One of the largest single-masted wooden yachts built in England is in the water. The sloop-rigged Spirit 111 superyacht launched today as an impressive achievement not just in size, either. She is owner-operated, plus takes fossil-fuel avoidance to a higher level.
Set to be the British builder’s biggest yet, the Spirit 111 comes nearly 90 years after England’s largest single-masted all-wood yacht, the famous J Class Shamrock V. Just as that yacht embraced modern performance parameters, so, too, does this new launch. For instance, even though the owner intends to race in Mediterranean regattas, he wanted short-handed sailing operations. Therefore, in-boom furling and other solutions assist. But, her lack of professional crew altogether, and lack of crew accommodations, is truly remarkable.
Further remarkable, the owner wanted independent operations, away from shore. Related to this, he wanted to avoid using the gensets whenever possible. So, Spirit Yachts researched possibilities with suppliers. The result: The Spirit 111 superyacht has a Torqeedo electric-propulsion system feeding four lithium battery banks. Under sail, the system regenerates the batteries by rotating the propeller shaft. The batteries can in turn power the hotel loads for four days while at anchor. “When the yacht crosses the Atlantic, as long as there is adequate wind, she will not need to consume any fossil fuels,” adds Nigel Stuart, Spirit Yachts’ managing director. In addition, the electric-propulsion system, in concert with the batteries, can drive her at 8 knots to a 40-nautical-mile distance.
Still other eco-minded systems exist. For example, water heats only on demand. Plus, heated water stays in insulated tanks with high-efficiency transfer coils. This ensures temperature consistency and rapid warming. The galley’s refrigerator and freezer employ proven commercial-marine cryogenic insulation for low power draws while maintaining cold temperatures. Finally, the Spirit 111 superyacht has a smart-lighting system, relying on motion sensors, versus light switches, to turn lights on and off. It even mimics natural lighting throughout the day.
This complements the warm wood interior by Rhoades Young Design. The two double guest staterooms, VIP, master, and all relaxation areas are enveloped in sipo (an African hardwood), teak, and American walnut. Even the en suite heads have solid, rounded wood sinks. Most notable, however, there’s barely a straight line. In fact, all below-decks bulkheads are S-shape. Plus, an extraordinary, curved walnut settee (below) commands attention in the open-plan saloon and galley.
“The client had recently visited Antelope Canyon in Arizona, and this was the catalyst for the idea of the warm, soft, flowing walls creating unique focal points within the room,” explains Jonathan Rhoades of Rhoades Young Design. “These twisting forms are coordinated perfectly with the beautiful skylights above, creating a calm and tranquil ambience. These elegant forms not only twist and peel to create counters, but uniquely create the intimate backdrops for the highly detailed ‘steam pieces’ which blur the line between furniture and sculpture.”
Final outfitting is taking place over the next several weeks. The owner takes delivery this winter. “We have created one of the world’s most sustainable superyachts,” Stuart says. “From construction using responsibly sourced timber to carbon-savings systems whilst in operation, the Spirit 111 sets a new standard for reducing the impact sailing has on our environment.”
Spirit Yachts spirityachts.com
Rhoades Young Design rhoadesyoung.com