The History of Y Yachts
When Michael Schmidt set out to find a large boat for himself, he could not find a good one on the market-neither new nor secondhand-that was even close to meeting his rather high standards.
It had to be 80 feet, easy to handle, without fragile components, and of course as beautiful as possible. Most people in this position would explain their ideas to a designer and hire a shipyard to build this individual solution. But Schmidt-a former Admiral’s Cup winner and one of the most creative minds the sailing scene has ever seen-wouldn’t be Schmidt if he didn’t generate a business idea.
And so he built-initially with a still fairly “manageable” team-the 80-foot-long “Cool Breeze.” With a design by Lorenzo Argento (exteriors) and archistar David Chipperfield (interiors), it should come as no surprise that it was well received by potential clients.
Schmidt realized that he had intercepted a gap in the market and began building a new yard soon after the delivery of “Cool Breeze.” Meanwhile, after four “high-speed” years, more than a dozen boats have already been sold. Y Yachts are getting a lot of international buzz in a segment that is actually already “under pressure.”
The interview with Michael Schmidt
Pure style, carbon heart
The creation of Y Yachts is one of many success stories of its founder Michael Schmidt. Y Yachts are built exclusively of carbon composite in Greifswald, Germany, in a modern, completely new production facility. Y Yachts produces sailing yachts up to 33 meters in length. The yard’s automated paint shed allows it to paint yachts in almost any color or temper yachts in prepreg up to 90 degrees Celsius. Y Yachts’ portfolio currently consists of six models: the Y7, Y8 SRD, Y8 SRD+, Y8 DC, Y9, YX Pure, YX and YC. All united by Michael Schmidt’s motto: “Sailing fun needs a yacht reduced to the essentials without sacrificing comfort.”
The essence of yachting
The underlying problem Schmidt identified in all the large yachts he examined was that they were unnecessarily complicated. “The real challenge is to reduce a yacht to the essentials without sacrificing comfort,” he says. “Our credo with Y Yachts is: the simpler the boat, the purer the sailing experience and the greater the pleasure. Our goal is clear and simple: to use the best available technology to make sailing easier and bring back the pleasure of sailing. That’s why our yachts are designed to emphasize the essence of sailing.”
For example, a carbon Y7 weighs several hundred kilograms less than yachts produced in conventional construction. For a 70-foot yacht this is a considerable value; for example, the Y7 can set sail in much less wind than fiberglass or aluminum yachts.
A displacement of only 29 tons and nearly 300 square meters of white-sail sail area make propulsion possible even in light winds. So shipowners don’t have to worry about there being perfect conditions all the time. Navigation is a pleasure even in near calm conditions.
Y Yachts philosophy in 10 points
Here are the 10 key points of all the models built by Y Yachts that immediately jump out at you:
– All winches and rigging are located near the helmsman
– All boats have a self-tacking jib
– There is a locker for gennaker and Code 0 in the bow area
– Sea intakes have been reduced and contained in manifolds
– All technical equipment is stored in a compartment in the hall for easy access
– The transverse aft garage allows larger inflatable boats to be brought aboard while providing more interior space
– Customization of interior design
– Layout customization
– “Eco” construction using synthetic teak or alternative wood, energy-efficient production, lightweight construction, reduction of window surfaces, use of recycled plastic
– With the exception of the Y9, all models of yachts can be driven with a small crew
In Michael Schmidt Yachtbau’s warehouses, located on the Baltic Sea on the edge of Greifswald, boats up to 33 meters in length can be produced. All hulls and fittings are delivered in carbon fiber, and the automated paint room also serves as a huge autoclave that can process prepreg yachts at temperatures up to 90 degrees Celsius.
Three semi-custom models represent the bulk of the yard’s current production: the 22-meter Y7, the 24-meter Y8 and the latest addition to the range, the Y9, just under 28 meters. The YX, a 22.60-meter Explorer yacht, is also available in two different configurations, and the yard also produces fully custom boats to order. “We are serving the Neo Luxury trend,” says Schmidt, “and with increasing success. We even managed to convince three owners who previously owned motor boats to switch to a sail model.”