New custom expedition yacht for high latitude cruising

Owen Clarke Design are very pleased indeed to announce that we have been contracted to design a custom aluminium ocean going blue water charter yacht for high latitude expedition cruising by an experienced sailor who has already over-wintered above the Arctic Circle.
Early concept design drawings, sail plan and deck
Early concept deck and rig drawings
The yacht will have accommodation for up to eight guests and a normal complement of three crew, plus when required, a guide. Designed for high daily average passage making, she is expected to cross the equator twice each year on passages to/from the Arctic/Antarctica and operate for up to ten weeks without re-supply.

Heavy weather sailing, high latitudes in the Southern Ocean
Heavy weather sailing passing around Cape Horn through Drake's Passage
Among the key drivers of the design requested by the owner, a lifting keel has been specified along with a tender garage aft for a rapid deployment/recovery RIB that will be augmented by a large inflatable that can be stored below or on the foredeck. To simplify her operation, particularly on ocean passages with the small crew, a very modern sail plan incorporating technology currently found in short-handed racing designs is being developed. This will include the use of halyard locks which will have the double benefit of reducing the number of sails furled aloft when at anchor, where in high latitudes one can be subject to extreme katabatic wind events.

Greenland, in the ice, exploring above the Arctic Circle in perpetual daylight.

Commenting on the project, lead designer Allen Clarke, was quick to explain why the company had secured the contract: “This yacht will like many sailboats will be crewed a great deal of the time short-handed and we will be applying to this project the lessons in sail-plan design, handling and ‘performance with economy of effort’ that we’ve learnt with our involvement in nine Open 60s in four Vendee Globes. Also key to the discussions we’ve had so far with the client, was the hands on sailing experience of one of our designers, Merfyn Owen, who is himself a double Cape Horner and undertaken expeditions above the Arctic Circle.”

Merfyn Owen's Skycatcher Greenland climbing/sailing expedition
Skycatcher encountering an iceberg in the Denmark Strait, East Greenland

Work has already begun on the design, incorporating the client’s requirements into an early concept design and written specification. Once this stage is completed, the project will go to tender to yards in the north and southern hemisphere in early November, yard selection being made in a early 2016 with the target of a launch in the northern Spring/Summer of 2017.

For more information contact

British Marine news story: Owen Clarke signs contract for new cruising yacht

Superyacht UK news story: Design contract: Owen Clarke cruising yacht


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