J Class yacht: Hanuman
by Lynn Fitzpatrick
As a number of J Class yachts assemble for the 2013 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous in the British Virgin Islands, we thought we would take a closer look at the very beautiful Hanuman yacht.
After completing the rebuilds of Endeavour, Shamrock V and Velsheda and the refit of Ranger, Dykstra & Partners took on their first J Class new build with Hanuman. The reincarnation of the 1937 Endeavour II was also the second collaboration between owner Jim Clark, Royal Huisman and Dykstra, and the third between the owner, yard and Pieter Beeldsnijder. When Clark decided he wanted a racing yacht, he gave this trusted team a simple brief: ‘You know what to do.’
The result is J Class Hanuman, named after the son of the Hindu wind god, a symbol of strength, perseverance and devotion. Says Alice Huisman, ‘Bow to stern, inside and out she is the most harmonious and consistent yacht I think we have built. She is true to herself, reflecting upon her traditional roots but authentic in her own right.’
This classic revival yacht has a sleek, black Alustar alloy hull with 90 tonnes of lead in her keel, an all-carbon grand prix rig built by Rondal and a carbon composite deckhouse covered in teak and flawlessly sealed with Awlgrip clearcoats.
Pushing the original Charles E Nicholson-designed hull design to the limits of modern technology aloft, Rondal, The Carew Group and North Sails scientifically optimised the rig and sail plan of Hanuman with the technology and precision usually reserved for a grand prix racing programme, and then built a highly technical carbon fibre mast with localised lamination differentials to control the mast bend and sail shape under a wide range of conditions.
Down below, the saloon/dining area is aglow with meticulously carved French walnut, polished in a 14-step process to satisfy Jim Clark’s directive to imbue a very old world charm and artisanal feel. The Beeldsnjder and Acanthus International team used painstaking finishing methods developed almost 200 years ago to achieve a textured and tactile look and feel.
The cream, tan and neutral fabrics, burled wood tabletops and soft muted light are comfortable and elegant.
Leading aft from the saloon/dining area is a centreline French walnut-panelled, perfectly symmetrical corridor. On either side of the corridor, each cabin is a quiet cocoon of French walnut carpentry, off-white deckheads and antique mirrors.
Furthest aft is the full beam master cabin with a cantilevered bed that floats out toward the middle of the cabin. A carved walnut seating area and a walnut burl top sideboard surround the bed. Two large wardrobes and a marbled en-suite and shower enclosure complete the owner’s quarters.
The engine room of Hanuman runs along nearly 15 metres of the 27.68 metre waterline. Its 1.25 metre clearance is enough for an adult to move comfortably down the centre. It’s well ventilated, and quiet enough to have a conversation without raising your voice.
Working within the J Class historic hull lines and extremely low freeboard, Royal Huisman’s designers and architects used 3D systems engineering to ensure that all systems are accessible and serviceable.
The entertainment systems are among the many features that make living aboard Hanuman extremely comfortable.
Forward of the galley/crew mess area, the seven-member crew share reasonable quarters designed for eight. Aft of the crew quarters is the galley and the crew mess, arranged to accommodate the flow of traffic in the nerve centre of the boat.
From the aft owner’s cabin all the way forward to the impressive carved forward bulkhead of the saloon and dining area, which incorporates an entertainment system and library, everything is symmetrical along a central axis.
The pantry, utility area and built-ins on the galley/crew mess side of the great wall are not only functional; they ingeniously disguise the column of the keel-mounted mast.
Hanuman is a masterful marriage of the best of the style and majesty of the 1930s J Class era with 21st century technology. The matte finished deck hardware resembles the galvanized metals of a bygone era, yet handles extreme loads with the push of a button.
The giant touch screen helm display is mounted on a fluted post that resembles one of the original Endeavour II’s pedestals. The throttle is hidden in an art deco-style working telegraph that is digitised.
Down below, she is by no means the stripped out racing hull and sail locker of the 1930s. Hanuman’s understated luxury is so inviting that even the owner of one of the most well designed and awe-inspiring superyachts ever built enjoys staying aboard.