At this time, Kokomo, creates a new record as the largest sailing yacht to be built and launched to date by Alloy Yachts or any other New Zealand boat-builder. A classic flying bridge Dubois design, Kokomo reflects a wide range of initiatives and desires of her owners, says Tony Hambrook, Managing Director of Alloy Yachts.
“This is the third yacht we are proud to have built for these clients, from the elegant, performance-oriented designs from Dubois Naval Architects. With each vessel, the owners, Ed Dubois and the Alloy Yachts team have reached new heights of excellence with the design, technology, engineering, performance and quality,” says Hambrook.
At the time Kokomo’s 74.3 metre mast was stepped, it was the largest mast ever made by world-class spar makers Southern Spars. The carbon fibre mast is complemented by an in-boom furling system. She also carries the largest set of sails made by Doyle Sails in New Zealand – the mainsail is 883 square metres in size, the Genoa 1,151 square metres and the asymmetric Gennaker is the largest single sail ever built by Doyle’s at 2,227 square metres. A jet black hull with a stark white superstructure creates strikingly simple lines for Kokomo’s flying bridge sloop design. The modern, clean look is enhanced with extensive natural teak decks, carbon fibre trims and silver transom graphics and cove stripe.
“The mandate issued by Lang Walker was to create a yacht that was a quantum leap forward from his 52m Kokomo to take advantage of all the lessons learnt from that project", says project manager Peter Wilson of MCM. Wilson continues, "to build a yacht that is sleek and elegant, with superlative sailing characteristics, comfort, speed are reliability - particularly as this vessel will need to sail around Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope when cruising around the planet - as the mast height will preclude her from using either the Panama Canal or the Suez Canal. He also wanted a high degree of comfort, an even higher standard of detailing on the interior and larger social spaces as he loves to entertain.”
Ed Dubois of Dubois Naval Architects says the aim for Kokomo was to combine total seaworthiness, reliability and comfort, all within a package which sails very well in any and all conditions. “Alloy Yachts understands sailing yachts and have pioneered many sailing yacht systems. They first built a Dubois-designed yacht in 1989 when they had 30 people. Now they have over 430 people and have moved into a wonderful area when they can deliver 100 per cent on the design,” says Dubois. “Kokomo is a landmark by anyone’s standards, but a particular landmark for us – the 20th Dubois design built by Alloy Yachts. They have done an incredible job, and the new Kokomo is the manifestation of all their experience and understanding. She is also the largest sailing yacht we have put in the water at this time.”
The superyacht features an extensive line-up of innovative customisations for which Alloy Yachts is well-known. “Structurally, the raise/lower ballasted keel is a significant change for this Dubois design,” says Hambrook. “A keel tower comes up through the centre of the vessel, allowing the whole bulb of the keel to be raised and lowered. Kokomo draws over eight metres with the keel down, and just under five metres with it up.”
Other customised components include the largest captive winches the company has made to date complemented by equally highly-specified feeder and vertical winches, a stern pasarelle and flush deck hatches, raise/lower cockpit glass screens, the Sea Touch monitoring and control system and a headsail sheet car hauler. In order to ensure that specific components aid the yacht’s performance while also meeting their exacting standards the Alloy Yachts team also designed and built water-tight doors, generator sound shells, and bollards and fairleads concealed in the bulwarks.
Kokomo sleeps 12 guests in five cabins, all with ensuites. Her interior is described by Tony Dixon of Redman Whiteley Dixon Limited as “rich and elegant with style of the highest quality to create the epitome of luxurious surroundings onboard a sailing yacht in a practical way”.
Dixon says: “The new Kokomo is a fabulous coordination from both the design and build teams who have learnt from and built on the knowledge of the last Kokomo to create a very refined new yacht.”
Dixon says the styling is modern, but “not hard edge contemporary”. New custom details feature among improved cabin layouts possible due to the extra length available on Kokomo III and attention has been paid to stowage and practical issues. “Very dark, distinctive Wenge and light forest teak timbers accentuate chocolate-brown leather tops and chunky nickel hardware. Stronger features are created, with the help of the Alloy Yachts craftsmen, by wrap-round corner veneers on cabinets everywhere and the contrasting leather stitch-work.” Kokomo will have a crew of twelve accommodated in six cabins, all with ensuites.
Quinten ‘Quinny’ Houry, superyacht project manager at Doyle Sails NZ Ltd, describes the development in sail technology which will be seen when Kokomo moves under sail for the first time in the New Year. “The 846 square metre mainsail incorporates an all-new batten-car system developed by Doyle Sails and Southern Spars to accommodate the massive loads that the yacht will generate. While the 1,154 square metre Genoa will generate 28 tonnes of clew load, double the highest load that we have had to deal with in the past. Many months of engineering and research took place before any of the sails started production. And as noted, the asymmetric 2,300 square metre Gennaker is the largest sail we’ve ever built, and played a large part in Doyle Sails developing a new purpose-built 6,500 square metre factory in Auckland,” says Houry.
At 74.3 metres, the Kokomo rig is the longest mast Southern Spars has built to date and is the longest autoclave mast ever built, says Southern Spars’ director Mark Hauser. “The mast incorporates Southern’s newly-developed furling boom design integrating the best features of the two previous furling booms offered – the Southern Furl and Leisure Furl systems – to create a lighter, more reliable and efficient solution,” says Hauser. “The boom also features a new batten-car system design to eliminate luff tape wear and transfer the high batten loads more efficiently into the mast.”
With 6.5 tonnes of high modulus fibre in the mast tube, Kokomo’s single mast stands an impressive 72.35 metres above deck. Hambrook notes: “Despite her extensive dimensions, Kokomo’s gross tonnage has been kept under the 500 tonne mark at 495 tonnes.”