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Formula Yacht Spars builds custom rig for 44m classic superyacht


Lymington based, Formula Yacht Spars has been commissioned to build a custom rig for a 44m classic of superyacht standard. In addition to its own manufacturing involvement, the company has project managed the entire rig project sourcing deck gear, hydraulics and sails. The yacht, which is being built for an undisclosed owner, will have the appearance of a traditionally rigged vessel but underneath has a hi-tech specification which includes lightweight carbon fibre spars which have been timber clad to present an authentic appearance.

Throughout the build, the Formula Yacht Spars project team has worked closely with the builders in a two way transfer of specialist knowledge to ensure that the final product has the cosmetic finish of a classic rig. The special Formula spars are being delivered at the end of July.

All four of the carbon spars have been made using the filament winding process of pre-impregnated carbon, the winding and curing all taking place in the UK. Both of the main spars were vacuum-bagged as well as stretch-taped because of the increased laminate thicknesses. The wood cladding has been carried out by specialist craftsmen experienced in both wood and composites, the veneer being glued to the carbon spar using epoxy adhesive and sealed using a clear epoxy resin. The final finish is of UV stable, polyurethane varnish while the high load areas will be leathered in the traditional manner.

As with many of Formula’s custom rigs, the company will also supply the running rigging and a full deckgear package, in this case sourced from Lewmar and Spinlock. This includes hydraulic winches for integration into the vessel’s main hydraulic system.

Sails for the project have been built by UK sailmaker Banks Sails, which has experience in this extremely specialist area and has been working closely with Formula to ensure authenticity.

Group Managing Director of Formula, Mark Merrit commented, “This is a very unusual project for us as it blends modern carbon technology developed from our America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race customers with traditional boat building craftsmanship. The result has been a lightweight set of spars that look exactly like their traditional counterparts. I am extremely proud of our teams’ commitment to the task and it will be exceptionally rewarding when we see the vessel hoist those sails.”

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