rams in the base of the hull. The keel is housed in an outer sleeve that allows the keel to lift while her twin hydraulic ram set-up cants the sleeve.

Elliott acknowledges that having the lifting mechanism is something of a compromise as it adds weight, but otherwise the draft would be prohibitive. Having an extra metre of draft one suspects would more than compensate for the weight penalty. The whole keel canting mechanism has been built in New Zealand.

To prevent leeway the Kiwi maxi is fitted with a single lifting daggerboard just forward of the mast.

Strangely we have still yet to see maxi boat designers realising the ability of movable internal water ballast to alter displacement to suit different weather conditions or to alter the fore and aft trim of the boat to make the boat, for example, bow out when surfing down big waves or stern out to reduce drag in light weather.

Above decks the rig strongly ressembles that of Mike Golding's Open 60 Ecover with fixed shrouds and a spar that can rotate through the use of hinged spreaders. Its main difference compared to Ecover 's rig is that there is less rigging and the tube itself is a larger wing section with a 700mm cord. Elliott says it is comparible to the rig on Ellen's B&Q Castorama trimaran.

Elliott has been designing monohulls with rotating wingmasts since the mid-1990s. Around the time Yves Parlier was fitting the first Open 60 with a multihull rig complete with deck spreaders to widen the shroud base, Elliott had launched a 50ft schooner fitted with twin wingmasts. The rig on the maxi is a sloop but similar to his five year old 45 footer Maverick (now sold to a European owner and named Outsider ).

"If you increase the speed of the boat, which you do with these larger yachts, then by getting the airflow attached from the leading edge of the spar is an advantage," says Elliott as to why they opted to fit a wingmast. "You are not dragging that spar through the air and the air doesn't have to reattach itself back to the sail 0.5m back from the leading edge as it does on a conventional spar. You will never see a multihull flying around without a conventional spar. With these large boats we are getting close to multihull speeds, so it gets even more critical to get a low drag-high lift sort of rig."

The boat is fitted with a 3m long bowsprit. This will be fixed when sailing, but removable in harbour.

In the cockpit there are three coffee grinders and the boat can be sailed manually on occasions when required. For example part of the 2005 program for the boat is to attempt a 24 hour monohull record as they sail up the Gulf Stream between Antigua and New York for the start of the Rolex Transatlantic Race. Otherwise all the winches for the main control lines - the main sheet, the primaries and the donkey winch for all the halyards and reefing lines - are hydraulic.

Around 18 crew will be needed to sail the boat around the cans, 14-15 offshore. Elliott points out that the advantage of having movable ballast is that you no longer need an army of crew to add weight on the weather rail. Crew is dictated by the number of human beings necessary to handle the sails. "The sails just weigh a lot. The mainsail is something like 280kg. You can't just pull it up..."

The crew has yet to be announced, but Charles Brown says that most of the top sailors in New Zealand have raced on his boats at some point and he has access to a wealth of top sailors. In the past Brown has sailed in Olympic classes and it is possible Bruce Kendall and Rex Sellars may feature among the crew, alongside a number of offshore and America's Cup sailors.

The boat is expected to launch at the end of January in Auckland where sea trials will take place before the boat is shipped to the States. Her first regatta will be Antigua Sailing Week, however the major objective in 2005 is the Rolex Transatlantic Race. Charles Brown reckons they are in with a chance of winning despite being up against Mari Cha IV , the clear favourite with a 40ft length advantage. If there is some upwind work, which is unlikely on this predominantly downwind course, they might be in with a chance.

Frank Pong's 118 footer Maiden Hong Kong is also expected on the start line, but Brown has his reservations about her. "Frank will have a bit of trouble because he has got tungsten in his keel and a canting rig, so I can't see how he will be an official entry. Even if he is we are pretty confident we can beat him easily anyway. This is pretty amazing technology we have developed associated with our keel. Our righting moment is very high, very light displacement and a rotating wingmast."

In the meantime the owners of the Kiwi maxi want to give their boat a name and are currently seeking sponsorship to the tune of 3.5 million Euros for a campaign that will include Antigua Sailing Week in April, the Rolex Transatlantic race, the Mediterranean maxi boat circuit and the Sydney Hobart. "We put up the money to build the boat and we supply the assets. So the naming I am leaving it until we have the opportunity to name it for a sponsor," says Brown.

 
Media Room Archives ...
[ 20 / 10 / 2006 ]

Thuraya Maximus Sights Set on Rolex Middle Sea ...........................................................................................................

[ read article ]
[ 10 / 10 / 2006 ]

Le Frustrazione della Trieste! ............................................................................................................................................

[ read article ]
[ 21 / 09 / 2006 ] Paul Cayard Joins Maximus .............................................................................................................................................. [ read article ]
[ 09 / 09 / 2006 ]

Blow Out The Cobwebs Not Batten Down The Hatches .................................................................................................

[ read article ]
[ 08 / 09 / 2006 ]

Spreading your Wild Oats .................................................................................................................................................

[ read article ]
[ 06 / 09 / 2006 ]

Maxi Worlds, Minimum Wind ..............................................................................................................................................

[ read article ]
[ 05 / 09 / 2006 ] More Light Conditions For Day Two .................................................................................................................................. [ read article ]
[ 04 / 09 / 2006 ]

Light Winds Make Heavy Work For Maximus ....................................................................................................................

[ read article ]
[ 03 / 09 / 2006 ] The Worlds Best Gather In Sardinia .................................................................................................................................. [ read article ]
[ 04 / 08 / 2006 ] An Interview With The Maximus Record-Breakers ........................................................................................................... [ read article ]

[ more archived news ]
 

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