straight out the shed
Brian Benjamin, British entrepreneur and part owner of Carbon Ocean Yachts in Bristol, Rhode Island, describes the concept and development of the Carbon 82:
“Priority one in creating the concept of the Carbon 82 was the development of an excellent, fast cruiser capable of short-handed sailing with ease combined with the ability to become, when required, a serious race boat competitive in IRC events.
With the advent of modern technology, the yachting 24 hours record has risen from 428nm in 1994 to 600 in 2008…that’s a cool 40% in less than 15 years. I had to ask myself, ‘Why don’t cruising yachts go faster?’ The answer is simple; to date, designers of cruising yachts have not taken advantage of the technology! As the trend of owners wanting a yacht for both racing and cruising increases, you see all sorts of them trying to go faster: Swans, Wallys, Southern Winds, and even Oysters. To keep their owners happy, most of these companies have even set up their own races and regattas.
The idea behind the Carbon 82 was to create a cruiser/racer yacht which could be competitively raced under the IRC handicap system which is now employed by the majority of yacht regattas around the world. Many of these regattas are sponsored by Rolex. They’re held in come of the most wonderful places in the world (St. Tropez, Sardinia, Capri and Sydney to name a few) and bring together all types and makes of yachts which results in highly competitive racing. These exceptional events enable you to race at the highest level with both amateur and professional sailors alike. And if you’re not taking things too seriously, you can also enjoy the wonderful parties and nightlife after the race!
The first step in developing the Carbon 82 was to decide on the construction method; pre-preg carbon fiber was chosen for both its excellent strength properties and structural rigidity, and, of course, for its lightness. Even the mast and rigging will be made of carbon. As the project was first and foremost intended to be a cruiser, the interior was designed first, and then the hull was wrapped around it. In my view, the cruising criteria were defined as follows:
- Ease of short-handed sailing with a crew of 2, one being the captain
- Easy to mange cruising sails which could make the boat fast
- Access to the sea by way of a large Mediterranean style cockpit
- Large, luxury owner’s cabin
- Second large stateroom for guests to travel in style
- Large degree of owner and guest privacy
- Large amounts of storage in refrigerators, freezers and galley
- Large lounge both below and above deck
- Clear decks
- Contemporary, modern styling
Equipment for the Carbon 82 is sourced from top, world-class companies such as Hall Spars, Lewmar, EC 6 Rigging, East Coast Interiors, James Thompson Marine Carpentry and Reckman to ensure that there is no compromise in quality. Major efforts have been made by all suppliers to keep weight minimal while maintaining quality and luxury to set new standards in the world of cruiser/racers. This has been achieved, and the result is a beautiful, luxurious, powerful, simple and seaworthy cruiser and a fast racing boat with 32 tons of weight and 13 tons of ballast in the bulb.
Carbon 82 Hull number One is due to be launched in September in Rhode Island, USA. Sailing trials will commence immediately and will be followed by a delivery to the Caribbean this winter. Following several racing events there, she will be return to her home.