Fedor Konyukhov explained why he needs a 75-meter sailboat

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The son and manager of the famous Russian traveler Oscar Konyukhov told ItBoat how the idea to build a fast 75-meter keelboat appeared and why the Russian shipyard «Vympel» was chosen for its realization.

Fedor Konyukhov intends to become the first man to circumnavigate the globe non-stop on a monohull in less than 80 days.

For 20 years the team of the Russian traveler has been working on the idea of building a keelboat for the Jules Verne Cup - the contest for the fastest non-stop circumnavigation of the globe. The French have claimed the trophy as Francis Joyon's IDEC Sport maxi-trimaran circumnavigated the world in 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 40 seconds at the end of January. In all the years of the Jules Verne Cup the trophy has never been attempted on a monohull.

For the design of such a yacht Konyukhov turned to English designers Merf Owen and Allen Clarke of Owen Clarke Design. Merf Owen's portfolio also includes the 29-metre Wally Cento Racing Cruiser, the 25.6-metre IRC 84 Maxi, the IMOCA open 60, open 50, open 40, and the Mini Transat.

They proposed a 60-meter aluminum yacht with three fixed 37-meter masts, fixed keel, 10-meter draft, two centreboards and ballast tanks fore and aft.

The original intention was to build such a yacht at the Pendennis Shipyard.

» However, last year the concept of the project changed: the yacht «grew by 15 m, and instead of the British yard the Russian shipyard «Vympel», which specializes in military and rescue motorboats, was chosen as the builder of the hull and keel of the yacht. The leading designer of the project is Artem Broom.

These dramatic changes are connected with the appearance of a new investor - the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation.
«The choice of the shipyard in Russia was dictated by the customer's requirements. The hull and keel must be made in Russia. We believe that the shipyard Vympel has everything necessary to produce a high quality and reliable hull", Oskar Konyukhov commented. - After completion of the record programme the boat will be used as a sailing and training yacht for the cadets of the Navy. Size of the yacht is 75 meters due to the customer's requirement for the number of cadets on board».

The Ministry of Defence will partially finance the construction of the sailing boat which must be not only big but also fast - with a speed of up to 42 knots. Fyodor Konyukhov's headquarters will be responsible for attracting private investors.

For mast building, sail sewing and deck equipment production, the headquarters will appeal to internationally renowned companies.
«A tender will be held among leading yacht equipment manufacturers: Harken, Lewmar, North Sails, Southern Spar, Hall Spar. We are planning to carry out refit at Black sea. Probably on the Baltic Sea», - said Oskar Konyukhov.

If the project of 75-meter racing boat will be realized it will undoubtedly be an unprecedented event for Russian shipbuilding. The management of «Vympel» is ready to start building the hull already this year.

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