Eighty years after the famed J-Class Yankee was launched, Holland Jachtbouw reveals it’s building a replica superyacht, the second such project on its books.
While the replica of Rainbow, currently under construction, has garnered Holland Jachtbouw plenty of attention, Yankee is quite impressive, too. She’ll measure 37.5 meters (123 feet), but unlike the original, she’ll be constructed of aluminum, not Tobin bronze. In fact, the first hull plates are days away from being cut. Delivery is set for 2012, in time to compete in the J-Class regatta in England that summer, with charters during the Olympic Games directly following.
What was the big deal about the original Yankee? Launched in 1930, she was the third American-built J, certainly the beamiest, and one of the fastest. Measuring 84 feet on the waterline, Yankee was designed by Frank Paine, who graced her with a nearly straight sheerline, and built in Boston at the George Lawley and Son yard. While she was a three-time contender in trying to reclaim the America’s Cup, she did not succeed. However, she further gained fame for having Elizabeth Hovey as her navigator in the 1934 Cup race, the first woman to race a J. Sadly, she was scrapped in 1941, due to the war effort.
The new Yankee is from the drawing boards of Dykstra & Partners Naval Architects, which is, of course, staying true to Paine’s original design. The hull is being assembled at Bloemsma Aluminumbouw, expected for arrival at Holland Jachtbouw in a few months. Yankee will feature a carbon fiber mast and rigging plus 3-DL sails, plus a 325-kW (approximately 442-hp) main engine. A 50-kW and a 32-kW genset will offer backup propulsion. In racing mode, Yankee will accommodate 21 crewmembers, though on charter the megayacht will likely carry just seven.
It’s worth noting that Yankee marks the 11th J-Class replica either in existence or under construction. Specifically, Endeavour, Hanuman (based on Endeavour II), Lionheart, Ranger, Shamrock V, and Velsheda are currently afloat. Rainbow and Atlantis (based on a Paine design that was never built) are both under construction. At least two more Js may join the construction ranks soon, as plans have reportedly been approved by the J Class Association: Enterprise and Svea.