8.5m Canting keel performance racer

The Design Problem: To design a high performing 8.5m yacht that would be challenging and exciting for a full race crew, yet also could be sailed safely in shorthanded mode. In addition, the owner (who also helms) is paraplegic and must be appropriately accommodated.

Solution: The design team - Stimson Yachts and Jo Richards - took the recent Full Pelt X concept and scaled it down for the client's requirements, maintaining the performance of the canting keel whilst keeping it safe for a number of different sailing modes.

The 8.5m's 30º canting keel provides impressive speed and power, as well as an appropriate balance of initial and ultimate stability, and the ability to right itself in the case of a capsize, something that is of great importance to the client, who is a former para-olympian.

As well as the canting keel, further points of detail to assist shorthanded sailing include just one daggerboard, and a fractional spinnaker on a 2m carbon fibre retractable bowsprit, complete with chute and sock.

Considerable flexibility was built into the her sail plan, particularly in relation to the jib configuration. A conventional fractional hoist

jib is used for upwind Solent sailing, with a roller furler code zero used in light airs on the lake or when the crew want a really exhilarating experience and go out on the trapeze!

Drawing on the combination of her 30º cant and lightweight construction, this 8.5m racer, named Skandia:Big Grin, is sure to prove fast on the race track. She made her debut in the JPMorgan Fleming Round the Island Race in June 2005.

< back