New builds, refits and commissioning: what’s new in the Spirit Yachts yard
Everywhere you look in Spirit Yachts’ multi-faceted, waterside yard in Ipswich there is a project underway. The main building currently houses three new sailing yachts and one motor yacht in build as well as the refit of a Spirit 52. Undercover outside there is a 76foot sailing yacht undergoing a refit and two flagship yachts are in commissioning.
Bird’s eye view: Spirit DH72 hull build (foreground), Spirit 44E undergoing fit out (right), Spirit P40 (top)
As you enter the yard, a team of men and women boatbuilders can be seen diligently working away on the fit out of the new Spirit 44E. Highly anticipated ahead of her launch this summer, the 44E is set to push the boundaries of sustainability in yachting. Fully electric, she will have zero hydrocarbons onboard. Solar panels integrated into her sails and lazarette hatches will work alongside an Oceanvolt ServoProp15 electric drive system operating in regeneration mode to charge the 16 OceanVolt 48VDC batteries. The yacht’s owner, Dr Vincent Argiro from British Columbia commented, “The stretch goal for the 44E is near total energy self-sufficiency.”
At the end of last year, the yellow cedar hull of the 44E was rolled over and last month the ply sub-deck was fitted ready for the Lignia decking to be laid down. The battery locations have been fitted and the aft lockers are finished to allow the work to start on integrating the Solbian solar panels into the aft deck. Inside the hull, the walnut and Sipo (similar to mahogany) interior is now being fitted out and Spirit’s joiners are measuring up for the cupboards.
Over she goes: roll over of the Spirit 44E
The 13.4m Spirit 44E is nestled in the shadow of the comparably gargantuan upturned hull of the 22m Spirit DH72. A new design for the Spirit Yachts portfolio, the DH72 is a Bermudan sloop deckhouse sailing yacht. Designed for an overseas buyer with a Mediterranean cruising itinerary and the occasional racing event, the yacht is due to launch in 2021.
Having placed ringframes into a strongback, the Spirit team laid down the Douglas fir planking and is now bonding the double-diagonal veneers using WEST SYSTEMS epoxy. This build marks a first for Spirit Yachts as the yacht’s ringframes are reinforced with carbon instead of stainless steel. All the larger Spirit yachts have reinforced ringframes for added strength and up until now this has been achieved by using stainless steel.
Above: the first layer of hull planking going onto the hull of the Spirit DH72
Spirit Yachts yard manager Adrian Gooderham explained, “Carbon is nearly 800kg lighter than stainless steel; the weight-saving helps with the overall performance of the yacht once she is on the water. It has previously been challenging to integrate the stainless steel with the timber as we had to use Sikaflex to attach a layer of plywood to the metal. We can glue straight onto the carbon, which saves time and materials.”
Once veneered, the hull will also have a layer of carbon applied on top of the timber for reinforced strength.
Next to the DH72, a Spirit P40 is also being fitted out ready for launch later this year. The 12m motor yacht will have an eye-catching, curved seating arrangement for six guests with two raised helm seats behind the vintage aircraft inspired instrument dials and touchscreen Simrad instruments. Two Mercruiser TDi 370 engines and a 550-litre fuel tank will deliver a cruising range of 320 nautical miles at 30 knots.
Above: Spirit P40 in fit out, with the 44E and DH72 in the background
The yacht’s engines are now in and the tanks and generator have all been dry-fitted. The cockpit is currently being fitted out and the fan windows that sit on a slightly raised coachroof are being finalised.
Above: framework for the P40 fan windows
In the adjacent yard is the Spirit DH65, on which a walnut and Sipo interior is taking shape. The lazarette and the anchor locker are complete, the deck hatch surrounds are in and joinery work on the frames will begin shortly. Work continues on the cockpit and the sub-deck will be laid down by next month.
Above: coachroof being constructed for the DH65
Ahead of her 13th racing season this summer, Spirit 52 Flight of Ufford is undergoing maintenance work, whilst Spirit 76 Nazgul of Fordell has returned from the Mediterranean for a refit. A keen cruising and racing yacht, Nazgul is well-loved by her owners. After 12 years of sailing in the sunny waters of the Mediterranean, Nazgul is having her engine bay stripped out and refitted to allow for a reconfiguration of one her cabins.
Above: Flight of Ufford is undergoing a refit
Above: Nazgul of Fordell coming out of the water for her refit
Outside the yard, the flagship Spirit P70 motor yacht is having her interior finalised and is undergoing commissioning, including frequent test drives.
Finally, the 34m Spirit 111 superyacht is in the latter stages of commissioning ready for handover to her owner. Sail trials are now underway and ongoing testing of all her systems continues.
Above: the Spirit 111 during early sea trials
Keep an eye on Spirit Yachts’ social media pages (links below) to see all the latest design, build and launch images and videos.