Photography by Yachting Developments
There are sportsfishers, then there is the 38.5-metre custom creation under construction at Yachting Developments’ Auckland facilities.
When hull 1015 emerges from the YDL shed mid-2017, it will lay claim to being one of the biggest and most luxurious fish pursuer in the southern hemisphere.
The owner’s project manager David McQueen agrees the vessel’s stylish looks are deceptive, with many boat spotters destined to experience a bout of size confusion as the gorgeous navy hull glides into view.
There is a Riveria-esque quality to the sheer line, by comparison though, a Riviera 75 enclosed flybridge has a dry weight of 42 tonnes against 192 tonnes (half-load) for the supersize Kiwi fisher.
And weight has been a big consideration throughout the design and build process according to McQueen, a highly-experienced superyacht construction and re-fit manger.
“Originally the boat was going to be built in aluminium, but the Owner’s speed and range requirements were critical, so the only way to build the boat to achieve these targets was to build her in composite” he says.
YDL has extensive experience and expertise in crafting high performance composite racing yachts. Ian Cook, the company’s managing director says the same techniques and processes have been employed for the big sportsfisher.
The whole hull shell is carbon fibre, and there’s a lot of carbon fibre being used in the structural stiffness requirements,” he explains. “At the same time as keeping the weight down we need to achieve the sound levels we are looking for,” Cook says.
The design, by renowned US naval architects Michael Peters Yacht Design, incorporates four staterooms including the Owner’s, all with their own ensuites, plus three cabins for the anticipated five or six full-time crew.
Effectively there are three separate cockpits for entertaining, and a massive swim platform which take full advantage of the hull’s 8.2-metre beam. Two semi-rigid inflatable tenders – a 6.3-metre and a 4.9-metre – will be stowed securely on the expansive foredeck.
The Owners, an Auckland businessman and his wife, have been closely involved in refining the spectacular vessel to their tastes. They’ve had input in all facets, from engineering, to layouts, right down to the size of the freezers and live bait tank.
As you would expect on such a craft, the bait tank is suitably proportioned. Holding one thousand litres, McQueen understatedly describes it as “serious” with a “serious flow of salt water through it.” It also has tuna tubes for live fish, perfect for enticing the big ones!
The workforce at YDL is busy installing the boat’s huge fuel tanks that will carry 45,000 litres of diesel. Ian Cook thinks optimum cruising speed will be around 18 knots, while projected speed at half load is 26 knots.
Power will be delivered via twin MTU 12V4000M93’s, developing 6,300 bhp. That kind of grunt will make short work of the trip out to Great Barrier and Little Barrier islands off Auckland.
But this boat is specifically set-up to cruise much further into the South Pacific. Her Owners, who’ve logged a lot of miles in their previous boats, intend to point her bow further north and cast their lures on the reefs fringing Fiji.
With so much planned bluewater passage making, a lot of thought has gone into making the boat as comfortable as possible in a seaway. That’s involved installing gyro stabilisers under the deck in the main cockpit. The advantage being the gyros are fully active all the time, whether in a head swell, or at anchor.
The vessel has a bow and stern thruster with four separate control stations, giving added manoeuvrability for dive drop-offs, fishing and docking.
This is not David McQueen’s first over-size sportsfisher. He managed the construction of Greg Norman’s 26.5-metre, (87-feet), Aussie Rules, 20 years ago.
“That was unique at the time. This is super unique,” he acknowledges.
Anywhere she goes, this boat is destined to leave a bevy of admirers, fishing inclined or not, in her wake.