KM Yachtbuilders turns hull of Pelagic 77 expedition yacht

MAKKUM – Using 2 mobile cranes, KM Yachtbuilders has turned the aluminum hull of a new Pelagic 77 watched by polar sailing expert Skip Novak, Pelagic Yachts rep Jordi Griso and Chilean entrepreneur and adventurer Nicolás Ibáñez Scott.

A centerboarder, rather than a full lifting keel, the 23.5m yacht will be a modern schooner with a 6.2m (20ft) beam, 2 carbon masts to split up the sail area, manual winches and furlers and 2 150HP Yanmar engines for redundancy. There will be a comfortable living area, a large galley and 6 double cabins forward of the pilot house with 2 heads and showers shared among them. The interior features bamboo furniture.

Delivery is set for late 2020. After mid-2021 North Atlantic sea trials, the Tony Castro-designed Pelagic 77 will be sail down to Puerto Williams, Chile, for use as private yacht but also for educational purposes.

Hull turning of Pelagic 77 expedition yacht at KM Yachtbuilders

Skip Novak is an eminent authority on polar sailing. Puerto Williams (pop 2,400) is the starting point of many of his expeditions and where Ibanez Scott runs a school that educates children through sailing. Novak and Ibanez-Scott met there, an encounter that led to the idea of combining exploration and sail training.

Pelagic Yachts’ Griso met KMY staff at the 2018 Düsseldorf Boat show where he learned that the Dutch yard has massive experience in building polar yachts that led to the order to build the Pelagic 77.

“And that’s now an international project,” says Ibanez Scott. “It involves Portuguese, Spanish, British, Dutch etc. nationals. Different cultures and perspectives that enrich and add value to the project.”

The Pelagic 77 is an evolution from the 23m (76ft) Pelagic Australis that Novak conceived and designed for expedition sailing, mainly in high latitudes. This implies enhanced autonomy, ease of handling and simple systems a yacht crew can operate in extreme conditions without specialist help.