Nikata is the latest all-carbon, custom-built high performance cruiser/racer launched by Baltic Yachts. Having completed successful trials in Finland this autumn, the Baltic 115 recently arrived in the Caribbean after a 3,000nm transatlantic passage during which boat speed hit 28 knots.
This dramatic-looking, silver-hulled yacht is the latest example of precision carbon fibre engineering and construction from the Baltic Yachts’ team in Jakobstad, Finland. The 240-strong workforce was not only responsible for the pre-preg carbon/Corecell hull and deck, but also the lightweight, handcrafted, foam-cored cabinetry forming the 8-berth owner and guest accommodation.
Photos by Guido Cantini
Working with naval architects judel/vrolijk & co, project managers MCM of Newport, USA and Nauta Design, responsible for on deck and interior design and styling, the Baltic Yachts’ team delivered Nikata on time, which enabled her to reach the Caribbean well in advance of the February start of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Caribbean 600 Race in which she will be competing.
Cruiser based on race boat design
Although designed as a fast, comfortable family cruising yacht, Baltic’s ability to engineer and build a high-precision, all-carbon hull and deck, using their own computer programming to fine-tune construction, means that this 115-footer is light and stiff enough to perform well on the race course, inshore and offshore.
High-speed winches and an advanced barber hauling system for the headsail make this yacht well equipped for inshore racing as well as offshore events. She also has the ability to switch from a cruising style ‘pin-head’ mainsail to a powerful ‘square top’ for more competitive sailing. With her 33-ton lifting bulb keel in the fully down position she should prove capable upwind and her 26ft (7.9m) wide transom will ensure stability and speed off the wind.
A key feature on deck is the ingenious fold-out stern platform, designed by Nauta Design, engineered and built by Baltic, providing a swimming and boarding area plus a wide set of steps enabling guests to reach the main deck and large cockpit with ease. In the stowed position the teak laid platform becomes the aft deck.
Throughout the accommodation the use of linen covered upholstery and other light-coloured fabrics compliments the large amount of natural light afforded by the centre line skylight in the coach roof and the intricately designed glass panels either side of the companionway. Baltic’s policy of building accommodation modules in-house and fine tuning design by using full size mock-ups, results in fast and accurate manufacturing.
Sound deadened at source
With carbon yachts having a reputation for their noisiness, the Baltic team reveal that much research and development has been invested in sound deadening in this yacht, with vibration reduced at source by re-designing machinery mounts and refining the flexible shock absorbers upon which all the accommodation modules are mounted.