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Building the cutting edge sailing yacht Athos

A great deal of space has been dedicated to crew as the owner recognises the need to attract the very best people to run such an ultra-advanced vessel. One example is the spacious and comfortable engineer’s accommodation connected to the main switchboard control room.

An amazing amount of storage has also been found for toys, one of which is a Polaris flying tender (a lightweight Zodiac with a hard bottom and wings) that will be garaged in the forepeak. Two other custom tenders will be kept on deck, while there is also storage for two Optimists, two Laser Vago sailing dinghies, and all kinds of other toys in two huge side lockers next to the deckhouses.

Athos is a classic case of how tomorrow’s technology can be integrated in a yacht that visually speaking pays homage to the golden days of yachting past. The vast teak deck may still be partially covered for protection but it is already clear that she is going to look spectacular.

An amazing amount of storage has also been found for toys, one of which is a Polaris flying tender

Come Athos’s launch in spring 2010, however, and aesthetics will not be the primary concern of Captain Nick Haley. No stranger to record-breaking yachts, having spent six years at the helm of Windrose of Amsterdam (also built by HJB), Haley is not underestimating what will be involved in ensuring that the extraordinary technical systems above and below Athos’ waterline actually work in practice.

‘Although Athos’ critical systems have undergone a detailed development process, we still foresee an extensive commissioning and sea trialling period,’ he says. ‘There will no doubt be some prototype systems that do not work perfectly first time, and possibly some systems that we assume will not give problems end up doing so. Hopefully there will also be systems that we think might give commissioning headaches and yet work trouble-free straight away.’

Haley also believes that the biggest challenge of all will be to extract the full sailing performance from the boat.

‘This process will continue well after the yacht leaves HJB. As the dimensions of and potential loads in the rig are so great it will be an awesome and exciting task.

‘As well as the new track system to handle the roached in-boom furling sails, we are also at the limit of what is possible with running rigging, hardware and winches. In more than one sense we will be setting off on a voyage of discovery.’

Anton van de Koppel/Questmedia; courtesy of Holland Jachtbouw; Hoek Design; Rondal

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