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Light Construction Gives Angel ‘Wings’

When an enthusiastic and experienced sailor is looking for someone to build his new yacht, a good place to start is a yard that shares his passion.

For the future owner of the 84ft cruising yacht ‘Angel’, the search led him to New Zealand and the family run company Yachting Developments, where almost to a man and woman – owners and 160 staff (including 18 apprentices) spend their spare time on the water and their work time adding to the boatyard’s reputation as one of the world’s leading builders of large composite sailing yachts.

The brief was very specific – the classic elegance and style typical of New England yachts – long, low superstructure, a generous overhanging bow and forward-raked transom with counter - but with a modern twist. For Yachting Developments’ owners, Ian and Blanche Cook, it was the ideal project to apply both their extensive personal experience in the international yacht racing circuit and the boatbuilding techniques they have evolved using the most up to date materials. To complete the high spec finish, the winning design incorporated a complete Awlgrip® coating system.

They chose Awlfair Fairing Compound, Ultra Build then High Build primers for an extra smooth surface and 545 Epoxy Primer in Gray followed by Awlgrip® Superjet Black for the topsides and Awlcraft® 2000 Matterhorn White for the cabins.

“Our in house team, led by Ian Thompson, with the aid of contractors Fairing Solutions Ltd’s Mike Sekles, found that Awlfair had a longer work time for shaping and found it to be the most stable system under the heat generated from the exterior color – it’s our first black boat,” Blanche Cook explained.

The yard has developed a method of impregnating fibres with epoxy prior to laying them on the mould. This way the resin to fibre ratio can be precisely controlled, so the finished material has the exact strength and weight properties the design requires. The majority of Angel’s hull is glass fibres, with carbon fibres where extra strength or stiffness is needed – the chainplates for the rig, for example, which are integral to the hull, use a unidirectional carbon lay-up. These building techniques, perfected for the tough world of racing yachts, make the vessel light but strong for a better overall sailing performance. The design throughout, including the styling of the interiors, is the same successful marriage of traditional and modern. The result is a timeless, practical but elegant sailing yacht that will be sure to turn heads in its native New England Waters.

Following the success of Angel, the business has used complete Awlgrip systems on other vessels including the 120’ Filippe Briand and the 120’ Dubois now under construction.

Dedicated sailors

Yachting Developments was founded in 1991, by partners Ian Cook and John Douglas who were both experienced in boatbuilding and sailing – including the America’s Cup.

The yard is sited at North Shore City, Auckland in a former New Zealand Air Force base used for flying boats. The area is being developed as a marina complex with a number of boatbuilders already becoming established, and has a deep water access, making it ideal for deep drafted vessels.

From there Ian and Blanche Cook continue to be heavily involved in the wellbeing and training of the New Zealand Marine Industry. These include Presidency of the Marine Industry Association (MIA) in New Zealand; membership of the International Superyacht Society, the Industry Training Association and the New Zealand Classic Yacht Association. They are also members of the Management Board of the New Zealand Marine Export organisation.