Clipper 70 Official Launch
On 19th Jan we got to see the Clipper 70 for real at the Crew Briefing day and Official Clipper 70 Launch down at St. Katharine Docks in London.
First impressions are that there is a lot more space both on deck and below. Gone is the crew ghetto, the crew accommodation basically being separated port and starboard either side of the galley, engine bay, and navigation station that all run down the centre of the boat. The crew accommodation is also separate from the sail locker and the forward hatch does not open into the accommodation either – a real bonus.
So let’s have a look at the new yacht then.
Starting on deck aft we have the helmsman’s position, twin helms on this yacht. Notice the safety rail directly behind the helm, and the clutter free binnacle in front of each wheel.
The helm is going to feel very protected.
The hatch directly in front of helm in the middle is into the Nav station, so the helm and Nav will be able to easily communicate with each other.
The following two photos show the view forward from each of the helms positions. A clear view forward compared to the previous Clipper yachts.
View from the port helm position into the cockpit.
Notice how far forward the companionway access is, the large cockpit, wide decks and twin pedestal grinders.
Both grinders can be linked together to drive a single winch which means you can have 4 bodies grinding on a single sheet and halyard.
The mainsheet traveller can be seen just in front of the helm and runs the entire width of the yacht – a massive amount of traveller adjustment!
View of the foredeck area, look how free of deck clutter it is! However the spinnaker poles still need to be fitted.
Although the yacht uses asymmetric spinnakers and doesn’t actually require a spinnaker pole we will still carry them for use when polling out the headsails where conditions are too heavy for the kite.
We weren’t allowed to venture onto the foredeck for a better look due to “safety” reasons. Ironic really since this is the safest time to be on the foredeck.
So now we venture down below to look at the all important crew accommodation and work out which bunks you don’t want to be allocated! As you head down below the first thing you stumble upon is the galley at the foot of the companionway ladder. Unlike previous versions of the Clipper Yacht this is a central island with seating to either side. So out of the way of crew movements for and aft.
|Plenty of work surface available and a larger oven and hob than before.Will come in handy when cooking for 20!|
|On the starboard side of the galley through the bulkhead there are 2 bunks and one of the heads.The other heads is situated in the starboard side crew accommodation.|
On the port side of the galley going forward towards the sail locker are 2 bunks. These are the one’s NOT to get since the bulkhead door fouls them, particularly the lower one. The bunks in the sail locker will be used mainly for storage and only for crew in emergencies (thankfully)
Moving aft on each side from the galley is the bulk of the crew bunks. In between which sits the heads, the engine bay, and the nav station which is right aft. The hatch on the left in the left hand picture gives access to the engine bay (centre picture). The right hand picture shows a typical crew bunk with the masses of personal storage space (?)
Then right aft is the nav station underneath the helm so that nav and helm can communicate directly.
It looks bare at the moment but there’s still a lot of equipment that needs to be fitted.
Talking with the delivery crew they haven’t as yet actually had the sails up other than on the pontoon. So the performance of the boat is still an unknown. However it is 4 tonnes lighter than the Clipper 68’s and carries a far bigger sail area, so there is little doubt that it is going to be seriously quicker, particularly off the wind.
So far Clipper have taken delivery of 4 yachts and the others are now due at the rate of 2 a month. Once Clipper take delivery it takes them around 6-7 weeks to fully kit the yacht out to race specification.