The sea trial was pubblished on Superyacht 33 – Summer 2012

One of Sarissa’s main features is that she’s the largest carbon fibre sailing yacht to have been built to date in Holland.

On the other hand Vitters had already proved its worth with other superyachts in the likes of Cinderella IV, a 128’ sloop that captured much attention from all sides concerned including technicians as well as potential purchasers for the sheer size of the project and for the features highlighting the technical aspects that went into the construction of the same.

The same guidelines aimed at obtaining high all round performance were deployed this time as well which meant weight reduction and consistently adequate project design work. First things first. Sarissa’s owner, well aware of the yacht’s full  potential and imposing performance made it clear from the start he was going to race in all major international events, but the list of ‘must haves’ included the sort of gizmos and the high standard of comfort requested when deployed as a family cruiser and when sailed with a limited crew.

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All of this is foreseeable enough especially when considering the size of the yacht and the owner’s well defined clear cut requests on a new build. However the difficult parts of the puzzle for designers and yards to resolve, in their endeavour  to come up with the best solutions where best translates into something more than what has been achieved till the present time.

With Vitters’s Sarissa, the whole of the highly esteemed design team involved in the challenge has surely gone beyond the “déjà vu” by successfully developing many new solutions which make this yacht one of the most “avant garde” cruiser/racers to date.

One of Sarissa’s salient aspects that best expresses the aforesaid concept is the fact there are two different sail plans envisaged which in practical terms mean two triangular shaped conventional sails, or a main sail sporting a highly pronounced roach at the top end which increases the standard surface area by 20% for racing, while both the standing and running rigging remain the same which requested much engineering to be able to exploit the yacht’s potential to the full in both configurations (cruiser & racer).

Complex work went into the hull design as well to come up with top hydrodynamics first time round taking into account the required specifications and structural solidity needed to perform safely also when engaged in ocean crossings.

Louis Hamming plant MD told us back at the yard that huge amounts of hours were put into Sarissa in confronting data at every level and with Green Marine too which was responsible for the carbon fibre hull and which was often called upon to perform structural changes to reach the team’s sought after results. Louis Hamming described all of the work and human resources dedicated to Sarissa as an exciting challenge from which many equally exciting trophies are expected.

The analysis of the technological solutions studied concerning Sarissa which were put into the actual construction would require more space than we have available even if it’d be undoubtedly thrilling to explain. Another interesting feature which demands to be highlighted has to do with what’s below the waterline, namely a lifting keel which can shift draught from 6.2 metres to 4.0 m with all the advantages one can intuit while sailing on a run or close hauled and also on approaching shallower ports, waterways, and bays which would otherwise become inaccessible.

Tripp Design Sarissa’s design studio informed us that everything on board has been conceived to be highly efficient in terms of handling but also with limited crew which means we aren’t looking at an extreme racer but at a yacht capable of great performance, geared to be sailed easily enough when short handed as well.

The project team reaffirms what they had said already that in fact Sarissa expresses the perfect match between maximum luxury and comfort with advanced sailing performance. As for the interiors entrusted to Rhoades Young Design that after getting across the importance of establishing a good working relationship to best understand and thereby satisfy the owner’s requests, we were informed the yacht was designed to meet the requirements of a young family planning to experience many an adventure on board Sarissa. For this specific reason every detail takes into account spending long, prolonged periods on board for guests and crew, and consequently the interiors are welcoming yet modern rather like a home from home.

The data passed on to us from the design studio confirms what we have gathered from other professionals involved in the project as well which is that client relationship has in every case been bountiful and intense from start to finish.

The end result has been produced as per the owner’s necessities and taste. The project material we viewed stands out as efficient and original at the same time, where for example bathrooms are contained within the cabins rather than situated en suite all of which confers an idea of greater enhanced space. The owner’s/guests’ quarters are situated in the stern area where the owner’s suite runs full beam and can be accessed by both a separate private entrance directly from the cockpit or by means of the central passageway which leads to the remaining cabins as well.

The port side hosts two cabins one with twin beds for the children, and a communicating bathroom is shared with the nanny’s cabin alongside. On the starboard side there’s a double guest cabin with dedicated bathroom.

The engine room, ship’s plants and technical area are situated amidships while the bow area sports a large study which doubles as a further guest cabin with dedicated bathroom, a saloon, galley and adjoining dining area forward of which there’s a crew mess room, laundry room, captain’s double cabin and private bathroom, as well as two crew cabins with bunk beds and dedicated bathrooms.

The upper central area amidships from inside offers a great sea view with another saloon furnished with sofas, table, multi-media gear opposite to a bar corner astern of which we come to the helm controls inside the wheel house.

Much more can be said about such a sailing ship, but for lack of extra available space we have to stop short of a full description and hope to have managed to convey and highlight till here the high degree of project work that has made this sloop rig yacht very special and not only in its construction.

For further information: Vitters

by Angelo Colombo and photos by Tom Nitsch

LOA: 42.60 m – LWL: 38.80 m – beam: 8.60 m – draught: 4.0 m/6.2 m – ballast: 38t displacement: 140t. – sail plan: 1,000 sq.m. – construction material: carbon fibres – mast height: 56 m – mast & boom: carbon fibres – engine: 1×490 HP Caterpillar C12 DITA- fuel tanks capacity: 12,000 lt. Design studio: Tripp Design – interior design: Rhoades Young Design Ltd.