Here is our latest what is it feature, out sailing – the Kuka-light 40. Mitch Booth was involved in the build and here are some of his comments:
The idea to create something special was following the Middle Sea Race 2009 when competing on a Cruiser/Racer (Kuka) Sly 42. We all enjoy racing and then asked ourselves why wouldn’t we just want to go fast and forget about handicap and rating systems. Why should we compromise our performance and make a boat slower just to have a better chance to win on handicap. This was going against the whole reason we take part in the Sport in the first place…To sail fast and have fun. Also all cruiser racer have a lot of compromises we did not want. If you are racing you need something created for it.
Kuka-Light, has been created with the fresh approach of not considering rating and handicap rules , but simply perform as best as possible for this size boat. The brief from the owner , a long time friend of mine was to build the fastest 40 ft monohull in the World that could take part in the premier ocean and coastal races and be easily sailed by 6-7 crew.
The brief went out from the following ideas:
- To set up a crew is never easy and if you have a smaller crew it will be easier to find them and save a lot of money when travelling around.
- The size of 40 feet was chosen as it is still a size which can be used by normal people, not a professional crew. Also the owner was always using boats of this size.
We started with a clean sheet of paper and applied many principles from our multihull background. The choice of the designers was crucial as we intended to create something different. So an established designer with experience would have problems to forget all what he had done before. In the same time we needed a team of designers capable to do a real race boat. Do to our multihull experience we decided that weight was the highest priority. This resulted in the end with probably the highest power to weight ratio keel boat ever launched.