A closer look at the 46m Reichel/Pugh-Nauta 151 with Mario Pedol

17 May 2021

This one-off performance sloop is a quadruple threat, built for speed, safety, strength and silence, says Nauta Design.

The 46-metre Reichel/Pugh-Nauta 151 is one of the biggest sailing yacht projects currently in build. The owner is a repeat client of Nauta Design and a highly experienced yachtsman who was looking to step up in size, while still retaining the spirit of his former yacht. Currently being built at Royal Huisman in the Netherlands since December 2020, the new superyacht is being project managed by MCM's Nigel Ingram and is set to be completed during 2022.

Reichel/Pugh-Nauta 151 is a lightweight 46-metre sailing yacht designed as both a comfortable world cruiser and competitive regatta racer in equal measures – which is no small task. “Combining comfort and safety to explore the world with an extremely lightweight yacht that was competitive in superyacht regattas wasn’t easy,” says Mario Pedol, co-founder of Nauta Design.

Unsurprisingly, a "powerful sail plan" was a must for the owner. Nauta considered a carbon-fibre construction early on in the design phase but eventually settled on an aluminium hull that could meet the performance requirements, but also ticked the boxes for robustness and extended bluewater sailing.

“I started thinking that an aluminium hull weighs 60-70% more than a carbon boat, but the weight of the hull and deck is only about 15% of the total weight of a sailing yacht,” said Pedol. The owner then enlisted the expertise of Reichel-Pugh to perfect the hull form, as well as America’s Cup CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) specialists Caponnetto Hueber and Giorgio Provinciali. After numerous tank tests and data showed that in 10 knots of breeze, the yacht would be able to reach a top speed of 13 knots under mainsail and jib when reaching upwind at a 90-degree angle. In 15 knots of breeze, that number then increases to 18 knots of speed.

The racing requirements formed a central part of the owner's brief, but the deckhouse was held in equal regard. Its design is unobtrusive and blends seamlessly with the yacht's austere sheer line. “The deckhouse is essential as it allows to look outside and see the sea while seated in the main saloon,” says Massimo Gino, Nauta Design co-founder and partner.

The deck itself can be divided into three key guest areas: the cockpit, the foredeck and the transom. While most superyacht foredecks work superbly as sunbathing platforms, the length on the RP-Nauta 151 allows for a recessed carbon tender bay, which transforms into a cosy cockpit lounge with a hi-lo table and fitted cushions. In the midday heat, carbon fibre poles can be placed into the deck to support an awning, providing welcome shade.

The main cockpit is shaded by a carbon composite hardtop that can be removed for racing. There are two sun loungers with adjustable backrests – depending on the direction of the heel, as well as a dining area to port for al fresco lunches at anchor, and two tables to starboard where morning coffees are best enjoyed. Unusually, a curved windscreen has three opening sections allowing the light sea breeze to filter through the cockpit.

The third area is aft and is made by two close proximity deck levels. The 10-metre wide transom features a hinged section of the teak that folds down to rest on top of the beach platform, revealing an aft staircase that leads down to the swim platform itself. This way, the design allows for a lounging area on the aft main deck with spectacular sun loungers, sofas and loose coffee tables, and is directly connected to the beach platform below.

While the interior choices are yet to be revealed, the layout will include a spacious dining area and lounge beneath the deckhouse, a full-beam master suite forward and an additional three guest cabins.