GALLERY Ice 52 vs. Ice 52: the gripping speedtest of two gorgeous twins

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Belatrix at the top, Nonnoveloce at the bottom. Photo Giuffrè/Sailing Newspaper

It is not often that we see twin boats launched at the same time, differing only in some construction details. That’s why we went to Varazze, Ponente Ligure, to witness the speed tests of the latest two homebuilt
Ice Yachts
. Two Ice 52s, Belatrix and Nonnoveloce, which, under the smug eyes of their respective owners, battled it out for several hours in Ligurian waters, under the watchful eye of the shipyard’s staff and designer Umberto Felci.

The Ice 52 Belatrix. Photo Giuffrè/Sailing Newspaper

The two boats as we said are for all intents and purposes two sisterships but, thanks to the wide range of customization options offered by the shipyard, the respective owners have given their own touches to customize them and create the perfect concept for their needs.

The close comparison between the two Ice 52s. Photo Giuffrè/Sailing Newspaper

The major differences start from a construction point of view: Belatrix, white hull, was made of 100% carbon, while Nonnoveloce 57%. Also with a view to saving weight, for sport use, Belatrix has been equipped with a carbon rudder shaft that is almost 70 kg lighter than its twin, lightened winches and faux teak on deck, for an overall weight saving (excluding construction), close to 200 kg.

The lighter color of synthetic teak is noticeable on Belatrix. Photo Giuffrè/Sailing Newspaper

The deck rigging layout is identical, as are the sails (North Sails 3Di for both). Nonnoveloce has more classic interiors with highly defined woods; on Belatrix, on the other hand, there is room for the carbon look in composite and a more measured use of wood. Two different versions of the same design, which in the sea nevertheless proved the goodness of the water lines designed by Umberto Felci.

The two Ice 52s sailed side by side for a long time, Belatrix appeared a bit more responsive on intensity changes. Photo Giuffrè/Sailing Newspaper

Under a good Libeccio between 10 and 15 knots, the two Ice 52s sailed side by side for a long time, much to the delight of photographers. Very interesting were the findings we detected, both observing the two boats from the dinghy and sailing aboard.

The Ice 52 Nonnoveloce. Photo Giuffrè/Sailing Newspaper

Overall, the top speeds of the two boats seemed quite similar: in the described conditions of intensity, with a rather pronounced long wave, the two 52s sailed at an angle of about 40 degrees true to the wind easily exceeding 8 knots, with peaks above 9. The difference we noticed was mainly on the cues: Belatrix on gusts, or coming out of the dead angle after a tack, or even when resting from upwind to transverse, gave the feeling of being slightly more responsive and having higher accelerations. On the long wheelbase the difference tapers off, thanks to a well-balanced hull and a well-proportioned sail plan that provides a good reserve of horsepower without putting a strain on handling.

Mauro Giuffrè

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