Review: Carkeek 60

By: Kevin Green, Photography by: Kevin Green & Premier Composite Technologies


CARKEEK 60 ON THE WATER CARKEEK 60 ON THE WATER
CARKEEK 60 BOW HATCH CARKEEK 60 BOW HATCH
CARKEEK 60 DECK CARKEEK 60 DECK
CARKEEK 60 HARKEN WINCH CARKEEK 60 HARKEN WINCH
CARKEEK 60 HELM CARKEEK 60 HELM
CARKEEK 60 MAST CARKEEK 60 MAST
CARKEEK 60 MOORED CARKEEK 60 MOORED
CARKEEK 60 NAVIGATION CARKEEK 60 NAVIGATION
CARKEEK 60 TWIN WHEELS CARKEEK 60 TWIN WHEELS

The Carkeek 60 is the first of a new breed of sailing raceboats to reach our shores. It looks a winner before it even leaves the dock. Kevin Green reports.

The new Ichi Ban gleamed in the midday Sydney sun as it lay against the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia dock, a few days after its arrival by container ship from Premier Composite Technologies (PCT) in Dubai. Beside me on the pontoon stood Shaun Carkeek who hopes to replicate his success in the highly competitive Mediterranean TP52 circuit with this new carbon racer penned for Sydney Hobart Race veteran Matt Allen.

The new boat has a rounded hull shape derived from the TP52s, like Hooligan and Team New Zealand, and this C60 looks like it comes from the same family, but the extra length should allow it to sail away from the TPs, especially upwind and so claim the coveted Tattersalls Cup for Sydney Hobart handicap honours. With tall and very upright topsides, especially compared to the 63-foot Reichel-Pugh designed Loki moored nearby, the Carkeek 60 has plenty of volume inside her lightweight 10.9-ton carbon hull, right through to the full bows. Underwater, a slim and high aspect (nearly 15-foot deep) fixed bulb keel is used, along with an equally slim single spade rudder.

 

CARKEEK 60

CARKEEK 60 RACING YACHT

The base C60 (with no powered winches) also claims a better handicap than similar-sized boats, including Loki, under the IRC Rating with a TCC of 1.503. Nowadays the Sydney Hobart also encompasses the ORCi handicap system and in the past has also used the new rating system from the USA – the High Performance Rule (HPR) – so this also had to be included in the design phase. "The differences between IRC and HPR reduces as LOA increases, so optimising for both these rules was a simpler task, compared to the smaller C40s and C47," explained Carkeek, who has been instrumental in the development of the HPR.

In his bid to go one better than his best effort so far – second place – the veteran of more than 20 Sydney Hobarts chose 60 feet as the optimum size because of his predominant passion – offshore racing – and the average wave patterns he would encounter on the 628nm Sydney Hobart Race route.

 

ABOARD ICHI BAN

CARKEEK-60-ICHI-BAN

Stepping aboard Ichi Ban at first glance reminds me of a TP52 deck layout with the large flat cockpit taking most of the aft section, but there are a few things missing including a main pedestal coffee grinder central winch. Having chosen to go all hydraulic, the deck is relatively uncluttered.

The twin wheel binnacles are located relatively far forward in the cockpit and bristle with controls: a side panel facing outboard to the mainsheet trimmer, B&G WTP screen for the steerer and a small compass. For the mainsheet trimmer there’s another H990 winch centralised in the cockpit sole with a WTP screen embedded in the bulkhead so that the trimmer has wind/load data as he works.

The rig is the latest TPT design (thin ply technology) that is lighter and stiffer than previous carbon masts and is definitely the skinniest carbon spar I’ve ever seen at about the width of my fist; a real catwalk model of the rig world you might say. Its job is to reduce windage and weight aloft, while being held up by ultra-lightweight carbon EC6 shrouds. The EC6 is made up of many separate strands of carbon rod that is given the tensile strength required for each specific rig, so like everything on the Carkeek 60 there’s nothing unnecessary. The foretriangle is extended by a long carbon bowsprit to fly the big asymmetricals that give her a massive downwind sail area of 490m² with an up-wind of 230m² (compared with 353.5m² and 158.5m² respectively for a seventh generation TP52 built in 2012 by Botin Partners). This also translates into a better Sail Area to Displacement ratio (SAD), making the C60 the more powerful yacht.

