This yacht was to become the world's largest sailing yacht made of carbon fiber. It should have been, if she had been launched on time - in spring 2010, as promised. Alas, it didn't work out. For a number of reasons, among which the financial crisis was not the least. And there and «Baltic Yachts» launched her «Hetairos», and then there was no hurry anymore - «Hetairos» about a ten-and-a-half meter more. So, if a new yacht can claim any honorary title, it is only the title «of the largest single-mast yacht made of carbon» fiber - simply because it is much larger. «Mirabella V» built with ordinary glass fabric.
What yacht are we talking about? She used to be known under the code «Wally 164» and only in early May did her name become known: «Better Place». What is the interest of this boat (apart from its size)?
In short, her concept can be summed up as follows: she is a large high-performance cruiser, has the usual low displacement, high performance, unusual upper deck architecture and minimalist interior design.
The boat has a peculiar hull structure: in addition to the keel beam, it has four powerful stringers. Each of these strings is a cross section trapezoidal of four interlocking trapezes (made of different density foams). These five power elements (keel beam and stringers) form a powerful structure to counteract the twisting of the hull in the longitudinal direction - the longitudinal rigidity of the hull is essential for the sloop, especially at acute courses: it is this that determines the normal tension of the stakes.
Today, most sloops of this size can literally be counted on the fingers.
And as a rule, they're built from aluminum - for example, the same famous «Tiara». But the «Better Place» customer wanted to have as much comfort on board as possible for a vessel of this size, but by no means to the detriment of the running characteristics - in other words, he wanted to get a very light boat. That's why the designer Bill Tripp chose a fully composite hull and sailing weapon design. The cladding is made of carbon plastic prepregs from «Advanced Composites», the yacht's cables are made of PBO fibres, and even in the keel lift mechanism (draft varies from 4.6 to 6.5 meters) to save weight is widely used exotic yet for shipbuilding titanium.
Very original solution designer has applied and for water ballast: its function is performed by conventional fresh water tanks. Six thousand liters of drinking water can be pumped into the cisterns of one or another board in accordance with the tack the vessel goes. As a result, the fully armed «Better Place» has an extremely small displacement of only 250 tonnes for its size.
However, this figure, which until recently seemed something unattainable for a 50-metre yacht, no longer seems so small for a boat that is positioned as ultra-light.
The fact is that «Baltic Yachts» was able to click on the nose of its main competitor in this matter as well: the aforementioned «Hetairos» for nothing, which is a third longer and armed with a quech rather than a sloop, weighs only 230 tons. And it has not a minimalistic interior, but quite «normal», if you can put it that way. So there is almost nothing to be proud of «Wally»: time flies very fast in the yachting industry now, and after two years, you risk being late forever.
However, «Better Place», even if it is not «itself», is not going to make it worse - and I will note that it will still be (perhaps for a very long time) one of the lightest yachts of this size in the world. Her aluminium counterparts weigh on average 50% more, while her steel counterparts - such as «Perini Navi» shipyards - are more than twice as heavy.
As usual, the appearance and interiors of «Wally» boats are always one of the most interesting features. And «Better Place»is no exception. For the first time for «Wally boats,» she has had a developed superstructure, with smooth decks on almost all Wally boats before. But the superstructure is original - for the first time in the history of sailing, it is completely glazed all around the perimeter and at all heights. If we exclude the power bindings, the deckhouse offers a 360° view. The space in front of the superstructure is very interesting - despite all the canons of yacht building, there is also a small cockpit (for the size of the yacht, of course!) with dining table and beds. For wind and splash protection, this cockpit can be covered with retractable light screens - a unique solution in practice!
As for the interiors, their simplified minimalist style, so familiar to «Wally», here has perhaps reached the peak of its development. The interiors of the cabins (including the huge utility suite of 62 m2) are partly made of simple geometric modules. What is interesting is that some of these modules can be moved, adapting the cabins to suit your needs.
A huge «modular» sofa in the master stateroom can be transformed in eight (!) different ways - C, U and other configurations (not to mention the fact that it is easy to disassemble it into separate «sitters»).
«This is not the first time Wally» has tried to create such «variable» rooms, but it does not always turn out well enough in terms of both the quality of production and the idea itself. But perhaps there is something in it, since the company with such persistence promotes such schemes. The finish of all five cabins is very bold - it is dominated by bare carbon fiber, partly polished, partly matt. Large white wood panels and grey-brown leather work in contrast to it. «Wally» has always loved contrasting and bright colours in interiors (remember the red spots in interiors). «Esense»!), but now she seems to have surpassed herself.
Some solutions, however, are difficult to call rational enough - for example, the master stateroom is made transparent in the area of the DS. And although this «light gallery is» covered with glass on top, transparent only on one side, it is hardly pleasant to stay overnight, seeing other people's legs above you (this transparent gallery goes into the decks of the cabin cabin and cockpit). In my opinion, it's too much of a Baywatch solution! (As, however, the stairs in the owner's cabin: I think it's just injurious - I wouldn't have to hurry to remake it).
However, there are many such unusual finds on «Better Place», as it's already common for «Wally». Originally, for example, the solution of the power complex. «Better Place» is (when running under the engine) «water-operated» analogue of modern hybrid cars: it drives the propeller as the main diesel engine. «Caterpillar»as well as an electric motor, which can be operated by any of the three «Caterpillar»diesel generators available on board. (Probably this yacht will be called a diesel-electric ship when sailing under the engine.) The integrator of all mechanisms into a single whole is the company «Siemens». Such a scheme, according to its creators, allows diesel generators almost all the time to work at constant speeds, which is extremely beneficial for both their resource and fuel consumption, and the level of noise and vibration. The main engine is connected to work only in special cases, which again saves the life of this inexpensive unit (however, the sails of the yacht will cost much more, and serve - much less). For even more efficiency of the propulsive complex the yacht is equipped by the GRP of a Norwegian company. «West Mekan». (Curious detail - during the construction the suppliers of almost all mechanisms were changed: from diesel generators, main gear and propeller to air conditioners. Reasons remain unknown.) The cruising speed of «Better Place» under electric motors is about 14 knots, and if you connect the main engine, it can be almost 20. And such move under the engine for a sailing vessel (moreover, for such large one) is unprecedented.
According to the design calculations, the speed of a yacht under sail is all the more remarkable: according to the designer, with a wind speed of only 4 m/s, this 50-meter ogromina will be able to reach a speed of up to 11 knots in full base-wind, which is facilitated by its large power structure: its sailing area is almost 1200 m2. Not the sheep's naked!
Well, in 10 m/s wind speed we are promised cruising speed of 16 knots and maximum speed of over 20 knots.
That's fantastic. But the color of the yacht has pumped up a little in my opinion - however, the originally planned poisonous pink and purple color and looked disgusting at all ...