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news & views from

dixon yacht design
                                  Antares - a star is born
                     Liara - meet sailing’s new generation
                       New Zealand - a country too far?
Issue 1
From left to right, top to
  bottom - the team are
               as follows:
                             Meet the team
                                     elcome to the first edition of Topdeck, the
                             W       Dixon Yacht Design magazine created to keep
                             you in touch with our latest designs and innovations
              Tim Smyth      in yacht design technology - both power
               Jon Oates     and sail.
            Guy Newton       It is fitting that this publication should appear this
                             year, our 21st anniversary. However at the end of
            Anders Berg      this publication, you will learn that our history and
                             experience goes back many more years.

               Bill Dixon    We have always made sure to blend our experience
                             with the very latest design technology available. Our
         Christine Dixon     office, full of up to the minute hardware and
           Marie Renard      software, keeps us at the cutting edge of yacht
                             design; and not just the design but also the
                             production technology that ensures both custom and
                             production yachts are built as efficiently as possible.
                             At the end of the day however, like most companies,
                             our success is our people and I am really fortunate
                             to have such a highly talented team working with
                             me. As I hope the picture above conveys, we are
                             very happy in our work and I firmly believe that the
                             atmosphere in our office, allied to our collective
                             knowledge and the technology at our disposal,
                             produces some very special yachts on the water.
T    he challenge: to design a yacht for an owner who
     for years has owned racing yachts, but now wants
to relax with his family, with all the comforts and safety
                                                             In every detail, care has been taken to ensure that
                                                             weight, or the lack of it, in no way compromises
                                                             strength. In fact, by utilising the very latest technology,
of a cruising yacht, but one which still has sufficient      the strength, weight and stiffness of the vessel has
performance to be very competitive in ocean races.           been optimised. The highly respected company High
                                                             Modulus engineered the hull and deck to comply with
‘Liara’ is our answer. A 65 foot vessel which we believe     ABS scantling rules while the masthead rig, supported
represents the ‘new generation’ of cruising yacht.We         by three spreaders is made of carbon fibre.
have no doubt that our design lead will be followed by
others in the future. There is nothing extreme about
Liara – just a painstaking examination of every aspect                                                                     Southern Ocean Marine in New Zealand, built the
of her design, construction and specification. At a
lightship weight of 24,000 kilo’s she is considerably
lighter than all the production yachts we could find of
a similar size.                                                     Liara                                                  vessel to the highest standards, and after initial
                                                                                                                           hesitation at the thought of having his yacht
                                                                                                                           constructed 12,000 miles from home, her English
                                                                                                                           owner says that building at Southern Ocean proved to
                                                                                                                           be a stress free experience - even commenting "There
                                                                                                                           is so much going on in New Zealand. The industry
                                                                                                                           is totally up to date with technology, and I don’t
                                                             The vessel is designed for short handed cruising, even        think I could have achieved the same level of
                                                             down to the provision of a retractable bow thruster,          expertise elsewhere".
                                                             but careful thought has also been given to ensure that
                                                             she can quickly convert to racing mode when her               You may think this cutting edge technology and design
                                                             owner has the time.                                           comes at a high price! You would be wrong. The cost
                                                                                                                           of Liara’s design, build, and attention to detail,
                                                             Comfort has not been stinted on either, and the yacht         complete with her high specification, more than
                                                             still has the full specification expected of today’s          stands comparison with quality production yachts of
                                                             modern cruising yacht.                                        a similar size.

