Timeless prestige

Recently launched in Germany, Elida is a 15-metre offshore racer-cruiser designed for the Baltic and Northern seas.

01 September 2022


In a world where racing yachts are evolving into technological artefacts that occasionally lose their appeal, and the temporary whims of today’s rating rules often push owners to change their racing boat every couple of years, Thomas Tison Yacht Design & Engineering has rediscovered the idea of a timeless prestige with Elida.

Thomas Tison, owner of the design and engineering firm that built Elida, has described her as the embodiment of long-lasting prestige. “Elida is not a machine. Her design considers the sailors, all of their senses and the environment,” said Tison.

The main challenge faced was to design a boat that can retain its value for future generations, made achievable thanks to a deep understanding of owner’s needs, as well as the needs of the family.

Prompted by this, Tison’s team carefully selected the most suitable materials and implemented cutting-edge technologies to enhance the timeless pleasure of sailing.

The result is a yacht that distinctly deviates from the current trend of super-fast, minimalist, carbon-fibre racing boats.


Elida is a blend of curved and tensed lines with a pronounced flare, inverted sheer line and rounded turn of the bilge. Her gentle and flowing lines enhance both comfort and onboard liveability.


The owner’s vision

Elida is the Thomas Tison Yacht Design & Engineering’s interpretation of the client’s brief for a family racer-cruiser and his passion for classic yachts. She was designed according to the owner’s regatta program, which includes the prestigious Rolex Fastnet Race.

The team conducted an extensive study on successful past competitors, which showed that a low wetter area hull with high flare was the most suitable option.

This type of hull shape works well upwind. With good seakeeping properties, it’s ideal for the light to medium wind condition which occurs most often in regattas.

The primary objective of Tison’s firm, which specialises in custom yachts, is to transform their clients’ vision into a reality.

In the last few years, Tison has worked on many custom projects for private clients as well as world-renowned sailors such as Ben Ainslie.

“The key to realising the owner’s vision is having an in-depth understanding of their underlying needs,” said Tison. “A skilled designer should be able to guide the owner to identify their needs at each step of the project, and then satisfy them.

“Even though it’s a process that takes time, this deep exploration of needs allows us to come up with unique solutions for creating unique boats.”

Functional layout

The interior of Elida was designed after taking the owner’s requirements into careful consideration, including his family’s needs and the environmental conditions of the seas in which the boat will be sailing.

To ensure a comfortable living environment on board, Tison designed and engineered a custom heating system, a hand heater and a layout that offers extra storage space for sailing equipment.

All components with which the user will come into physical contact, like the handles and furniture, are built into materials that are pleasant to touch, avoiding the use of cold stainless steels and plastic materials.

Several layouts were explored throughout the design process with ease of movement, perspective, light and storage being the essential requirements for both racing and cruising.

The aft cabins are open to the main living section, expanding the area for a longer cockpit and providing an improved feeling of space, thus saving weight and facilitating crew movements.

The chart table, located behind the companionway, allows ease of communication with the cockpit and places the navigator away from the main action.

Above all, it frees up an area that can be utilised for additional storage starboard, making room for a wet gear locker and providing additional countertop surface.

Many details that are normally not explored when designing a 15-metre sailing yacht were taken into account, such as the acoustic isolation and ventilation system.

The use of timber enables the yacht to have a good level of sound insulation and a ventilation system was customised and created ad hoc for Elida.

New technologies

Thanks to his experience optimising the structure of racing and superyachts, Tison was able to select the best available technologies to enhance the pleasure of sailing.

For Elida, Thomas Tison Yacht Design & Engineering has developed a unique timber hull construction method, which results in an incredibly light and stiff space frame.

In-depth testing conducted at an Airbus facility also provided useful knowledge of glued laminated timber construction and its behaviour.

Locally reinforced with unidirectional and woven carbon fibre, the shape of the timber hull has been optimised with Computational Fluid Dynamics and a closer look at the keel bulb displays a high level of hydrodynamic refinements.

In addition, many novel systems were developed: the new lifting keel system enables draft reduction from 3.2 metres to 2.5, while the spinnaker retrieval system and advanced vang and jib dynamic control systems provide competitive gains whilst racing.

These solutions allow Elida to reach a maximum speed of close to 30 knots.



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