Royal Huisman Ngoni
The design offered by Dubois Naval Architects for “Ngoni” is much more than an audacious design. It is a really innovative concept any way you look at it. A piercing glance into the dream of the late lamented Ed Dubois.
Finding a 58 metre long yacht which mirrors such a close and radical vision of both the owner’s and project designer’s intents is realistically difficult . We’re talking about “Ngoni” a jewel of a yacht built by Royal Huisman. The yacht’s layout expresses an aggressive trace as wanted expressly by the owner, it had to be a “beast of the seven seas ”. A Highly performing wind piercing, sleek hull where elegance, technologic innovation were to not only represent the project’s fundamental ingredients, but also had to be immediately perceivable by any observer. In addition to this the yacht had to possess, sea-keeping qualities, good manoeuvrability in restricted waters and be responsive to the helm without being stiff. And that’s not all because the owner is a discerning yachtsman who has experienced Fastnet and Sydney-hobart sailing races and loves to steer which is why he insisted on having a sensitive, light, highly responding helm capable of delivering , in spite of the yacht’s size the same feel of a small sailing boat also when deploying a square top 853 square metre mainsail! “This project is every designer’s dream” is what Ed Dubois had said some time earlier. However he managed to develop a concept but never finished.the hull lines are sleek and trim, with some char-
acteristic details like a vertical bow and a convex stern which follows through in line with the aft portion of the deck thus enhancing water flow while stiffening structure. The second element deserves more in depth scrutiny, because it is not installed purely on aesthetical or functional grounds, but it’s technically connected to the yacht’s performance. The 75 metre mast is more like an arrow on a bow represented by the hull as it stands up to great pressure while being relatively low and bare without a superstructure which is meaningful in terms of rigidity and one which presents several openings on the deck.to stiffen the whole deck a 35 mm aluminium plate has been installed all the way round. But this was still not good enough, so Dubois began to imagine an inverted silhouette, which is conceptually very similar to the structure of a bridge where the convex plane is so to compensate and stand up to enormous pressure created by passing traffic above it. This solution increased hull stiffness by 12% without adding any weight. The staircase leading aft increases liveability to the cockpit area and facilitates access to the enormous bathing platform in the stern. In practical terms the deck is clutter free, here again this was not a mere aesthetical exercise but one to enhance aerodynamic efficiency (sails efficiency edn.) A ‘highly minimalist’ approach was adopted in the layout of the deck gear with an emphasis on keeping things readily available and simple, so as to manoeuvre easily while maximising reliability and reducing complexities. The positioning of the helm controls stations are installed aft of the area reserved to guests thereby guaranteeing great visibility to the helmsman. A carbon Bimini can be easily installed above the wheels to deliver shade when needed. The imposing 75 metre Rondal mast is also in carbon. It is to date one of the largest ever built. A square top North Sails
mainsail is normally deployed.to save weight the project team opted for carbon rigging. “Ngoni” has topped 17.5 knots under sails while the high aspect ratio of the helm and rudders, thanks to detailed evaluation of the forces in play kept manual steering easy. Much of the superstructure has been realised in double glazed curved glass. The glass covered shell reveals several sofas to port below decks, a dining table to starboard and wind direction, true wind/apparent wind speed gauges are installed directly facing, on entry. Glazed sliding doors lead to and from the cockpit with no barrier between the two areas. Rick Baker and Paul Morgan are careful to meet the owner’s request which is not to slip into ‘yacht traditionalism’. In fact the general imprinting challenges tradition inasmuch as fluid sinuous lines and vibrant colours are clearly visible. The area dedicated to the owners and guests can be accessed via a curved staircase directly from the entrance/companionway. The interior layout comprises two double guest cabins with bathrooms en-suite. The owner’s night quarters are situated in the stern. They’re made up of a full beam cabin, an enormous bathroom, a large study with bathroom and a gym which benefits from an opening in the hull.the crew’s accommodation is in the bow area and complies to Large Commercial Yacht Code (LY3). Comfortable bunks can accommodate up to nine in six cabins.the engine room can also be accessed from this area. For further information www.royalhuisman.com