MEDEMBLIK _ Contest Yachts says it will soon launch a new, 26m (85ft.) flagship whose owner will take it on a global circumnavigation. The yacht spent 3 years in conception and build stages. It will have its sail trials in the autumn in the Mediterranean.

In its first detailed comments on its largest yacht to date, Contest says the boat pushed the judel/vrolijk and Contest teams toward “major advances in structural technique and infusion molding processes, achieving great strength for light weight and enhanced performance and handling.”

The entire hull molding _ from keel to rail _ has a foam instead of balsa core. The yacht boasts 5 primary accommodation plans. The maiden Contest 85CS has “3 suites with galley aft and vast, functional crew quarters forward,” says the yard.

The forward section also includes a 2nd dedicated navigation center, an office, a workshop and a walk-through sail and rope locker. The yacht is essentially designed for single-handed sailing as the crew will be limited to 2.

“As with all equipment and systems on board, all aspects of the rig can be handled manually should there be any machinery failure,” says the yard.

The yacht oozes practical applications and solutions throughout. Each cabin, for instance, has its own escape hatch easily accessed by ladder. All beds have higher frames than standard. The lazaret is vented.