Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ken Read & Jim Clark- Launch 100 Footer Project

VPLP 100 footer- for Jim Clark and Ken Read project (Newport, RI)- Ken Read & Jim Clark- Never heard of them?  Well, one has won SIX J/24 World Championships underneath his belt, amongst a few other notable accomplishments.  The other guy was one of the co-founding partners of SILICON GRAPHICS (super-cool Unix machines) and NETSCAPE (the stuff that helped build the Internet as you know it today, e.g. web browsers & web servers).  Check out this great SAILING WORLD interview with Ken Read, President of North Sails about Jim’s and Kenny’s “most excellent new project for sailing super fast somewhat comfortably without going mad”:

In the case of Jim Clark’s new ocean racer under construction at Hodgdon Yachts in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, quite a lot, or so says skipper Ken Read. Ken Read’s eyes light up when talking about Jim Clark’s newest ocean-racer project like a child at Christmastime who’s just unwrapped a Red Rider BB gun. The guilty pleasure lies in the fact that this is no ordinary 100-footer (if one can be ordinary). This yacht is designed to be a full-on record-breaker. You name the race or passage—Transat, Transpac, Bermuda, Fastnet, Hobart, to name but five—and it’s likely a target on their project whiteboard.

VPLP 100 foot sailboat- Jim Clark and Ken Read project“This boat is going to be so cool,” says Read, Clark’s skipper and the President of North Sails who has experienced all types of campaigns—from J/24 World championships, to the America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race—in his decades-long experience in the sport. “This type of project isn’t for everyone, but it has a cool presence that will hopefully do the sport good, whether you’re a cruiser or a racer.”

Building a 21st century record-breaker is no small feat. It requires a plethora of designers to tank test scale models and run computer simulations, and there’s the “swat team” of boatbuilders to cook the pre-preg carbon-fiber hull and deck structures. All told, upwards of 32 people have contributed some input to the design and build through active participation or consultation. What will set this boat apart, says Read, is power, and lots of it.

The boat will be 100 feet long with a displacement near 30 tons, beam in the mid-20s, and a canting keel that will draw also in the mid-20s.  Read on here, thanks for contribution from Sean McNeill- SAILING