                                                             Our “new generation”
                                                             of cruising yacht

       e are proud of the long associations we have
       with the production yacht companies we
                                                            recommended a vessel in the 80 to 90 foot range -
                                                            the 87 is the result. She joins her 58 and 70 foot
design for - our links with Johnson Yachts goes back a      sisters to be the flagship of the Johnson fleet.
long way. Back to the early eighties in fact, where every
                                                            The concept we have developed is that of a mini
production yacht produced by the company since
                                                            mega yacht with a very distinct identity. She is very
then has been designed by us.
                                                            striking in design and it is easy when you are on her to
We are often asked by our production clients to get         imagine yourself on a much larger vessel.
involved very early on at the concept stage of a new
                                                            We expect the 87 to become a significant yacht in the
vessel, and the Johnson 87 is a very good example of
                                                            80 foot plus market. She is built to a very high
how our input can assist them.
                                                            standard, has huge internal volume and her fast planing
Johnson was well aware that their competitors were          hull driven by twin 1800hp MTU’s showed itself to be
producing larger and larger yachts, and we considered       dynamically very sound, giving a comfortable ride
in great detail the various options they had. We            when she was taken on her first sea trials recently.
royal   denship classic 90
            oyal Denship recently built a 125 foot classic style
        R   motor yacht, which resulted in a large number of
        enquiries asking whether the company were planning
        a smaller version. Needless to say, if they weren’t at
        the time, they very quickly changed their minds - we
        were asked to produce drawings for a 90 foot version
        of the larger vessel.
        Specifically designed to be built from composite
        materials, the yacht’s hull has been extensively tank
        tested using various configurations of appendages to
        find the most efficient form. One of these included the
        use of a bulbous bow, seen these days on most large
        ships. Although the bulbous bow did demonstrate
        some advantages it may, for some owners, be
        considered too modern on what is in all other design
        respects, a classic styled yacht. For this reason the
        bulbous bow will be offered as an option.
        All the yachts will have bilge keels however, which
        were shown to reduce roll considerably when
        moored, and active stabilisers for use underway.
        This boat will be significantly beamier than the original
        vessels of this style which will give the vessel a much
        more spacious interior. Beneath the classic styling, the
        yacht’s equipment and management systems will all be
        state of the art.
        The Royal Denship 90 and the Johnson 87 on the
        facing page show how easily our design team can
        adapt to a complete change of style. One, up to the
        minute styling, the other, on the surface at least, dating
        way back to a more classic era. Both vessels are
        completely designed by our team, inside and out!
    he splendid looking vessel on these pages is             we will be working in close collaboration with Dick
T   Antares, and it will come as little surprise to
know that we are delighted to have been awarded
                                                             Young who is in charge of the interior design.
                                                             Antares is to be constructed from "Alustar" aluminium
the design contract for this lovely yacht - for
                                                             and as you would expect, will have a complete and
several reasons.
                                                             very high quality specification. Main engine power will
• Firstly, the commission has come from an owner             be provided by an MTU 820 HP diesel engine with
whose current vessel was also designed by us.                close quarters manoeuvring considerably enhanced
                                                             by the inclusion of 75 HP Hundested thrusters at both
•  Secondly, she is, at 40 metres, the largest sailing
                                                             bow and stern.
vessel we have designed so far.
                                                             The yacht’s main and mizzenmasts will be
• Thirdly,  she is shortly going into build at the
                                                             manufactured from carbon fibre and will be
prestigious Royal Huisman yard.
                                                             supported with rod rigging.
We work very closely with all our owners to ensure
                                                             Rondal will supply custom built deck hardware and
that their requirements are fully met, and with Antares
                                                             hatches, plus the reel and drum winches.
this liaison is even closer than usual. Our client is very
keen on two elements of the design. She has to be a          Internally the yacht will have all the systems you would
comfortable yacht but she also has to have good              expect to ensure the safety and the comfort of all on                Scale model being tested
performance, and to this end an extensive research           board. A high capacity watermaker, custom built air                  in the wind tunnel
programme has been carried out. This has involved            conditioning and fridge freezer systems and a
the use of both wind tunnel and tank testing to test         communication system will enable the yacht to be in
various rig and keel configurations and to arrive at the
best possible combination.
In addition, and here our extensive design knowledge
                                                             ‘live’ contact with the rest of civilisation, anywhere in
                                                             the world.
                                                             All of these functions plus the yacht’s own security will
                                                                                                                         A star
of deck saloon style yachts comes into play, there is a
requirement to ensure that as much as possible, the
deck saloon, the cockpit and aft deck areas become an
integrated part of the whole living area of the vessel.
                                                             be watched over by a very sophisticated alarm and
