Just off Darrell’s Wharf in Warwick, bobbing peacefully in the harbour, a new resident is turning heads.
With a coterie of other sailboats around her, the 77-foot catamaran Zara stands out like Kate Upton at a comic book convention. To call her “a thing of beauty” is a gross understatement. But she’s not just a pretty face. Zara is both aesthetically and technologically ahead of luxury yachts across the globe, and represents the crowning achievement of local yacht-building company, Bermuda Yachts.
Built by brothers Jonathan and Justin Kempe, Zara arrived in Bermuda this July after seven years under construction in Cape Town, South Africa. The design, dubbed the Bermuda 77, is entirely unique and offers a kind of class, style and comfort hitherto unreached by most, if not all, sailboats of its kind around the world.
“As far as big ‘fly bridge cats’ go, Zara is one of the sleekest out there,” Justin, who designed the interior and exterior styling for the boat, told the Royal Gazette.
Working with Australian designer Jeff Schionning and 17 builders, painters, upholsterers and other employees, the two brothers created the Bermuda 77’s unique exterior style and interior design in order to utilise “the most efficient sailing systems and the latest in cutting-edge technology for the vessel’s on-board systems and hardware.”
The Bermuda 77 design allowed for an expansive interior and deck, while also providing stability. In order to balance out sailing performance with style, the design utilises lightweight materials for the hull and furniture mixed with all the luxury nuances of a high-class yacht, from fancy real-wood veneers to the latest on-board sailing technology and electronics, including LED mood lighting that guests can control via their own smartphone or tablet.
In keeping with the yachting industry’s demand for energy efficiency and low environmental impact, Zara “incorporates extensive ventilation and natural lighting throughout the vessel,” while the efficiency of slim hulls and lightweight construction make for fast and stable ocean sailing. With such little resistance in the water, that means Zara needs comparatively small, fuel-efficient and lightweight motors that can reach a top speed of 15 knots when not under sail, providing a cruising range of 1,500 nautical miles.
With the America’s Cup coming to Bermuda this October, Zara is already available for charter, and one would imagine she’ll be seeing plenty of action in the run-up to 2017. If you’d like to charter Zara, or just browse through stunning pictures of the boat in action, visit www.bermuda-yachts.com <https://www.bermuda-yachts.com> .