The 34m Spirit 111 is one of the largest, single-masted wooden yachts


Spirit SY111 | Spirit yachts | Superyachts

Spirit Yachts has launched its highly anticipated 34m sailing yacht, the Spirit 111. Lowered into the water for the first time at Spirit Yachts’ waterside headquarters in Ipswich, Suffolk, the sloop-rigged yacht is the largest single-masted wooden yacht to be built in the UK since Shamrock V in the 1930s.

At the request of her overseas buyer, the Spirit 111 has been designed and built in-house by Spirit Yachts to be one of the most environmentally friendly sailing superyachts ever created.

Spirit Yachts worked collaboratively with leading marine and automotive suppliers to deliver on the owner’s eco brief. A Torqeedo electric propulsion system using a 100kW motor will propel the yacht silently for up to 40nm at eight knots from battery power alone. Whilst sailing, the propulsion system will regenerate the four BMW lithium battery banks by rotating the propeller shaft whilst the yacht is under sail. All power-consuming components have been carefully selected to be highly efficient and will use minimal energy without impacting performance or comfort.

Spirit Yachts managing director Nigel Stuart explained: “It is important to the owner that he can spend the majority of his time away from marinas enjoying sailing and anchoring in bays. Using electric propulsion to regenerate the batteries whilst sailing, the yacht will be able to operate for up to four days without having to plug into shore power or start the two onboard generators. When the yacht crosses the Atlantic, as long as there is adequate wind, she will not need to consume any fossil fuels.”

Nigel continued: “By partnering with suppliers and challenging ourselves to create customised solutions using the latest energy-saving technology, we have created one of the world’s most sustainable superyachts. From construction using responsibly sourced timber to carbon-saving systems whilst in operation, the Spirit 111 sets a new standard for reducing the impact sailing has on our environment.”

©Spirit Yachts | Spirit 111 | Custom Yacht building

The air conditioning uses variable speeds with eco options via battery or shore power and the galley has been designed with ultimate efficiency in mind. The fridge and freezer were built with Cryogel insulation to ensure minimal power consumption whilst holding low temperatures. Water is heated using a Webasto system, which only heats water on demand ensuring no wasted water or energy, and the heated water is stored within high density insulation and high efficiency transfer coils for rapid heat transfer and temperature retention.

The Spirit 111 is also one of few superyachts capable of cruising without professional crew. Energy efficient Lewmar hydraulic deck hardware and OneSails GBR (East) 4T Forte sails made from recyclable materials will be fitted to a Hall Spar carbon fibre mast and in-boom furling to facilitate short-handed sailing.

Spirit founder and head designer Sean McMillan commented: “A single-masted wooden yacht of this size that can be owner-driven is nothing less than a feat of engineering. The yacht’s impressive strength to weight ratio, a carbon rig and lightweight, performance sails will allow the owner to compete competitively in the Mediterranean regattas.”


The interior of the Spirit 111 was created in partnership with Rhoades Young, which is Spirit Yachts’ first collaboration with an external design agency. Rhoades Young developed the initial concept for a unique, curved interior, which Spirit Yachts’ design team developed and brought to life together in the final plans.

Rhoades Young partner Jonathan Rhoades commented: “It was a joy to work with a client with an absolute passion for design. The brief was a combination of his love for furniture and organic architecture. The client had recently visited Antelope Canyon in Arizona and this was the catalyst for the idea of the warm soft flowing walls creating unique focal points within the room. Whilst appearing simple these twisting forms are co-ordinated perfectly with the beautiful skylights above creating a calm and tranquil ambiance. These elegant forms not only twist and peel to create counters but uniquely create the intimate back drops for the highly detailed ‘steam pieces’ which blur the line between furniture and sculpture. It has been an absolute privilege to work on this project with the client and the craftsmen and women who created it.”

Spirit Yachts head designer Sean McMillan commented: “The Spirit 111 has been completely customised throughout and as a result her interior is totally unique. The design is a never-ending swirl of organic shapes, encompassing the practicalities necessary in a yacht but in a highly imaginative way.”

Down below, walls and bulkheads flow in an ‘S’ shape through the interior, which has a natural look and feel thanks to the combination of exposed Sipo, teak and American Walnut timbers on show. A bespoke, curved American Walnut seating arrangement takes centre stage in the open plan saloon-galley and C-shaped arrangements created from steamed timber curve over the beds in the owner’s and VIP cabins. Discreet doors with hidden, sensor-activated recesses, rather than visible door handles, ensure smooth lines and a contoured look throughout.

