“AND THEN THERE WERE THREE. SUPERNIKKA, THE BOAT DESIGNED BY ALESSANDRO VISMARA TOGETHER WITH MIKE MILLS WAS ONLY INTRODUCED TWO YEARS AGO. It quickly got itself noticed by winning the 151 Miglia and the Rolex races in Sardinia. After all, that is what it is was made for. SuperNikka’s children look a lot like it, but each has its particular physical traits. Wizard is fitted out more like a cruiser, and is set up for an owner who does a lot of miles in the Mediterranean during the summer. The deck fittings and rigging have been designed to be simple and to make life easier for a small crew. The latest boat Yoru, which means “night” in Japanese, is different again. The owner likes to race in regattas, but not just that
. The boat has been designed to not sacrifice performance, while at the same time ensuring that there are all the comforts that cruising demands. The first thing that catches your attention is Vismara Marine’s capacity to customise. It is not the case, as one might superficially assume, that it is the same boat set up with three different fittings. The Viareggio-based yard has also been able to work on the waterlines to get the result that the owner seeks. Yoru’s beam, just to give an example, is not the same as SuperNikka’s. What doesn’t change is construction quality. The hull, deck and bulkheads are made with one-directional, bi-axial fabrics which are epoxy-resin vacuum saturated. While the mast, furling boom and rigging are in carbon fibre.
And it is precisely the use of carbon fibre, which can be found everywhere, which means that it displaces very much the same as its predecessor.Yoru’s deck rigging doesn’t need an America’s Cup team, but neither is it a cruiser style complete simplification. There are none of SuperNikka’s racing accessories, such as cross runners and the hydraulic in&out regulators of the jib clew cringle. All the rigging on Yoru is kept in the cockpit, the mainsail traveller is electric, while the boom is carbon fibre with an internal mandrel, also in carbon fibre, which rolls up the sail. And that is an operation that can be carried out easily from the helm keypad. To get high-level performance, the owner has chosen some very special sails. They are Monolithics made by Millenium of Florence. Why are they so special?
Because they are made in a single piece with spread fibre technique. Making the sail in a single piece without any joins means avoiding different surface thicknesses which can create breakages in the areas where they overlap.Monolithic also uses a two-component adhesive which, in contrast to other kinds of glue, makes the sail indivisible. And what are spread fibres? It is a technique to make sails that, as the name suggests, means dividing fibres. Spread fibres mean that carbon fibre, PBO or Twaron fibres are divided out, and works on the microfibres from which they are made. After having divided out the microfibres, it reassembles them in various different layers ad directions until the sail membrane is created.
The result is a structure that at the same time has the rigidity which is a characteristic of carbon and the suppleness of a flag. Monolithic sails by Millenium, which are mould-laminated in a single piece, use PBO. PBO made its first appearance in America’s Cup boats in Auckland, New Zealand. They were used by Gottifredi&Maffioli of Novara to make sheets and halyards. Its characteristic is a very high breaking load, around double that of an aramid fibre. And it is PBO, which is inserted into the centre of the sail membrane, that makes it so stiff and rigid.There is Italian-made material throughout Yoru, even in the sails. And excellence is the pervasive characteristic.
The Vismara tradition, and one to which Yoru subscribes, means that all the furniture, both cabinets and dunnage, are made in composite material. Wood has been added to the carbon fibre of the walking surface. All the side walls are in natural oak. Everything is very clean and simple, without forgetting functionality. The dry displacement is still 18 tonnes, that reach 20 with a cruising set-up. Everything to help performance under sail. The functionality of the equipment can also be seen from the seats in the dinette, that recall origami and Japanese style, and can be put into a special holder in the galley when the boat is sailing, and it leans. It is comfortable, but there is no excess.”
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