Have you always dreamed of a boat that heels less than others when sailing upwind, that is totally self-sufficient in terms of energy, that you can use all year round because even the cockpit becomes a cabin when it’s cold? It’s just a dream… there’s no such thing as an absolute boat for living like, or better than, at home. We have visited it.
Her name is VXR5, she is 15.50 m long and has just been launched by the Vismara shipyard.
It was born from the union between Alessandro Vismara and Marco Marioni and his wife. It’s hard to find people who are so competent and passionate, but above all capable of creating an object that, in concrete terms, meets the needs of those who want a boat with all the requirements for sailing all the time and living on board, with all the comforts. But without giving up the pleasures of sailing.
Because, usually, if the boat is too comfortable it’s not good for sailing and vice versa. If you favour sailing, it’s more uncomfortable. Vismara and Marioni seem to have reached the right compromise. And now we’ll explain how they managed to achieve an apparently irreconcilable result.
The project revolves around a boat born in 2015, the V50 Dragon, which had, ahead of its time, some features that are only now catching on.
The first innovation is that the cockpit and interior are on the same level. To be clear, there is no need for a step-down ladder.
Of course, the cockpit is very deep. But this solution allows you to have a real fixed roof (the T-Top in jargon) over your head that covers the entire cockpit without it looking like an eyesore.
It seems irrelevant, but this solution “enlarges” the convivial area of the boat, with an inside/outside solution that no longer exists.
In addition, a structure like the T-Top makes it possible to completely enclose the cockpit area with transparent covers, so that in bad and/or cold weather this key area of the boat can be used, both when sailing and in port. All year round.
Why does the Vismara VXR5 heel less than other boats? The secret is an ingenious system in its simplicity. If you look at the numbers on the boat, you’ll be amazed at the 1,300 litres of water you can take on board. It’s not just a matter of water range. On the two sides in the middle of the boat there are two water tanks in addition to the usual central one. When you’re sailing off course, a simple water pump moves the fresh water upwind. And of course you dump the water on the leeward side. The righting increases substantially. This is obvious.
Water draining overboard is not a problem. The Vismara VXR5 has a powerful watermaker of the latest generation that allows you to run fresh water all the time, without ever having to hook up to the gas station to refuel.
There’s another trick that makes this boat unique. When you’re in the harbour and there’s a bit of a swell that makes you dance, you fill the whole load with 1,300 kg of water and the boat sinks just enough to make it much less susceptible to rolling.
Sailing performance are always guaranteed because the boat is built in a glass/carbon sandwich and the interior is built without any counter-moulding, contributing to the rigidity of the structure. The mast is, of course, also made of carbon.
And if you take a look at the hull lines above you’ll immediately realize that the design is that of a high performance boat, with flat, full lines at the stern as if it were a racing boat.
The result (although we haven’t tried it out) is a boat that sails well, thanks also to a well-ballasted torpedo daggerboard that also makes it possible to reduce the draught to just 2.50 metres, without penalising performance too much. The advantage of lightness (displacement 13,000 kg) is not only useful when sailing, but also when motoring.
Taking advantage of the maximum width (4.30 m), which reaches all the way to the stern, Vismara and Mr and Mrs Marioni have equipped the Vismara VXR5 with two engines and their sail drives. Double advantage. A unique manoeuvrability in manoeuvring that makes it possible not to use the bow thruster, plus the security of having two engines in addition to two 12v and two 24v alternators.
Vismara and Marioni have also solved another problem, that of antifouling, always taking advantage of the innovation available on the market. The Vismara VXR5 has a Slips Dophin silicone antifouling that guarantees 5 years of unaltered performance. All you have to do is give it a wipe because it won’t stick to algae and animals.
And now we come to energy independence, another essential point for a boat that was created to sail, if necessary, without touching land for very long periods. Do you remember the T Top roof in the cockpit? Here we’ve installed 1.4 kW solar panels that are completely invisible because they’re painted to match. This eliminates the unsightly effect of solar panels.
Another simple but brilliant idea from the VXR5. Sailing at night without seeing where you put your feet on the bow. A nuisance when you have to use head torches. But here the problem has been solved with technology. The deck is covered in white synthetic material with fluorescent rubber.
Another innovative solution. The rotating dinette table has three functions: It can seat 6 to 8 people, it can be reduced to a compact size, and it has a classic anti-roll edge and can also be used as a chart table. If you open it up and lower it to the level of the sofa seat, it turns into a double bed.
And finally, something classic. The layout of the interior. Starting from the bow, the large master cabin with double bed, double wardrobe and private bathroom with shower. Continuing towards the stern and on either side of the corridor there are two cabins, one with bunk beds and another with a double bed. Immediately after is a large head with shower.
In the saloon that overlooks the cockpit: on the left a C-shaped sofa with a magic table and on the right the galley with a tilting gas hob, double sink, two fridges plus a freezer, oven, large worktop and chart table in the corner towards the bow for internal steering.
Maybe it’s true, we’re heading for the ultimate boat to live in like and better than a house.
LOA: 15.50 m
LW: 14.00 m
Max Beam: 4.30 m
Displacement: 13,000 kg
Draft: 2,50 m
Water: 1,300 l
Fuel: 650 l
Sail Area: 130 m2
Engines: 2 x 40 hp
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