Coming to the Solent this August
This yacht is unusual in that she is built using high-end technology and is designed for ocean racing with the potential to achieve high speeds; but she requires only a small crew of six to eight to sail her, while at the same time is fully equipped with all modcons for cruising. Truly she is a state of the art performance racer-cruiser.
Caro was built in 14 months at Knierim Yachtbau in Kiel, Germany. This yard, a member of the Deutsche Yachten – Superyachts Germany working group, has previously built United Internet Team Germany's first ACC boat in 2006.
"We had already built a 49-footer a few years ago for the owner, who lives in Switzerland," said Knierim Yachtbau Managing Director Steffen Müller. "he was very pleased with her and still owns her. But now he has realised his dream yacht."
The owner was able to meet his exacting requirements through Botin Partners. The Santander-based design office, run by Marcelino Botin and Adolfo Carrau, worked on the project under Carrau’s supervision over a period of three months.
The hull shape is beamy at the stern, measuring 5.20m at its widest point. 45% of the yacht’s 16.7 tonne displacement is sited as ballast in the lifting keel. The lift keel allows 4.8m draught to be reduced to 3m when in port. "Righting moment is 15% higher than that of the STP65 racing yacht Container that we built in 2009," explains Müller. As a result there is requirement for the crew to be perched on Caro’s windward rail to achieve maximum performance.
Nor is any effort required to set and trim the black transparent carbon sails from Doyle as these are hydraulically operated by push button.
Caro has two modes depending on her use - she either has a racing boom or the cruising version with mainsail roller furling. This is why the boat can be sailed by just eight whereas a normal race boat of this size would require 16 to 20 people to handle her.
In addition to the lifting keel, there are twin rudders to give the helm maximum control even at high speeds. With the yacht carrying 566sqm of sail on her 30m tall carbon mast Caro's top speed is likely to be significant.
In terms of her build, Caro is built in resin pre-impregnated carbon fibre. The deck and her interior structure are a sandwich construction with Nomex honeycomb core, while the hull has a foam core for better compressive strength in the slamming areas and also for better protection against rough encounters with tenders etc. Accuracy of build has been paramount - the hull, deck and keel bulb are guaranteed to be within one-tenth of a millimetre thanks to the use of Knierim's giant five-axis milling machines.
With her fit-out, the normal compromises have been made between creature comforts and weight. But with Caro there is a proper galley with, for example, an oven rather than a Bunsen burner and the owner has his own cabin in the bow with a wet room and shower. However the wash basin and head are made of carbon fibre, as isthe shell of the navigator's seat and in fact the whole of the interior, which is overlaid with a paper-thin veneer of Cocobolo hardwood.
"At the end we spent a long time considering whether the yacht’s overall weight could take a 6mm teak deck," says Müller.
Vital statistics for Caro:
Length overall: 20m
Displacement: 16.7 tonnes
Ballast: 7.6 tonnes
Construction: Carbon fibre/sandwich
Mast height: 30.30m above the water
Sail area upwind: 226 sqm
Sail area downwind: 566 sqm
Motor: 110 HP Volvo Penta D3