Spirit Yachts | Yachts | SY111
Spirit Yachts | Craftsmanship | Shower room in the Spirit 111

The smart lighting system onboard will complement the soft warmth of the wooden interior. Spirit Yachts managing director Nigel Stuart explained: “The interior lighting is controlled by ambient light sensors and a GPS clock to control the brightness and warmth of light ensuring there is minimal difference between outside and inside. There will be no pockets of shade and light as you would normally have.

“The interior will have almost no light switches; motion sensors will turn lights on and off during the day. At night, sensors under the beds will detect if someone is up and light the way to the nearest ensuite. If a guest starts to go elsewhere within the interior, the system will deduce which way they are going and light the relevant areas in a very soft warm light.”

With no requirements for crew accommodation, guests have the choice of two double ensuite aft cabins or a starboard side double VIP cabin. The forward cabin holds the spacious master suite, complete with curved sofas built into the side of the hull, double bed and ensuite. All heads have rounded, solid timber sinks integrated into the worktop and power showers.

The yacht is now set to spend the coming weeks at Spirit Yachts for commissioning and test sails before beginning her winter season with her owner.

Spirit 111’ Specifications:

Designer: Sean McMillan

Interior design: Rhoades Young & Spirit Yachts

Build: Spirit Yachts Ltd, Ipswich, U.K

Client project manager: Jens Cornelsen, Cornelsen & Partner

Owner’s representative: Marcus Wright

Construction: wood epoxy composite on stainless steel space frame

LOA: 33.9m

LWL: 24.0m

Beam: 6.4m

Draft: 4.05m

Displacement: (light) 58 tonnes, 65 tonnes fully laden

Ballast Ratio: 45%

Sail Area: 450 sqm (working)

Rig type: Fractional Bermudan sloop

Engine: Torqeedo electric drive system powered by four BMW lithium battery 40Kwh units. 2 x 25kW generators.

Keel: SG Iron blade with lead bulb, ‘T’ configuration

Rudder: Carbon composite spade type

Rig: Fully custom carbon, keel stepped

Further details:

Torqeedo Propulsion system including 100kW electric propulsion motor, 4 x BMW 40Kwh battery banks, 2 x generators and all control systems:

380v DC system. High voltage allows for greater efficiency.

2 x 25kW DC generators as a back up to power. These will operate at the peak efficiency and preferred load only.

Batteries charge by regeneration whilst sailing, via the generator or by shore power.


Lewmar hydraulic system

This system uses the Vortex reservoir to reduce the amount of oil in the system by 90%. By reducing the amount of oil in the system by 90%, the Vortex gives a weight saving of 53% compared to a traditional power pack, and saves the amount of oil required for servicing and lessens the impact on the environment.

The hydraulic power comes from a high voltage Torqeedo motor, and as a backup, a smaller low voltage DC Lewmar power pack. The system has three modes so that when sailing in eco mode the yacht uses minimal battery power. The other two modes are Fast Cruise and Race.

Sails by OneSails GBR (East)

OneSails GBR (East) will be supplying a wardrobe of high performance 4T Forte three dimensional sails including a mainsail, jib, staysail, FFR flat furling reacher and a furling asymmetric. OneSails’ 4T Forte sails are the only EU certified recyclable sails on the market.

Air conditioning and hot water generation by Webasto

Air conditioning and air heating is managed by two Webasto variable speed units. These have been designed to operate in the most power efficient manner with three modes: Eco1, Eco 2 and Max.

The air conditioning is so efficient that the generators are not required to run overnight even in the tropical climates.

Hot water is provided by a Webasto 5kW boiler or using the residual heat from the generators and stored in a high density insulated tank fitted with finned tubing for rapid heat transfer.

Cryogel Refrigeration

Both fridge and freezer are custom units using CryoGel insulation along with super-efficient compressors.

Bespoke Furniture

The bespoke American Walnut seating and bed heads for the Spirit 111 were built by Will Fennell and Ben Jackson; both former employees of Spirit Yachts, who have teamed up with the company on this landmark project. Designed and developed by Spirit Yachts, the two-part seating arrangement was made out of strips of 10mm x 10mm American Walnut and took over 2,000 man-hours to build by hand.