Baltic 142 Canova: pushing the boundaries of sailing
An update on how the largest sailing yacht to feature foil technology is performing…
In a powerful display of sailing, in which sustained speeds of at least 20 knots have been reached in the breezy Strait of Bonifacio, the foil-assisted Baltic 142 Canova has recently been enjoying some fine-tuning as her owner and crew put the yacht through her paces in an intense sailing programme.
In a wide variety of wind conditions, the crew and representatives from North Sails, Baltic Yachts and Canova’s rig builder Rondal have been assessing sail plan options and checking rig loadings in conjunction with the use of the yacht’s Dynamic Stability System athwartships sliding foil.
Canova was conceived as a global cruising yacht designed to carry her owner and crew at speed and in exceptional comfort for long periods of independent sailing. One of the great advantages of her DSS foil is that it reduces heel and motion, making this yacht arguably the most comfortable cruising yacht of her type in the world.
The yacht’s green credentials are impressive, too. Canova’s electric propulsion system is exceptionally quiet, environmentally friendly and has the ability to charge the yacht’s large battery bank without having to use a fossil fuel-burning engine.
“The boat has been sailing in 30 knots plus out of Porto Cervo and we are all delighted with her performance,” comments Baltic Yachts’ executive vice president Henry Hawkins, who was aboard Canova in Sardinia. “With her twin rudders she is as light as a feather on the helm and she’s extraordinarily comfortable even at speeds in excess of 20 knots.”
“We are also very pleased indeed that there have been virtually no problems as the yacht has been put through her paces in testing conditions. It’s testament to the teams who planned, designed and built Canova. I am extremely pleased with the result – she is a truly remarkable yacht,” he adds.
Canova’s experienced owner, whose input into the yacht’s design and build has been considerable from the outset, has been sailing intensively since the easing of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. He’s had time to use the yacht’s DSS foil to good effect and with the 9m sliding appendage extended to leeward, pitching motion is dramatically reduced and the reduction in heel angle has far exceeded expectations, improving all-round comfort.
With the 9m sliding appendage extended to leeward, pitching motion is dramatically reduced and the reduction in heel angle has far exceeded expectations, improving all-round comfort...
Hawkins reported that Canova’s owner was particularly impressed with the behaviour of the yacht in fresh conditions when reefing. “With the main de-powered as the reef is put in there’s always the danger of the boom being a problem with everything bouncing about, but with the foil deployed there’s extra stability and much less motion which is a terrific safety factor in these conditions,” he explains.
Canova’s owner and crew have also been getting used to the powerful sail plan. A square top mainsail is set on a carbon spar which can be adjusted by two sets of deflectors, or running check-stays, and masthead backstays. At full hoist, all three have to be eased and then re-set, to allow the square top main to move across during a tack or gybe, but with one reef in, only the lower deflectors have to be eased. With two reefs in, the mainsail headboard is below the lower deflector allowing the yacht to be tacked or gybed with no need to attend to deflectors or backstays.
“The intention has always been to sail normally with one reef in for cruising and with this reduced main and a self-tacking staysail set she is very easy indeed to handle,” says Hawkins. The crew have also been assessing the unusual quadrilateral headsail with its dual sheeting arrangement offering a multitude of trimming options. It’s currently designed to be used in a maximum of 21 knots of apparent wind, but there’s a feeling it could be very effective at higher wind speeds.
The yacht’s diesel electric power plant and hydro-generation system have also exceeded expectations with the main propulsion Danfoss motor generating up to 33kW when driven by the yacht’s propeller when sailing. “Its efficiency is such that we are having to make a few adjustments to the electric motor’s water-cooling system when it’s operating as a generator,” adds Hawkins.
Another success has been the effectiveness of the Saildrive Propulsion System (SPS) comprising a leg which rotates through 340-degrees, negating the need for a separate stern thruster. In conjunction with the powerful bow thruster, Canova’s close quarters manoeuvring can be controlled precisely at low speeds in all wind conditions.
With the end of the summer season in the Mediterranean in sight Canova’s owner is planning the next stage of a global adventure, which will entail either a transatlantic crossing this winter or a passage to the south Atlantic.
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