Mission accomplished for Hodgdon Yachts: the oldest shipyard in the United States (in business since 1816) has announced the successful infusion of a carbon fiber mold for a 100-foot hull. The mold (which will be used for a pre-impregnated carbon hull) will be used for the largest infusion operation for a single hull performed in America (and one of the few in the world). “The amount of planning, organization and coordination required to successfully complete this work was incredible,” noted Tim Hodgdon, president of Hodgdon Yachts.
FOR A DISCERNING SHIPOWNER
But what kind of boat will it be? The owner is Jim Clark, former owner of Silicon Graphics and Netscape-a familiar name on the superyacht circuit. At 47.4 meters, his Hyperion was the largest sloop in the world when it was launched in 1998 by Royal Huisman. In 2004 he replaced it with Athena, a 90-meter three-masted clipper; in 2009 it was the turn of Hanuman, a replica of Endeavour II, Charles E Nicholson’s 1937 design. The boat has been put up for sale to make room for the new 100-foot ultratechnology boat, whose project code name is NewCubed. A sneak peek: the skipper will be none other than Ken Read (two-time helmsman on Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes, two Volvo Ocean Races behind him on Puma and many, many other level achievements).
A BOAT TO WIN IT ALL
The 100-footer was designed by Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot (of VPLP studio) in collaboration with Guillaume Verdier. A team of brains that has made such ocean monsters as Banque Poulaire, Safran, Macif, Groupama and Prince de Bretagne, all record-breaking boats (in fact, Jim Clark wants to try to break every record). The boat will be about the same length as Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI, fresh winner of the Sydney Hobart for the seventh consecutive time, but will have the sail plan moved further aft and the total weight will be less. The choice of keel was long and painful: initially a lifting keel was opted for, but given the number of miles NewCubed will presumably have to grind in the end the choice fell on the canting keel.
SEE PHOTOS OF THE CONSTRUCTION WORK