tisdag 24 november 2009

57' Fast Cruising Yacht


This yacht was meant to be something special, but without making too much fuss about it. She was built on Tjörn, an island on Sweden’s rocky west coast. She may bear superficial resemblance to Hallberg Rassys and Najads which are built on the neighbour island, Orust.

But on closer inspection, she is rather different.

In terms of two things, she is a challenge to any similarly sized cruising boat: In comfort, and in speed. Period.

During five summer seasons, having logged more than 15 000 Nm, quite a few boats have had the privilege of seeing her transom but she has not been overtaken once. The best attempt so far was from an ex-racing 12 metre America’s Cup yacht. The two yachts were sailing close-hauled in 12-15 knots of wind – no bad conditions for a twelve – but, little by little, the twelve was eventually left behind.

Being designed for the Baltic and the North Sea coasts, this yacht also has a shoal draft keel. In order to protect her crew from the cold during early spring cruises, her cockpit is sheltered by a windscreen which is a common feature on boats up here. She even has a centre cockpit. But the similarities with some other Orust boats ends there.


The 57’ One-Off is relatively light at 20,000 kgs. This is an essential part of her performance; if she weighed 30,000 kgs which can be considered normal for the size and kind of boat, she wouldn’t be such a flyer.

So, How?

In order to be light, a yacht has to be designed light. With her carbon rig, just enough lead in her bulb keel, and the boat built like a monocoque, a one-piece construction, she weighs less. In places where ordinary boats are assembled out of big parts glued together with big flanges, for example in the hull-deck joint, this yacht is made in one piece. The laminates are hand rolled to a very high fibre contents, vinyl ester is used throughout together with e-glass. A foam core is used everywhere except in some highly loaded areas like the keel area.

The result is an immensely strong, moderately lightweight yacht.


The 57’ One-Off is a centre-cockpit yacht. Nothing much to discuss except that, generally speaking, I am not a great fan of centre cockpits. These are usually too far forward and too high up in the boat, and so will make you feel exposed. They are usually too small too, typically only 2 or 2½ metres long and without enough room for the helmsman’s seat or a big wheel.

In this design, the two big aft cabins required a centre cockpit. So how bad is it?

It is 3½ metres long. There is a helmsman’s station aft, spanning the full width of the cockpit. It is easy to find a position on the windward or leeward coaming. The helmsman’s seat is a little higher and visibility is excellent. At the helm, the floor can be raised so it works fine for shorter helmsmen too. All the sheets and trim lines are close at hand so the boat can be sailed single-handedly. The winches, the twin headsail furlers and the bowthruster are all electric and controlled by the helmsman.

The forward seating is long, with curved seats and comfortable backrests. This is a layout for leisurely sailing, sleeping, reading or watching the stars on the ocean… Or for dining, in which case the flat surfaces either side of the entrance are perfect for serving!


There is a sizeable lazarette locker aft and a forward deck locker. The forward locker has a shallow part, with its own flush hatch, so the docking lines inside will always be easy to reach. In the cockpit coaming aft is a dedicated space for the life raft. Walking around the decks of the 57’ One-Off boat is comfortable and safe, with well-placed handholds.


As you enter the main cabin, there are is a wet locker directly to port of the staircase and on top of this a shelf for cameras, sunglasses and books. Turning aft on the port side, there is a big-sized chart table with a ‘coal-locker’-style chart stowage beneath. The Baltic can be blistering cold in early spring, so further aft of the chart table, there are a couple of more lockers for outdoor gear.

On the starboard side of the entrance is the heart of the yacht. By heart, I mean the galley. And this galley is very special, because the owners of the 57’ are keen cooks. Not just the kind who read recipes and carry all the latest gadgets, but they do cook. Real food. This galley doesn’t have a microwave.

The fridge is arranged with two huge drawers, facing aft. Dry storage in two equally big drawers, facing forward. The freezer under the worktop on the inside of the galley. Above the sinks a drying cupboard. Lots of space and drawers. A wine cellar under the floorboards. Under the opening port into the cockpit, there is a big coffee machine which grinds and brews fresh coffee.

The galley and navigation connect forward into a pleasant main cabin. There is a pair of Bruno Mathsson armchairs on the starboard side and a dining table to port

The interior is finished in unstained Honduras Mahogany, with white panelling on the hull sides, the bathrooms and underside of the deck also painted white. Directly onto the laminate, with no excessive weight. Knowing this, the super smooth paint finish must be seen to be believed!

There are two equal, mirrored aft staterooms each laid out with a very generous double and a single extra sea berth or berth for a friend. These staterooms share a bathroom. There is a washing machine and a separate
shower stall

Forward, the owner’s stateroom also has a big double and an extra single berth. There are a number of good hanging lockers and clothes drawers, all lined with unfinished cedar. The bathroom is split; to starboard a small head, to port a bigger shower room.


The volume below the soles allows an efficient positioning of batteries, tanks and engine in the centre of the boat. The 57 has a dedicated machinery room, sound and vibration insulated, accessible from opposite the navigation station.


L.O.A. 17,63 m 57,2’
L.W.L. 14,20 m
Beam, maximum 4,85 m
Beam, waterline 4,18 m
Draft 2,23 m
Displacement (lightly loaded) 19500 kg
Ballast 7300 kg
Sail area (100% fore triangle) 144,2 m²

Ratios: D / L 193
SA / D 19,9
SA / WA 2,52
Entry angle 15,5°