A Rolex Cup racer is becoming a fast pleasure yacht, thanks to Adam Voorhees and the Italy-based Seaway yard. She’s Sapphire Knight, a 73-footer undergoing a lengthening, among other things, that will be completed late this year.
Voorhees is already familiar with both sailing yachts and fast cruisers, having collaborated on the refit of Sleighride a few years ago. Sleighride was redesigned as a super-fast daysailer that would put racing yachts to shame.
If you’re not familiar with Seaway, it’s based in Monfalcone, Italy. Seaway provides design and engineering services as well as tooling to production boatbuilders, plus companies in other industries. It also builds its own yachts, under the brands Greenline (hybrid yachts), OceanClass (hybrid yachts as well), Skagen (motoryachts), and Shipman (carbon fiber sailing yachts).
As for Sapphire Knight, she was previously known as Drake Passage. Mistral Composites in La Ciotat, France built her in 1998, to a Bruce Farr design. She’s primary carbon fiber and Kevlar, common materials for fast racing yachts. The refit will see Sapphire Knight stretched to 85 feet (26 meters). Understandably, her mast, boom, and keel are all being reconfigured. She’ll still be able to race when the owner so wishes, though cruising with family and friends is also a priority. Sapphire Knight will further be available for charter.
The private and charter usage helps explain why an extended transom and entirely new deckhouse are being created. The owner wants guests to enjoy a comfortably casual environment, both outside and inside. He further wants his four-person crew to be able to handle sail hoisting relatively easily.
Further on the subject of the interior, a key directive is the sensation of space. Underscoring that feeling, and complementing the styling of Sapphire Knight, the decor will be contemporary. It will flow through the large saloon to the forward master suite and two guest staterooms. In addition, the owner wants everyone able to enjoy the views from the saloon. The good-size ports that Voorhees has designed should take care of that.