Superyacht Ganesha - this 46m Vitters is primed for cruising and regatta racing
by Jochen Halbe
Vitters Shipyards’ 46-metre superyacht Ganesha is the owner’s second sailing superyacht with the name of the Indian deity, but the first which he commissioned as a new build. ´This step was more a question of handling, not so much of performance,’ he says. While cruising worldwide with his family as well as participating in superyacht regattas there are no compromises on comfort – like two washing machines instead of one – nor on weight saving like anchor arms made of carbon.
Wow Factor Bringing the tender storage plus a fully operational crane under the flush foredeck in line with ample space for eight crew in four cabins plus a crew mess, ship office and laundry was the ‘biggest challenge’ for designer Malcolm McKeon, formerly of Dubois Naval Architects. It was a fight for centimetres but possible also only because of the Xtenders’ custom RIB, which automatically inflates and deflates during the watering/boarding process. When stowed away the tender’s steering console is folded down and seat backrests are lowered to achieve an air draft of only 1.10 metres.
Ganesha's lines were inspired by the beam-to-length ratio and the low freeboard of the J Class yachts, which the owner admires for their ‘golden ratio’. The owner’s vision of a modern, sleek yacht with a saloon and a cockpit-saloon on one level included a bimini incorporated in the overall design. Finding the right balance between the aesthetics of the hull, the low profile of the superstructure and the tender under the foredeck – as well as providing a minimum headroom of 2.05 metres in all rooms for the tall owner – was another challenge for the Dubois design team.
The dark grey of the hull finds its correspondence in the black tinted curved windows that give the superstructure and the incorporated bimini their long, flowing, harmonic lines. These solar reflecting, laminated windows consist of chemically tempered panes bonded with special resins in large moulds. They offer exceptional, distortion-free optical clarity – clear view from the inside out, but you can’t look in – and outstanding strength. ‘These windows withstand shattering caused by accidental dropping of tools from aloft,’ declares the manufacturer Hans-Joachim Tilse.
‘Ganesha is the last stage of a long development making sailing superyachts faster, sleeker and more elegant,’ says McKeon. No flying bridge (owner’s brief), a low freeboard, a low, stylish silver painted superstructure, a nearly invisible bimini and a sleek, plumb-bow hull topped by a tall, silver-varnished rig show Ganesha as a unified whole underlined by details like the stainless steel stanchions and lifelines between them which are covered with dark grey carbon fabrics as being part of the dark grey hull.
For the owners it was essential that the Indian spirit of Ganesha was reflected in the interior of the yacht Ganesha. With this in mind, interior designer Katharina Raczek created a below-deck ambience as a clear and comfortable entity with a light, modern touch, yet retaining a special character all its own. Ganesha can be found everywhere, from small statues in each cabin to the subtle red-lined crème elephant leather surrogates used on saloon furniture and as wallpaper in the corridors. Delicate structures of water-cut open bronze latticework inspired by geometrical patterns of historical Indian architecture separate walls from ceilings. The same geometric signature, reassembled into large squares and rectangles, is featured on walls and doors and on the linear seats in the cockpit saloon. Colourful Indian cushion and bedspread fabrics are a vivid contrast to the linear patterns.
Ganesha boasts a fold-down transom terrace, which acts also as mooring for tenders and dinghies and an rectangular owner’s aft cockpit which can be sheltered by a moveable sun awning with carbon stanchions. The centres of daily social life for owners and guests are the indoor-outdoor saloons. The cockpit saloon with side entrances from the aft deck is sheltered by the bimini. With the 4.5 metres long sliding windows down, a very open-air atmosphere is experienced, while it can also serve as a formal dining space for eight. The asymmetrical main saloon is two steps down.
Engineering and performance
Being a dual purpose yacht offering seaworthiness for cruising and racing is of great importance led to an all-aluminium hull and a proven lifting keel as well as to a carbon boom and mast in thin-ply-technology and latest 3Di sails from North Sails. The mast height is two metres higher than the Panamax height but when the burgee and wind instrument extension folds down it fits. ‘It is a generous rig – what you would expect on a 50 or 52 metre,’ says designer Ed Dubois. During sea trials, it delivered upwind speeds nearly matching the true wind speed.
Superyacht Ganesha specs
Displacement: 234 tons
Ballast: 48 tons
Gross tonnage: 251 GT
Engine: 1 x 533kW @ Caterpillar C18 C
Sail area: 1,113 m² upwind, 2,212 m² downwind
Owner and guests: 8
Classification: Lloyds +100A1, SSC, Yacht Mono G6(+) LMC