A Sailing “Dream Team” Joins Forces to Design a New Chapter in Sport Cruising

David Anand Rajapakse
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Elan Yachts, Pininfarina, Humphreys Yacht Design and Gurit team-up!

Elan Yachts joins forces with Pininfarina, Humphreys Yacht Design and Gurit in an effort to give birth to the ultimate performance cruiser. The as-yet unnamed project aims to combine the best in shipbuilding technology, naval architecture, and industrial design. Elan, a pioneering innovator in the field of sailing yachts, will rely on its 75-year shipbuilding heritage and know-how for the creation of this new yacht, as well as a team of “best-in-business” specialists to really push the envelope with every aspect.

“We cannot reveal the name of the yacht yet,” says Marko Škrbin, Director of the Marine Division at Elan Yachts. “But we can say that it will be among the largest Elan yachts. It will focus on the performance side of our range and it will challenge our capabilities and push the boundaries in terms of technology and design. However, in concept and spirit, this yacht will represent more of a return to our roots; it will be a yacht for true and demanding sailors that also provides comfortable living aboard.”

Aesthetics by Pininfarina

Elan's love for the sea and Pininfarina's passion for speed came together in the design of this yacht. Born under the imperatives of sportiness and performance, the new sailing yacht designed for Elan embodies the legendary style and nautical tradition of Pininfarina, which began by working with full custom designs and then resulted in the production of series and semi-custom yachts with the most important and iconic shipyards in the world. Both the exterior and interior aesthetics were designed by Pininfarina, taking a visionary step towards the future of sailing and nevertheless respecting and reinterpreting the classic elements that make Elan’s boats iconic and recognizable.

“We wanted to give this project a strong sporting connotation, using a few fluid lines to give it a solid and unique character,” explains Daniele Mazzon, Chief Transportation Designer of Pininfarina. “The result is a sailboat with pure shapes and a modern style projected towards the future, which is the direction performance lovers must always look at.”

Naval Architecture by Humphreys Yacht Design

Collaborating on Elan’s most acclaimed projects for more than 25 years and co-designing award-winning projects like the European Yacht of The Year awarded Elan Impression 344, Elan 340 and Elan 350, the Elan team would not be complete without the prized contribution of one of the world’s leading naval architecture studios: Humphreys Yacht Design.

“We are very excited about the new yacht design for Elan”, says Tom Humphreys, Director and Co-Owner of HYD. “Building on the core philosophy of Elan, this will be a really accomplished fast cruising yacht that we expect to deliver the 60/60 formula that has been our aspiration and ethos for this type of yacht. For those not familiar with the sentiment, we mean that both the performance-minded sailor and the cruising sailor will perceive the balance of the boat as 60/40 in their favour.”

Compared to other yachts in Elan’s repertoire, the HYD team is looking to distil a bit more performance in this project. Choosing a deeper standard draft and a lighter build, the design will result in a lower displacement to length ratio, with the hull-form benefiting at higher speeds from a slightly flatter rocker, straighter buttocks and run aft. The rig height will also be taller and the sail area increased, resulting in a higher sail area to displacement ratio. Rob Humphreys, the founder of HYD studio, added:

“All of this will result in a design that will power up a little earlier in slightly less breeze and with a higher speed potential, but will still provide effortless sailing and finger-tip control.”

Composites by Elan and Gurit

Elan was among the first pioneers in naval composite technology back in the late 1960s, and they spearheaded the composite Vacuum Assisted Infusion Lamination process for serial yachts back in 2003. As a result of this, Elan composites are renowned as among the best in the industry, resulting in the composites division not only facilitating the naval industries, but also wind energy and lightweight aviation, among others. For this project, however, the Elan composites team wanted to push the envelope of performance composite technology even further, so they partnered with one of the world’s leading composite specialists, Gurit. The partnership involved extensive analysis and optimization of the laminate plan for the new yacht to identify all areas of potential technological advancement and produce composites with the best possible mechanical properties.

“Gurit are pleased to collaborate with Elan’s engineering and production teams on the composite structure of the new Elan yacht,” stated Steve Shaw, senior engineer from Gurit. “Bringing together our performance sailing knowledge, we are able to design laminates that are stiff, strong and lightweight, whilst considering the practicalities of construction and maintenance throughout the life of the vessel”.

All the details about this project will be revealed during the Cannes Yachting Festival in September, while the yacht itself will be available to see live at Boot Dusseldorf in January 2022.

A Sailing “Dream Team” Joins Forces to Design a New Chapter in Sport Cruising

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