Fitzroy Yachts’ Makes It Bigger and Faster

  • Michael Verdon

Designing a sailing superyacht can be infinitely more complicated than a motoryacht, particularly when it needs to cross oceans in comfort. Fitzroy Yachts has made a name for itself over the last five years as a world-class builder of aluminum cruising sailboats. The New Zealand shipyard has garnered its share of awards, including two International Superyacht Society awards for the 44-meter cruising sloop, Salperton III, launched in March 2007.

Its latest launch, the 45-meter sloop Salperton IV, also promises to be an award winner. Owner Barry Houghton was so impressed with Salperton III that he kept the original team together for the evolution. The naval architect was Ed Dubois, who has designed arguably the most compelling racing/cruising sailing yachts ever, with interiors by Adam Lay Studio. Dubois gave the 147-meter sloop a low, sleek profile and an enormous sail plan that flows from her 200-foot-high mast. He was also able to tweak the design to make the boat faster, adding even more comfortable amenities for blue-water cruising.

Adam Lay created a wooden masterpiece in the interior, using walnut cabinets, oyster-oak flooring, and skylights to provide natural light in the salon and the staterooms. Lay also used materials like selected carbon fiber, textured hemp, and contrasting marbles. The yacht has a larger owner’s cabin and three guest cabins, one of which converts to a gym. Three crew cabins are forward in the bow area. Overall, there is a clean, contemporary feel to the interior, elegant but also highly functional. The owner also had very specific requirements for soundproofing the yacht, so that the noises of electric winches and other gear remain outside.

Launched in June, Salperton IV is now cruising the Pacific with Houghton and his family. The new kid in the Salperton clan will head for the Caribbean in the fall. (011.64.6.769.9380, www.fitzroyyachts.com)

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