First look: F70 – Carkeek and Persico join forces for foiler

The newly announced F70 from Carkeek and Persico Marine looks to be an absolute weapon drawing heavily on America’s Cup and IMOCA 60 technology. Rupert Holmes takes a look

The latest collaboration between designer Shaun Carkeek and Italian yard Persico Marine is astonishing by the standards of any monohull. The images of the new F70 show what will clearly be a very cool full foiling yacht, but it’s only once you start calculating key ratios that it becomes apparent just how radical this design is.

A displacement/length ratio of less than 30 makes IMOCA 60s look heavy and, once crew weight is taken into account, makes foiling International Moths look positively staid.

Equally, sail area/displacement shows a power to weight ratio a little lower than that of IMOCAs, but broadly equal to an AC75 and streets ahead of the Moth.

Yet this is conceived as a dual-purpose boat that will be just as suitable for day sailing with friends as for inshore racing! The set-up is intended to allow for a seamless transition between these two modes.

There are also crew berths, toilet, shower and other amenities, allowing the F70 to compete in typical 150-600 mile offshore races. In the right conditions it could storm round a course of this length, with every likelihood of lifting monohull line honours trophies ahead of 100-footers in the world’s most iconic races.

Rudders are fitted with T-foils, which help the boat to maintain a stable foiling attitude over extended periods. Calculations show the F70 transitioning to full foiling mode in as little as 10 knots of wind, which will be ideal for racing in the Mediterranean.

The F70 is a design intended for owner-drivers wanting to sail with a small team of just two to four people. Foil control systems originally developed for both the America’s Cup and the IMOCA fleet are employed to automate precise flight control. As a result, Carkeek says the boat will be easy to handle and drive, enabling it to be pushed hard without risk of losing control, while offering “unprecedented acceleration, response rate, control and safety.”

Sailing with a small crew means a large cockpit is not needed, which allows more of the hull’s length to be given over to accommodation below decks. Air conditioning is offered as an option, while other extras include retractable sun shades, easily deployed ground tackle and an electric hybrid drive system.

Careful consideration has been given to minimising weight. Construction is of full pre-preg unidirectional IM carbon with a Nomex Kevlar honeycomb core. The deck geometry, with its reverse sheer and chamfered bows, creates a shape that has enormous inherent stiffness, which further reduces weight in the structure.

For easier berthing in crowded Mediterranean harbours the main foils can be fully retracted, but skippers will still need to take account of the IMOCA-style deck spreaders for the custom rotating wing mast.

A lightweight boom with a deep section featuring many cut-outs helps to further underscore this boat’s distinctive style and, of course, shaves off even more weight.

Creating a dual-purpose boat of this size and nature is a brave move, but if there’s any combination of expertise that can pull it off then Carkeek and Persico have to be at the top of the list. They have the background that enables them to apply state of the art knowledge from different disciplines in the sport, including IMOCA 60s and the America’s Cup.

The result is a boat with a blend of innovation, engineering and design promising a level of performance that it has never previously been possible to buy.

F70 specifications:

LOA: 21.4m / 70ft 2in
Beam: 5.2m / 17ft 0in
Draught: 4.5m / 14ft 9in
Displacement: 10,000kg / 22,200lb
Price: POA
Builder: www.persicomarine.com


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