One of the world’s best-known and continuously updated Maxi cruiser/racers is now actively in search of a speedy new home
Twenty years after starting the design process with Farr Yacht Design, Sir Peter Harrison, the man that masterminded the British entry into the 2003 America’s Cup, has taken the decision to sell Sojana, his pride and joy. She is actively for sale and offers a fantastic combination of comfortable fast cruising and race-winning performance.
Her cruising credentials are impeccable and from the outset no stone was left unturned in ensuring the design brief was met. The cockpit was designed to be both efficient for cruising and for crewed racing with a seating area aft for dining and non-participating crew to be protected. There is also a spacious deckhouse for comfortable on deck seating but giving complete protection from the weather. In conjunction with Green Marine and Bremner Associates, full size mock-ups of the cuddy and cockpit were built prior to final design to refine all elements.
Design Unlimited was commissioned to create her Nomex interior. Mahogany panelling and detailing combined with lightweight fixtures, fittings and materials enabled a new level of lightweight interior to be developed, while still providing a luxurious and traditional superyacht feel. Classically inspired, with beautiful furnishings throughout created an elegant, yet comfortable and relaxed style.
The wish to ensure lightweight construction led the team to have the composite elements of the yacht engineered by SP (now Gurit) and built at Green Marine who at the time were undoubtedly the leader in advanced composite construction, particularly in the world of superyachts. Using carbon and Nomex, Sojana tipped the scales at a distinctly svelte 209,000 lb (95,000kg) which at 115ft is impressive even today.
Additional stability for cruising was achieved by specifically designing the tankage systems to be transferred to windward, reducing heel and further adding performance when sailing short-handed. When Sojana was commissioned, Sir Peter had a simple and intelligent brief, driven by three key elements:
- The longest and fastest yacht capable of being handled by the owner, friends and with the minimum of professional crew
- A robust, sea-kindly hull and rig capable of long-range ocean cruising, but also capable of winning its fair share of trophies
- A sleek and elegant yacht, wellappointed but also responsive and fun to sail.
Above and below: beneath the traditional veneer of luxurious marble and fine-crafted mahogany, the interior is actually made of lightweight Nomex as befits a high performance racing yacht. Above: the notably classical interior is by renowned superyacht stylist Design Unlimited. Sojana had a detailed refit during 2015
A ketch rig was chosen as it could offer a sailplan that would be quite flexible in its ability to balance the boat in various conditions and sailing modes, and for its power in reaching and running conditions.
The pure efficiency of the ketch rig, with smaller sails and two masts would allow for five-sail reaching with horsepower to burn and options for all conditions. It was also key to recognise that the yacht would have as many as six sailing modes, from delivery to full inshore racing, to cruising with the owner, to charter to offshore/trans-oceanic racing and everything in between.
Sojana’s performance has been repeatedly improved over the years, and with support and guidance from Farr Yacht Design, she has the perfect blend of an exceptionally well-appointed cruising boat together with the performance potential to be at the top of the superyacht racing scene.
Farr Yacht Design’s vice president Jim Schmicker has raced aboard the boat in many of her regattas and has provided a constant support in the evolution of the yacht’s performance.
Sir Peter has enabled his enthusiastic team to regularly update the boat, and has enjoyed being part of the development process. The very early adoption of full Future Fibres PBO rigging, and then EC6 solid carbon rigging, as well as being involved in the very early days of North Sails 3di, has kept the boat at the forefront of the superyacht racing circuit.
Sojana’s carbon Hall Spars have been constantly refined, most recently with a complete set of Carbo-Link carbon standing rigging fitted in in December 2020, which will undoubtedly further improve her performance.
• 1st in Class, Antigua Superyacht Challenge
• 1st in Class, 1st Overall, Nelson’s Trophy Winners Antigua Sailing Week
• 1st overall St. Barths Bucket
• 2nd in Class, Les Voiles des St.Barths
• 1st in class & 1st overall Nelson’s Trophy Winners Antigua Sailing Week
• 1st overall St. Barths Bucket
• 3rd Palma Superyacht Cup
• 1st in class Antigua Sailing Week
• 3rd St Barths Bucket
• 3rd AC Superyacht Cup Bermuda
• 5th Les Voiles St. Barts
• 3rd Palma Superyacht Cup
• 7th Maxi Worlds
Other major modifications to the boat over the years include the addition of a retractable bowsprit, a Deckchute spinnaker drop system and hydraulic winch package upgrades. These choices, taken by Sir Peter, have given Sojana the necessary boosts at the right time to remain competitive.
With such a committed owner and a crew who have remained together for the life of the boat, it is a testament to the pedigree of the original design that Sojana can genuinely be said to be “better than new”. With the latest technology from both North Sails and Doyle Sails making up the racing and cruising sail inventories , she is performing at a level far above her original, proving the value of constant evolution and development under the guidance of a highly qualified and credible team.
In 2015 Sojana underwent a comprehensive refit at Southampton Yacht Services in the UK. Upgrades included new teak decks, new hull paint, a new engine, new air conditioning and hydraulic systems, total rewiring and, to finish it off, new soft furnishings throughout, a gloriously revarnished interior and new canvas work.
Sojana has proven time and time again that the alchemic sweet spot of a yacht that remains visually very easy on the eye, and yet performs to an ever more impressive level as she evolves can be achieved. She continues to prove that the holy grail of outstanding performance on the racetrack and cruising comfort is not a pipedream and she stands head and shoulders above her peers.
We invite you to read on and find out for yourself why Seahorse is the most highly-rated source in the world for anyone who is serious about their racing.
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