                                                             monitoring system custom developed for the vessel.
                                                             It goes without saying that Antares is going to be a
                                                                                                                         in the
Dixon Yacht Design is responsible for the naval
architecture and the exterior styling of the vessel and
                                                             very special yacht, built by some exceptionally talented
                                                             people. We will keep you up to date with progress
                                                             through these pages.                                        making
the   New Zealand connection
         ictured and briefly described on these two pages        Owners whose yacht’s are being built in New Zealand          Although happy to work with ‘outside’ interior
      P  are yachts in build or recently completed which
      we designed and were built in New Zealand.
                                                                 generally make three of four visits to the yard whilst it
                                                                 is in build - To see the progress, and meet with the
                                                                                                                              designers, most Dixon Yacht Design vessels have
                                                                                                                              interiors styled in-house and Hanseat IV’s raised and
                                                                 builders & their representatives.                            fielded cherry panelling demonstrates both excellent
      It’s not hard to understand why New Zealand has
                                                                 GRAY LADY                                                    design and the quality workmanship of Austral Yachts
      become a very popular country in which to get a
                                                                 Her American owner, like more and more of our                craftsmen
      yacht built. Yacht building is an important industry
      there and the yards produce high quality products at       customers, previously owned a vessel designed by us.         DULCINEA
      very reasonable prices, aided by an experienced work       A 72 foot deck saloon vessel ‘Gray Lady’ has recently
                                                                 gone into build at the Vaudrey Miller yard and will be       As previous owners of a production yacht, the owners
      force and low labour rates.
                                                                 launched next year. More details of her will be made         of Dulcinea were pleasantly surprised when it was
      Communications, which only a few years ago were a          available in later editions of this publication.             shown to them that they could have a custom
      problem, are obviously no longer an issue. With the                                                                     designed and built 63 foot yacht for no more than a
      advent of the Internet we can get complicated              FREYA                                                        quality production boat.
      drawings to the other side of the world in seconds.        Sailing an 80 foot yacht with just the two of them was
                                                                 declared not to be a problem by the British couple for       They had spent many months planning their ideal
      They in turn, are able to send us pictures (and video if
                                                                 whom we designed Freya. This statement was made              yacht and obtaining quotes from yacht manufacturers
      necessary) to show details of any problems they may
                                                                 even though their last yacht was ‘only’ 55 feet in length.   for a fully equipped vessel. All the time however, they
      be encountering.
                                                                 Loaded with features designed to make short handed           were being nagged constantly by the knowledge that
      Of course we do not expect our owners to leave             sailing both safe and comfortable, Freya is taking her       they were not getting exactly the vessel they wanted.
      everything to the builders, and we have close working      owners on their third circumnavigation. Of particular        A conversation with Bill Dixon led to some rapid
      relationships with firms like MD Marine in New             interest is her rig, required by her owners to be able       rethinking and to Dulcinea.
      Zealand, who act as the owner’s representative and         to withstand the worst of conditions and
                                                                 circumstances and is described by the makers, New            This lovely yacht includes all their requirements and to
      project manager while the yacht is in build.The project
                                                                 Zealand’s Matrix Masts as ‘bullet-proof ’                    quote Boat International in their recent test of the
      manager liases with the owner on a regular basis and
                                                                                                                              vessel and when discussing the custom option, " their
      ensures that the yard is building the yacht in line with   HANSEAT IV                                                   recent experience has demonstrated it doesn’t have
      the owner’s requirements and to budget.                    Austral yachts are one of the smaller New Zealand            to carry a financial risk or involve personal anguish".
      Just for once, time difference can help here. Problems     yards, but the quality of their work is excellent and
      that occur during the working day can be discussed         they were chosen to build Hanseat IV using wood-
      with the project manager that same evening and then        epoxy construction built to Germanischer Lloyd rules.
      communicated to the owner or us. We then have a            Wood epoxy has several distinct advantages over
      day to solve it, and get the response back to them in      steel or aluminium - Whilst still producing a very
      time for the start of their next working day. It may not   strong result. It offers good thermal insulation, poor
      sound much, but it is amazing just how many times          transmission of sound and gives slightly greater
      this simple ‘time delay’ of 11 or 12 hours has meant       internal volume then either steel or aluminium.
      that production has been able to carry on without          At just under 81 feet Hanseat offers very comfortable
      any hold ups.                                              accommodation for the owner, his party and two crew.

