The new 54ft grand prix racing yacht IRC 54 was launched recently in Wellington, New Zealand. Designed by Tom Humphereys and built by Hakes Marine Limited she represents the second Humphreys designed racing yacht for owner Richard Matthews following on from the successful IRC42. The new yacht was christened Oystercatcher XXVIII.
Oystercatcher XXVIII has been designed with full offshore capability in mind. With engineering by Pure Design & Engineering, the foam cored hull shell offers significant toughness for a slight IRC benefit, while deck and internal structures are of nomex honeycomb cores. Central to the design is a hydraulically operated lifting keel allowing draft to be reduced from 3.65m to 2.5 metres.
The winch, pedestal, hardware and hydraulics package is all Harken supplied. Two MX pedestals drive mainsheet, primary and utility winches. Hydraulic controls for the headsail trimmer include headstay, jibtack, jib in/out and up/down, whilst the main trimmer hydraulic controls include vang, Cunningham and outhaul. The Harken 3 speed pump can also be used to operate the internal mast jack cylinder as well as lift the 5.5 tonne keel as a back up to the engine driven hydraulic keel lift system. The ultra high modulus carbon rig has been supplied by Southern Spars with EC6 standing rigging and the sail inventory is from North Sails UK.
The striking interior with its mix of white painted and clear coat carbon detailing, is comfortable and functional for offshore racing. It includes a fully functional galley, heads compartment, crew lockers and a seated nav station.
The yacht will initially be based at Seaview Marina, adjacent to the Hakes Marine facility, whilst
undergoing sea trials.
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