Exciting debut season ahead for the Carkeek C47 fleet

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With the first and second boats launched late last year Carkeek Design Partners’ potent new C47 race boat has just made its offshore debut at the RORC Caribbean 600 while build on the third boat in the series commences in Dubai at Premier Composite Technology.

The builders aim to deliver boat number three to an experienced German owner who most recently campaigned a Soto 40, on time to compete in some of this season’s key European regattas, debuting at the Giraglia in June.

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The first C47 will be on charter to another prominent German owner for the season. With Markus Wieser on board, boat one will open their programme at Palma Vela in late April as a prelude to the ORC World Championships and Kiel Week.

Based on the east coast of the USA, Grundoom, boat two, has just completed the RORC Caribbean 600 race with designer Shaun Carkeek on board and Olympic medallist and multiple world champion, Steve Benjamin doing tactics.

Benjamin is widely regarded as a leading expert on light displacement performance race yachts and a founder of the High Performance Rule: “The new Carkeek 47 Grundoom is the latest HPR design to be launched. The RORC Caribbean 600 was a real test for the boat and my first impression was how stable it is and how comfortable it is inside. We had a new team for the boat’s first race and we got more out of the boat with every mile sailed, I believe the boat is capable of winning overall. We are just starting the work to optimise and tune Grundoom for racing but the boat is very impressive. The ‘600 provided ideal conditions as the course gets all the sails out of the bag and we had wind speeds ranging from light to heavy airs.

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Grundoom was the smallest boat in our class and at the start we were mixing it with Maxis, matching yachts twice our size on the beat. After Green Island, the Code Zero was unfurled and we reached past several maxis, surfing in the high teens. It was a fabulous ride to Barbuda and a magnificent downwind run to Nevis, we put 20 miles distance on a Swan 90 – it doesn’t get better than that!

“The top of the course involves a chicane through several islands. It was tough work going through the sail changes but the systems on board worked extremely well, taking a lot of effort out of the physical work. The longest leg of the course, 180 miles to Guadeloupe was a fetch and the water-line length of the bigger yachts was a big advantage but we finished the race in seventh place on the water and nearly three hours ahead of the Ker 46, which has been dominating the offshore scene in its class for six years. Grundoom is a great boat, well built and a lot of fun to sail, once we have had some time on the water and optimised her sail inventory, I am sure that the boat will be capable of winning regattas,” he said.

Carkeek Design Partners and Premier Composite Technologies have received considerable global interest in the C47.

As a latest generation race boat designed to deliver speeds quicker than the TP52 benchmark in many conditions, the C47 comes in at a more realistic cost, requires fewer crew and yet is set to win inshore and offshore under the prominent handicap systems IRC, HPR and ORC whilst offering a fast but easily achievable performance profile.

Building on the lessons learnt through the successful Carkeek 40 MKI racers, the Carkeek 47 incorporates further refinements to the hull form and an updated appendage design.

Carkeek emphasises: “Particular attention has been paid to developing a hull form which planes easily and sustains high speeds even in light airs, but it has enough stability to support her large power to weight ratio in heavier conditions. When combined with a high sail area to displacement ratio, high ballast to displacement ratio, and a generous draft, it allows her to excel upwind in light and heavy airs.”

In her standard weight of 6,250kg the Carkeek 47 SA/DISP ratios are significantly higher than what would be considered to be the traditional IRC equivalent.

Key grand prix features include: all-carbon construction, twin running backstays with deflectors, a triple spreader carbon rig, large optimised fixed bowsprit, and a high aspect ratio sail plan with square top mainsail.

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To facilitate easier transportation between key international inshore and offshore events, the Carkeek C47 is designed to fit onto a rotating cradle for shipping and road transport, and to fit over a 40ft flat rack/platform container.

Further practical options available include a quick release lifting cassette keel, and two-part rig.

To align with differing budgets the Carkeek C47 has been designed in two editions, a ‘Grand Prix Custom’ edition in full unidirectional carbon pre-preg/epoxy/Nomex construction throughout, with options to customise some of the layouts and interior, and a ‘Grand Prix’ version in full infused carbon/epoxy/foam. Both versions come with high modulus mast and boom from Southern Spars as standard.

“This really is only the start for the C47. I am really looking forward to seeing how the boats perform at these regattas in coming months,” Carkeek concluded.