Spirit Yachts Q Class


Spirit Yachts The Victoria Commission

This month, Spirit Yachts has announced it has been commissioned to build a contemporary version of a Q Class yacht.

Sometimes known as a ‘mini J Class’ and steeped in sailing heritage, Q Class yachts were first built to the Universal Rule of Measurement in the early 1900s. Development of the rule was led by the famous naval architect Nathanael Herreshoff and adopted by the New York Yacht Club in 1903 to determine entry criteria for the America’s Cup and to facilitate competitive racing. At least 16 Q Class boats were built in the 1920s and 30s, some of which can be seen racing today.

Spirit’s current project (named ‘The Falcon Study’) is being commissioned by the owner and founder of Q7 Yacht Designs, Peter Silvester, who owns an original Q Class yacht named Falcon. Built in 1926 by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and raced under sail number Q7, Falcon recently re-launched on the west coast of the USA following an extensive restoration ahead of her centenary anniversary in 2026.

Peter Silvester commented, “The ‘Falcon Study’ is a unique partnership of world-class industry leaders set up to honour the history and legacy of Falcon and to celebrate her centenary with a new commission launching in 2026. The ‘Falcon Study’ will re-imagine Falcon’s original design using the best systems, materials, and craftsmanship available today.”

Peter added, “Imagine taking the beauty, sailing pleasure, and race winning pedigree of an original Q Class like Falcon and refining her to deliver optimum performance combined with modern maintenance characteristics and ease of use.”

Dykstra Naval Architects were appointed to adapt Falcon’s original Burgess, Swasey and Paine line drawings for modern day sailing and contemporary manufacture. Dykstra was tasked to retain the original hull lines, full keel, and fractional rig, whilst introducing state of the art rigging, systems, and deck hardware.

The design brief from the client Peter Silvester was to “create a ‘modern masterpiece’ that could inspire generations of sailors for the next 100 years”.

Thys Nikkels, CEO Dykstra Naval Architects said, “We love to focus on projects that make our hearts beat faster and the Falcon Study is certainly one of those. To be able to be part of a team that creates a new, re-imagined version of a Q Class Yacht is time well spent.”

After extensive research into wooden boatbuilders worldwide, Spirit Yachts was selected as the chosen yard tasked with creating the yacht, which will be named ‘Q7 Victoria’ / the ‘Victoria commission’.

Spirit Yachts Managing Director Karen Underwood said, “Our roots are embedded in wooden yacht construction, marrying timelessly classic design with modern technologies. The Falcon Study is a perfect fit for our in-house skills and fulfils our passion for custom projects commissioned by visionary owners.”

Julian Weatherill, Head of Design and Production at Spirit Yachts, added, “It has been a pleasure working with the talented team at Dykstra to realise the dream of a passionate and committed owner. Re-imagining a yacht with such historical sailing significance is both an honour and an exciting new challenge. Working closely with Peter and Dykstra, we will retain the authenticity of the Falcon whilst bringing our expertise in modern wood construction, sailing performance, electric propulsion, and luxury interiors to the project.”

The project is in the final design stages with the build due to start this spring leading up to launch in 2026 to coincide with Falcon’s centenary anniversary.

Top black and white photo: June 1934, ‘Falcon’ sailing in Marblehead. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.