As the official builder for the 18ft Skiff Class, Brett Van Munster, of Van Munster Boats, is one of the world’s best exponents of high-technology hull construction of performance racing boats, but Brett and his team are also very experienced in a number of other methods and classes.
The latest Van Munster-built boat is “Young Guns”, which is a brand new FB35 lightweight, carbon fibre Club and Offshore coastal racer. The FB35 was designed, engineered and built in Australia and the first boat is commissioned for Bruce Herbert to sail with his young family, and after sea trials and commissioning will be shipped to its home in New Zealand.
Brett says: “The FB35 is designed to be a fast club racing yacht, race week friendly, and a coastal passage rocket. Fred Barrett's design approach is simple: high ballast ratio, reasonable draft, generous appendage area, modern sail plan all set on a high tech, lightweight fuselage to deliver a modern boat that is fast and fun“.
“The light weight flier is super responsive and very well balanced which makes it easy and exciting to sail. Unlike most modern racers of this size, the FB35 features a cabin with full standing head room. This was an important design component for Bruce Herbert as it provides his family with some protection from the elements and gives versatility for offshore and overnight outings”.
“The FB35 incorporates all the benefits of a Grand Prix build approach. It has light displacement, high ballast ratio, high righting moment, forgiving appendage area and a modern sail and rig platform into a well-priced modern race boat. The design aim is to promote the concept of fast sailing, without the need to adapt to variable ballast”.
“The Modern deck layout is clean and simple, typical of what you would expect on a grand prix racers such as a TP52. The cockpit is wide and open, with the mainsheet traveller positioned aft of the helm with top mast running backstay winches at close hand for adjustment upwind. The forward portion of the cockpit is standard with split mainsheet winches and primary winches forward of them”.
“Headsail sheeting is done on a set of fore and aft tracks with in- hauler adjustment. The slightly asymmetrical companionway was born out of an access when the keel is raised for transportation. The offset approach is not unlike the current crop of flush deck sailing machines. The halyards and other lines are run through line tunnels to a designated pit winch”.
“The rig and sail plan is modern in its approach towards Square Top mainsails which is set on a two piece Hi-modulus twin spreader carbon fibre tube and features lightweight composite rigging. The box boom is also carbon fibre with nomex cores. All halyards in the rig are on locks, eliminating the need for clutches on deck, which keeps the pit area clean and modern. The beautiful spar package is supplied through N.Z Rigging”.
The real point of difference to the FB35 is beneath the beautiful electric blue Metallic paint work. The boat is constructed from Pre-preg Carbon fibre with nomex cores and cured in an oven at 100 degrees celsius. The same technology that Van Munster Boats use to build all the 18ft skiffs and typical of what you find in Grand prix, super maxi and Americas cup builds.
Brett says: “Pre-preg technology simply delivers the highest strength to weight construction method available. For a boat in this size range, the structural and performance gains are massive. Most people are scared off by the thoughts of building from such a high tech material but the reality is the bill for materials is only a small portion of the overall cost. The end result is only a very small increase in build budget for large gains in performance and longevity”.
Brett added: “We would not consider any other method than pre-preg for building our skiffs so it really does not make much sense to use an inferior construction process on larger structures”.
The Young Guns FB35 is all about having fun and going fast. Nothing typifies this mantra more than the electric cowboy logo emblazoned all over the massive 186 sq metre A4 asymmetric spinnaker.
The real excitement is downwind. When all the elements align for exciting downwind skiff style performance and acceleration, be prepared to watch it smoke its bigger, more expensive rivals.
FBYD 35′ CARBON RACE YACHT
LENGTH OVERALL: 10.65m – 34′ 11′
LENGTH WATERLINE: 8.14m – 26′ 7′
BEAM: 3.45m – 11′ 4′
DRAFT: 2.65m – 8′ 8′
LIGHT DISPLACEMENT: 3000kgs
SAIL AREA UPWIND: 80sq.m / 115sq.m
SAIL AREA DOWNWIND: 260sq.m
– Frank Quealey