TESTED – Y7, when luxury is simplicity. PHOTOS


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Y 7
By Michael Schmidt

If we had to choose two adjectives to sum up the Y7, we would undoubtedly call it original and unconventional. A boat that clearly expresses the vision of the volcanic Michael Schmidt, founder (he was also the founder of the Hanse giant in the early 1990s) in 2014 of the brand that today goes by the name of Y Yachts. The German entrepreneur and sailor, who also won an Admiral’s Cup for Germany in 1985 in the role of helmsman, has a clear idea about Y Yachts: they must be fast and light and have an aesthetic that sets them apart. “Fun sailing is also possible with a simple boat that has the bare essentials on board without sacrificing comfort,” Schmidt explains. The Y7 is the latest and fully embodies the philosophy of the brand’s founder: a boat with some aspects that we would call “minimalist,” almost day sailer style, but at the same time luxurious. The concept of luxury, however, on the Y7 takes on a new meaning. The luxury here lies in having exterior surfaces where for meters and meters nothing is encountered (not a pulley, not one too many superstructures), or interior furnishings where first of all the functionality of each element is sought and its being “marine” without turning into the furniture of a floating house.


“The design of the Y7 was entrusted to American designer Bill Tripp, while the interiors are the work of Norm Architects. “When Michael and I first talked,” says Bill Tripp, “he asked us for a boat that at first glance would immediately put people in the mood for sailing, a boat that embodied modern beauty, performance, simplicity and ease of use, along with the ability to go anywhere. The general principle of the boat is “keep it simple.” This means that we designed a boat that can be comfortably driven by a couple. Equipped with a self-tacking jib, two engines, bow thruster and joystick control, it is easy to maneuver both when docking and sailing,” the American designer points out.

Y 7
By Michael Schmidt


When we find ourselves at the helm of theY7 in the waters of Palma de Mallorca for our test, the first feeling we get as soon as we pick up the wheel is precisely that of ease of handling. We sail under Code Zero at a tight gait, around 60 degrees, with 10-12 knots of wind. The boat is heeled but does not need intervention on the mainsheet, and most importantly, the rudder responses almost give the feeling that we are on a smaller, more maneuverable boat, instead we are really on a 21-meter boat. Even with this wind intensity, the wake is already hinting at coming off and we are always sailing above 9.5 knots, but we frequently go into double digits. In fact, one of the focuses required of the designer was to make the boat perform and be efficient between 10 and 18 knots, in fact, according to Schmidt, the wind range to really have fun is this.

Y 7
By Michael Schmidt

This does not mean that below or above this range there are problems; on the contrary, the rigid and lightweight construction of the Y7 is as useful in breezes as in high winds. On its maiden voyage, the 2600 nm transfer from Greifswald to Mallorca, in strong winds the boat held an average of 14 knots, always sailing safely and without any problems. There is no backstay in the rig; the mast deflection is all on the shrouds and hydraulic vang. The spreaders, in order to safely support the rigging, are rather long and quartered at an important angle of about 45 degrees. A choice, that of eliminating the backstay, strongly desired by Bill Tripp, who began experimenting with it on boats of similar size since the early 2000s. Everything inherent to rigging has been placed close to the wheelhouse, a pair of winches on each side; the rest of the boat is clear, even visually, of any lines.


Internally, the first detail that struck us is also perhaps the simplest but cleverest: two brackets that run across the roof of the dinette, to which two soft fabric handles are fastened. They are used for holding on when there is a big sea. Nothing could be simpler and more functional. Otherwise, the interior also reflects the “Michael Schmidt” philosophy, which found in Norm Architects an ideal interpreter of the boat’s style. Norm Architects’ approach to interior design and minimal aesthetics has been translated into a warm atmosphere with dark woods and especially by eliminating accessories or superfluous elements to achieve a simpler design, following the natural lines of the boat. Lighting further emphasizes the calm and cozy environment, with subtle lamps integrated into shelves and cabinets. The beauty of the details is found in the shapes and high quality craftsmanship of the built-in wooden elements. Doors inside the yacht are designed with seamless frames.


Length. f.t.: 21.68 m

Length. gall. 20,35 m

Width: 5.75 m

Fishing: 3.30 m;

Displacement: 28,900 kg

Sail sup.: 297 sq. m.

Project: Bill Tripp;




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