We promised you an update from Jim Donovan on his slick looking new 6m sporty, and here ya go…
Over the past several years I’ve been developing a design for my family to sail here in Hawaii. The design process looked at a broad range of yacht size and was influenced by many decades of my designing and racing high performance yachts. We sail all year long in Hawaii and the sailing conditions are unsurpassed. Typically the winds are beautifully consistent, In the summer months the Tradewinds kick in, often in excess of 25 knots for a predictable measure of highly energized racing.
I wanted a high stability design that would excel in all conditions. Venture out into ocean here and you need a seaworthy design. I’ve seen very few small sportboats that are suitable. I grew up sailing in San Francisco often racing offshore in 24 to 30 foot ultra light displacement boats. We pushed the boats hard and tested the limits of these designs: it was fun but dangerous. I’ve incorporated characteristics into the Donovan 6m design to increase the safety margins for the boat and crew. Quick recovery from a knockdown with a cockpit and hatch arrangement that stay dry are necessities. Capsize is not an option.
There is a very real threshold in yachts that occurs at about 22 feet LOA that changes the whole nature of the boat. Below 22 feet the boats are user-friendly for most people to sail effectively. Above this size you need large/strong crew members to pull on the sheets in windy conditions, so some friends and family members will get left on the dock.
In the spring of 2009 I arrived at the solution: it combined the proper blend of high performance, high tech construction, and affordability. The sail handling loads are within the abilities of the majority of our friends and the boat will be able to be sail efficiently with a crew of three. The high stability hull form, and deep keel will deliver excellent upwind performance. Off wind the ultra light displacement and tall rig will let the boat fly. Donovan 6m is a sophisticated high performance racing yacht in a sexy package, designed and engineered to provide exciting performance in all conditions.
Construction of the first hull began in July 2009 and kit packages in development for 2010 delivery. For more info on the boat, click here.