A New Twist on a Classic
This time of year is always stimulating for the yachting industry with several high-profile shows to pique our interest.
First up is the Southampton Boat Show in mid-September, followed rapidly by the Monaco Yacht Show two weeks later. There are the usual upgrades and technology tweaks around these events, but it is always gratifying to come across something that makes the event worthwhile. With four weeks still to go until the doors open at Southampton, there is one launch that is already inked into my diary, the Spirit DH63, a 19.2m yawl sailing yacht designed for cruising and racing in the UK and Caribbean.
There is always something classic and iconic about hand-crafted wooden yachts, and this one also has some intriguing features. The basic spec of a 110hp Yanmar engine that delivers a maximum speed of 9 knots and a cruising speed of 8 knots, with a cruising range of 820Nm, is paired with carbon spars and nitronic rod rigging and a OneSails sail wardrobe comprising a fully battened mainsail and mizzen, a 105% jib and a custom electric furling asymmetric.
All good so far but it is the rig that is interesting. Unlike other similar yachts from Spirit, this design has a yawl rig that is particularly beneficial for a cruising yacht. In essence, a yawl is a sloop with a trim tab in the form of a small mizzen, so the efficiency of the sloop rig is not compromised. It allows a mizzen staysail, which is an effective reaching sail, and if the weather is bad, you can be very comfortable flying just a small jib and the mizzen.