 

BELOW DECKS

CARKEEK 60 BELOW DECKS

Having rolled around in the carbon blackness of a racing Volvo 70, the white painted sidewalls are an enlightened welcome after I make my way down below, under the arch that will protect the main hatch from Bass Strait waves. "Yeah, for the 16kg or so of extra weight it makes a big difference to the light," laughed Neil Cox when I talked to him later, "although we sanded it down hard to minimise weight."

Below decks is a Spartan place on the C60 with not even a protruding bulkhead forward, while foot-deep longitudinal stringers run the full length for rigidity. Supporting the area around the keel-stepped Southern Spars rig is a small bulkhead-grid area that contains the toilet on starboard and galley opposite. Cox assures me there’ll be the luxury of a privacy curtain for the head during the Sydney Hobart but unlike some of the Volvo 70s, there are no foot straps to hold you down while on the throne, as it were. Opposite against the port bulkhead is a two-burner stove with sink and that’s about it.

For the off-watch are four pipecots in the saloon section and eight aft, a total of 12 berths. Aft, behind the engine box containing the 75hp motor, is the navigation station with two seats, but it shares this space with tankage and the propeller lifting mechanism strut and could give the navigator a nasty prod if he’s not careful.

 

INSTRUMENTS

CARKEEK 60 INSTRUMENTS

Instrumentation is B&G WPT with a pair of Panasonic Toughbooks attached to the chart table plus a rugged Windows Xplore tablet. In addition there’s a CZone system control head allowing specific management of each device which can be operated separately in case of electrical failure. The B&G WTP computer is crucial for monitoring the heavy loads throughout the boat; the hydraulic system can put a staggering 11 tons on the forestay alone. For communications, as mandated by the Category 1 race regulations, are HF radio and Thrane&Thrane Sailor dome satellite phone. With the engine continually running the noise and heat could be intrusive for navigator Will Oxley, but it should only be for about three days given the probable speed of the C60.

 

CONSTRUCTION

CARKEEK 60 ICHI BAN OWNERS

Investment banker Allen required Dubai’s PCT to undertake a speedy five-month construction of the 60-footer. Having trusted the company to build his previous Farr 400, he had every confidence in the German brothers Hannes and Max Waimer.

The 10.9-ton hull was built to ISO standards using unidirectional carbon pre-preg and honeycomb sandwich. Speaking to Max Waimer in the Dubai yard during my visit in the early days of the tooling for the build, the former DK Yachts manager was unfazed at the prospect. Five months later, it looked very much like ‘job well done’.

Among the major suppliers to the Ichi Ban project are key local companies, including Central Coast Hydraulics that configured the hydraulic system while the B&G equipment was installed by Guy Oliver and his team at Olectric Systems. The customised Southern Spars carbon rig that was shipped in from New Zealand was stepped by Sydney Rigging Specialists and local North Sails loft at Pittwater cut the suite of 3DL sails. The ultra-high-aspect keel was machined by US company Finkle and the lead torpedo bulb cast by PCT using its six-axis milling machine. With the success of hull #1, production of these boats is anticipated. 

 

CARKEEK 60 SPECIFICATIONS

 

PRICED FROM

POA

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL Carbon fibre

TYPE Grand prix raceboat

DESIGNER Carkeek Design Partners

BUILDER Premier Composite Technologies, Dubai

LOA 18.5m (61 feet)

BEAM 5m

DRAFT 4.475m

 

CAPACITIES

CREW 10 to 16 (1400kg)

WEIGHT 10,850kg (light ship)

FUEL 150lt

WATER 180lt

ENGINE HP 75

 

SAILS

TOTAL AREA 230m² upwind; 490m² downwind

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

vicsail.com

 

LAYOUT

 CARKEEK 60 LAYOUT

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #249, January / February 2015. Why not subscribe today?

Find Carkeek boats for sale.

Keep up to date with news from Trade-A-boat or like us on Facebook!