Spirit 111 is thought to be the largest single-masted wooden yacht built in the UK since the 1930s
As superyachts go, the new Spirit 111 is somewhat remarkable from the outset. Built by the Suffolk-based shipyard, Spirit 111 is the largest yacht ever to be launched by the Suffolk-based shipyard.
Founded in 1993, Spirit Yachts specialises in traditional wooden boat-building methods, eschewing the use of fibreglass that dominates the industry in favour of sustainably-sourced timber. Designed by Spirit’s Sean McMillan, the 34m yacht is believed to be the largest single-masted wooden yacht built in the UK since the 1930s.
At the request of her overseas buyer, the Spirit 111 was designed and built in-house by Spirit Yachts to be one of the most environmentally friendly sailing superyachts ever created. The sloop-rigged yacht is also the largest single-masted wooden yacht to be built in the UK since Shamrock V in the 1930s.
Displacement: 58 tonnes light
Keel: SG Iron blade with lead bulb
Rudder: Carbon composite spade
Batteries: BMW lithium battery 40Kwh
Engine: Torqeedo electric drive system
Generators: 2 x 25kW
Sail Area: 450sqm
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Sailing art? Full tour of the EXTRAORDINARY Spirit 111 superyacht
You won’t believe what’s inside this super sloop! Join Toby as he sails this electric-powered wooden wonder and gives a full tour of its remarkable interior. ‘Geist’ is hand built in Britain by Spirit Yachts. See the full feature in our October 2020 issue
Spirit 111 – On Test
Earlier this year in Episode 3 we went to see Spirit Yachts on the east coast of the UK. While we were there we took a look at the stunning Spirit 111 as she slipped into the water and said we’d report back once she was sailing. Well, now she’s up and running and I was lucky enough to be invited aboard to have her all to myself for the day…Oh yes! So, what is this remarkable, innovative and striking eco-friendly superyacht like and why is comparing her to a classic J Class from the 1930s is so relevant? Watch here to find out.
Spirit Yachts worked collaboratively with leading marine and automotive suppliers to deliver on the owner’s eco brief. A Torqeedo electric propulsion system using a 100kW motor will propel the yacht silently for up to 40nm at eight knots from battery power alone. Whilst sailing, the propulsion system will regenerate the four BMW lithium battery banks by rotating the propeller shaft whilst the yacht is under sail. All power-consuming components have been carefully selected to be highly efficient and will use minimal energy without impacting performance or comfort.
Using electric propulsion to regenerate the batteries whilst sailing, the yacht will be able to operate for up to four days at anchor without having to plug into shore power or start the two onboard generators. When the yacht crosses the Atlantic, as long as there is adequate wind, she will not need to consume any fossil fuels.
The air conditioning uses variable speeds with eco options via battery or shore power and the galley has been designed with ultimate efficiency in mind. The fridge and freezer were built with Cryogel insulation to ensure minimal power consumption whilst holding low temperatures. Water is heated using a Webasto system, which only heats water on demand ensuring no wasted water or energy, and the heated water is stored within high density insulation and high efficiency transfer coils for rapid heat transfer and temperature retention.
The Spirit 111 is also one of few superyachts capable of cruising without professional crew. Energy efficient Lewmar hydraulic deck hardware and OneSails GBR (East) 4T FORTE sails made from recyclable materials will be fitted to a Hall Spars carbon fibre mast and in-boom furling to facilitate short-handed sailing.
The interior of the Spirit 111 was created in partnership with Rhoades Young, which is Spirit Yachts’ first collaboration with an external design agency. Rhoades Young developed the initial concept for a unique, curved interior, which Spirit Yachts’ design team developed and brought to life in the final plans.
Down below, walls and bulkheads flow in an ‘S’ shape through the interior, which has a natural look and feel thanks to the combination of exposed Sipo, teak and American Walnut timbers on show. A bespoke, curved American Walnut seating arrangement takes centre stage in the open plan saloon-galley and C-shaped arrangements created from steamed timber curve over the beds in the owner’s and VIP cabins. Discreet doors with hidden, sensor-activated recesses, rather than visible door handles, ensure smooth lines and a contoured look throughout.
The interior lighting is controlled by ambient light sensors and a GPS clock to control the brightness and warmth of light ensuring there is no difference between outside and inside. There will be no pockets of shade and light as you would normally have.
The interior will have almost no light switches; motion sensors will turn lights on and off during the day. At night, sensors under the beds will detect if someone is up and light the way to the nearest ensuite. If a guest starts to go elsewhere within the interior, the system will deduce which way they are going and light the relevant areas in a very soft warm light.
With no requirements for crew accommodation, guests have the choice of two double ensuite aft cabins or a starboard side double VIP cabin. The forward cabin holds the spacious master suite, complete with curved sofas built into the side of the hull, double bed and ensuite. All heads have rounded, solid timber sinks integrated into the worktop and power showers.