YACHT ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN
After a comprehensive search over several years, we settled on the series of hulls designed by Philippe Briand for the Jeanneau Yachts premium semi-custom line of models, including the JY 53, 57, and 64. While we wanted to honor time-tested hallmarks of seaworthy boats, we also wanted to address some of the shortcomings of traditional sailing boats, achieving a modern aesthetic and a comfortable, fast, and safe passage maker. With the Jeanneau 53 as our chosen "platform", we then selected key components, systems, suppliers and installers, all managed professionally during commissioning by Eastern Yachts Sales in New London CT. <MORE>
We selected Mastervolt to form the heart of our energy management system. We firmly resisted conventional configurations of heavy, dirty and inefficient systems seen on so many boats. Menno Ligterink was very helpful, working with Port Niantic (see below), as we designed an innovative, space-saving, high-efficiency system that reduced our potential carbon footprint yet still delivered and maintained the power we need, worry-free.
Raymarine provides the most comprehensive networked navigation system. Working with Dockside Electronics in Mystic CT we were able to design a custom system with some really interesting features, while keeping power draw to an acceptable level. The system includes the award-winning Evolution auto-pilot, gSeries multi-function display, and a versatile i50/i60/i70 instrument cluster that we designed with the team at Dockside.
While electronic gadgetry might have a certain seductive appeal from a technology standpoint, the opportunity to work with the renowned loft Z-Sails to develop a sail plan for YYZ was possibly the most exciting and rewarding part of this project. After all, YYZ is a sailing vessel, and the sails are her silent locomotive force, responsible more than anything else for inducing in sailors the spiritual sense of being "airborne" that we seek. Z-Sails founder Chris Wentz met us in Annapolis to go over the boat in detail in order to fully understand the rig and design the best sail plan. Initially, to round out the 140% overlapping genoa and non-furling mainsail that came with the boat, the team at Z-Sails produced a heavy-air carbon-fiber jib staysail that will be hanked onto the inner forestay, and a light-air high-modulus Mylar/taffeta "Code 0" reacher with a high tensile Dyneema luff rope on a continuous line Colligo furling drum. In the ensuing years, Z-Sails produced a Carbon 155 Genoa, Carbon 135 genoa, A3 spinnaker, and A3 spinnaker, and Carbon Mainsail. When YYZ won the 2016 Newport Bermuda Race, all her sails were from Z-Sails.
There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. Helly Hansen gear is our first and only choice for all forms of weather from the light, carefree days to the extremes of cold and wet that makes us know we are really alive.
Dockside Electronics is one of the most experienced outfitters, with forty years representing premium brands in marine electronics. Brian Brousseau and Tim Killam spent the time with us to design the ideal system, based on their deep technical experience and our specific voyaging habits and preferences. They flew to the Annapolis sailboat show to become familiar with the boat and meet with us for a design consultation. We dispensed with some of the unworkable gimmicks that seem to attract attention at boat shows, and chose a configuration that was designed to be unobtrusive yet available under a diversity of conditions. The Dockside team coordinated with Port Niantic in the design of our power system to segregate sensitive electronics from power-hungry devices such as winch motors.
Landfall has been providing top quality equipment to boaters since 1982, with an unwavering commitment to safety. That commitment is reflected in the products they sell and the advice they give. Landfall is committed to meeting the needs of the marine community, including recreational boaters, professional mariners and law enforcement, and emergency personnel. Landfall's Captain Mark Bologna was very helpful as we outfitted YYZ with safety gear.
We worked with Barbara Whiting, owner of Custom Covers in Clinton CT, to create a flexible, strong, and aesthetically appealing dodger and bimini for YYZ. Mike and John understood immediately what we wanted to achieve and worked with us earnestly to design a dodger that deployed easily from atop a low profile permanent windshield that complements the lines of the vessel. In addition to cockpit cushions, they also designed a custom sun bed for the foredeck.
The power system was one of the most vexing, unsolved challenges in this project. The team at Port Niantic worked with us in consultation with Yanmar, Balmar, Mastervolt and Lifeline Batteries to develop a superior redesign of the electrical system, achieving an increase from 690AH of lead acid battery capacity to 1300AH of AGM battery capacity. This increased our usable capacity from 345AH to 650AH if cycled at a 50% DOD (Depth of Discharge) and as much as 1040AH if cycled at 80% DOD, so we tripled our usable capacity! Our conservative spreadsheet models suggest the boat will consume about fifty amps per hour, so this upgraded capacity easily gives us 12 hours of power, and almost 24 hours if we really need it, before having to recharge. Off the dock, Yanmar now ships their 2014 4JH4-HTE1 turbo diesel engine with a respectable 125A internally regulated alternator mounted on a multi-groove serpentine belt and pulley. We decided to upgrade to a Balmar AT165 externally regulated alternator that is designed to develop higher outputs across a lower range of RPM which is more typical of sailboats. We added the Mastervolt Mass Combi 12/4000 inverter/charger, Chargemaster 12/70, MasterShunt, and MasterView monitor panel. We replaced any undersized cables, and the odd (French) non-parallel battery switches were swapped out for a pair of BlueSea e-Series dual-circuit battery switches. Finally, we added a dedicated shore power charger for the 24V bow thruster battery bank located in the forward sail locker. Based on the average expected life cycles of the Lifeline AGM batteries, our cost per amp hour for this entire upgrade should be under three cents.
In their "Ultimate Propeller Test", Yachting Monthly (May 2009) demonstrated convincingly that a fixed three-blade prop on a sailboat has about the same drag effect as hanging a bucket over the stern, costing as much as a full knot in boat speed. This is obviously important for racing and it makes a difference for cruisers even on relatively short passages. In the test of fifteen props (fixed, feathering and folding), Flexofold produced the highest forward thrust, highest top speed, lowest side thrust ("prop walk") and best performance going astern. It was only "proper" (slight pun intended), to complement a beautiful and fast hull with a powerful and graceful Flexofold propeller.