Is there a production monohull under 60ft LOA with a full cruising interior and all mod-cons that can match the pace and performance of a TP52? Not yet, but there probably will be. Paolo Semeraro, the former Olympian, America’s Cup sailor, master sailmaker and now owner-director of the Neo Yachts shipyard in Bari, Italy, is on a mission to make it happen.
The design brief for the Neo 570, already in build and due to launch next year, reads like a yachtsman’s quest for the Holy Grail. It calls for a boat that can keep up with Quantum and Azzura on most points of sail and in any wind conditions but has shallow enough draught to get in and out of normal yacht harbours. Not only that, it must be competitive in both short-handed and fully crewed racing, yet easy enough to handle that an experienced amateur sailor can use it for family cruising.
It must have a fully fitted interior, air conditioning, a big fridge-freezer, water maker, anchor-handling system and tender garage. Other requirements include RCD Category A (Ocean) certification and the ability to convert from cruising mode to stripped-out racer in few hours, removing some of the furniture, swapping a pinhead mainsail for a fathead one and a fixed backstay for a pair of runners, without a dedicated shore crew or special tools. Read on.