A rare opportunity

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The well-known Tripp-designed and Nautor Swan built custom cruiser-racer Valkyrie is on the market…

For the past half a century Nautor Swan have earned a reputation for producing some of the world’s finest cruiser-racers. Swans have generally been produced in series production, with small refinements available to meet an owner’s individual taste. And while these production models are carefully chosen and developed to meet the demand in specific market niches, occasionally there is a unique project that Nautor Swan takes on on a custom basis, which presents the opportunity to welcome a unique yacht to the Nautor CV.

It was on this basis that, in 2007, the design office of Bill Tripp produced Valkyrie, a 78ft modern cruiser-racer that offers its owner great luxury and style while retaining much of the pedigree of a modern race yacht. The build materials, for example, are the same as those used in custom raceboats: pre-preg carbon fibre over a foam core for the hull and deck. This materials mix delivers plentiful strength and stiffness while helping to keep this large yacht’s displacement down to just 38,000kg. Meanwhile, a generous sail area deployed on the yacht’s carbon rig gives a sail area/displacement ratio that ensures impressive performance in all conditions.

Dubbed a ‘café racer’ by Tripp, this fast, sleek and comfortable custom yacht features a flush deck, powerful winch package and innovative line-handling systems so that in both racing and cruising modes the teak decks remain clutter-free. In a nod to the dualpurpose nature of this performance yacht the long carbon bowsprit retracts into the bow to keep both anchoring and mooring easy.

Valkyrie has been all we wanted her to be, a very fast sailing yacht capable of racing with the greatest yachts in the grandest races and a comfortable cruiser that is equally happy at anchor in a deserted cove in Croatia with our family’ – Will & Beth Apold. Famous for series yachts, it is logical that Nautor Swan offer the same build experience to a very select group of customers for a one-off custom yacht

Another such nod is seen in Valkyrie’s ability to change draft from keel-up cruising mode of only 2.8m to keel-down racing mode of 4.4m. The extra depth, not available to many cruiser-racers at this size, helps to transform the yacht’s performance in a racing situation. She’s equally at home lounging at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Port Cervo as she is power reaching on the RORC Transatlantic Race.

The sail wardrobe is also more typical for a raceboat: she has multiple headsails and spinnakers, including Code Zeros, all built in carbon laminates from Quantum. These give the boat a broad versatility in performance for all inshore and offshore racing needs. The Offshore Spars carbon mast and boom of intermediate modulus carbon is supported with Future Fibres PBO standing rigging and a carbon headsail foil to enhance mechanical stability while the sophisticated Harken and Cariboni Magic Trim sail-handling systems are driven by hydraulic push-button controls for ease of use by a reduced crew.

Efficient sail-handling systems may contribute to performance but it is as likely to be the interior of this yacht that appeals just as much to a new owner. A bright open interior may facilitate sail stowage when racing but, more importantly, it offers a spacious, airy feel when moored up and entertaining family and friends.

It is the craftsmanship of the woodworking shop at Nautor that for many is the most memorable feature of any Swan, and on Valkyrie this is evident everywhere that you look. Use of mainly European maple and Brazilian cherry is prevalent, all finished (and well-maintained) with satin varnish. The cabin sole is of PVC-sandwich construction with a Brazilian cherry veneered upper surface. As you would expect, all the joinery is beautifully finished with soft, rounded corners and capable, but understated fiddles to retain items when heeled. The central, open saloon is capable of hosting six to eight guests and is upholstered in elegant and contemporary dark grey leather.

While Valkyrie is created in carbon fibre to make her lightweight, strong and fast, she is also a fully fitted cruising yacht with all the amenities that implies in today’s market. These include full galley facilities, washer and dryer, separate owner, guest and crew quarters, generous water, waste and fuel tankage capacities, 24V DC and 230V AC electrical systems and hydraulic pump systems driven by a diesel 15kW genset, retractable bow thruster, twin 32,000 BTU air-conditioning systems, and so on.

For navigation there is a B&G H5000 instrument package with multiple displays on deck, a 4G radar and antenna mounted on the starboard spreader, Cappuccino low-power computer system and Iridium 9555 satcom.

One of the few truly perfect dual-purpose yachts of the size currently available, all immersed in Nautor Swan pedigree.

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