Gray Lady


           Pearl 55
              PEARL 55
              beam owners stateroom aft and a decent sized
                                                              Moody 64
              “A sleek and stylish 55 foot motor yacht with a full
                                                                          MOODY 64
                                                                          For many years the name Moody has been
                                                                          synonymous with all that is best in British production
              flybridge is not possible!” It is now with our design for   sailing yachts. For just as many years, all the vessels
              the new Pearl 55, which will make its debut at the          produced by the company have been designed by
              Earls Court Boat Show in January 2003. The vessel           Dixon Yacht Design.
              sleeps another four people very comfortably in a VIP
                                                                          With the launch of the new 64, Moody’s are following
              stateroom forward and another double cabin, all
                                                                          on from the great success of the 54 which although
              incidentally, en suite.
                                                                          only launched a couple of years ago has already proved
              New innovations are also to be found on deck. These         itself a winner both in terms of sales and design.
              are not gimmicks but sensible, carefully thought out
Pearl 55                                                                  Moodys could see that an ever more affluent customer
              features to enhance the owner and his guest’s
                                                                          base was demanding larger vessels and in the 64 we
              enjoyment of the yacht. Among the most notable, a
                                                                          have been able to use much of the knowledge we’ve
              concealed hydraulic passerelle and tender lift and a
                                                                          gained over the years in the design of larger custom
              carbon fibre electronically operated aft deck sunroof.
                                                                          built cruising yachts. Considerable thought went into
              The company tell us that they already have a long list of   designing not just an excellent long range cruising yacht,
              yacht owners following the progress of the 55’s develop-    but also into the production engineering to ensure the
              ment. Hardly surprising with a vessel which is going to     yacht could be efficiently built.
              set so many new standards for a yacht of this size.
                                                                          This is a large yacht but it can easily be handled by two
              Early design work is already underway on a smaller,         people with most of the sail handling equipment and
              46 foot, sister ship for the 55.                            deck gear powered and a bow thruster fitted as standard.

Moody 64
                          o amount of computer technology can replace
                    N     experience, and at Dixon Yacht Design we have
                    that in abundance. Although 21 years old, the
                    company’s lineage goes back much further. Bill first

    sense history
                    worked for highly respected naval architect Angus
                    Primrose and it was his knowledge, encouragement

A                   and enthusiasm that so helped Bill in his early days.
                    With the death of Angus in 1981, Bill made the
                    decision to keep the business going and it says much

        of          for him that many clients stayed on board, including
                    Moody Yachts - a client for some years prior to Angus’
                    death and still one today.
                    Companies cannot survive however, by always looking
                    to the past, and we pride ourselves on our forward
                    thinking in all areas of yacht design. Design which has
                    produced landmark vessels such as ‘Yanneke Too’
                    (International Superyacht Award winner in 1995), ‘That’s Y’,
                    the Moody 54 (British Nautical Awards winner, 2000) and
                    Liara. In the next edition of this publication we will start
                    featuring these designs, describing how our innovation is
                    moving yacht design further on.
                    Whether you are an existing client, potential client for
                    the future, supplier, or just yachting enthusiast, we
                    hope you found this publication of interest. It will be
                    further developed as we publish new issues, so if you
                    have questions about aspects of yacht design in
                    general or about Dixon Yacht Design and our work in
                    particular, please get in touch with us (contact details
                    on back cover).
          t: +44 (0)23 8040 5280
        Greydowns, School Road
            Old Bursledon
         Hampshire SO31 8BX

              Designed by Jacamar (UK) Ltd
                  +44 (0)23 92413 555

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