Mini maxi surgery

We talk to McConaghys about the monster changes made to Nevillie Crichton's Mini Maxi Alfa Romeo
As mentioned in our article on the Mini Maxis on Friday, Neville Crichton’s Reichel-Pugh 68 Alfa Romeo was heavily modified (to put it mildly) over the winter at McConaghy’s facility in China to resolve some substantial balance issues relating not only to the positioning of her mast and appendages, but also to her chines. The new boat is now around 71ft 6in LOA. At the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, Jon Morris, Managing Director of the Australian boat builder took time to fill us in about this - some of the most scary modifications we have ever heard made to a boat. “Basically what we did was strip the boat out, took everything off and propped the deck up and left all the bulkheads hanging under the sheer. We cut every bit of hull away from all the existing structure.” Image of angry man taking angle grinder to the hull–deck join, like opening up a can of beans. With the deck propped up and the bulkheads all suspended beneath it, they then set about enlarging the bulkheads to accommodation a new hull that Reichel-Pugh had designed to go underneath it. Up to around 150mm was added at Beammax on either side while volume was moved forwards and the chine in her aft quarters, part of the cause of her handling problems last year, was removed, replaced by a more rounded section. “And we ended up cutting away all the keel structure. We were going to reuse that, but we got of it all and started from scratch in that area. So what happened was that the deck moved forward on the boat and the forestay moved forward and the transom got pushed out the back as well.” According to boat captain Wade Morgan the keel has moved forwards by around 500mm