In the age of multi-functional gadgets it should come as no surprise that luxury yachts are also expected to have this level of adaptability, and so it is with Baltic Yachts‘ recently launched sailing yacht LIARA, capable of family-friendly ocean-cruising and competitive racing.
Since her launch from the facilities in Finland, 34m/112ft luxury sloop LIARA has been undergoing sailing trials and crew training in the Mediterranean in preparation for her Atlantic crossing this winter season with the agenda of racing in the RORC Caribbean 600 and the 2020 edition of the St. Barths Bucket Regatta. After a winter in the Lesser Antilles, her journey will take her onwards through the Panama Canal and across the South Pacific in time for cruising in New Zealand waters ahead of the 36th edition of the America’s Cup in 2021.
To achieve this ambitious itinerary there is a slew of technology and advantageous design and engineering features on board to allow her experienced Owner and crew of five to sail her without too much effort through changeable sea conditions… all while savouring life on board and in the surrounding environment.
Construction and performance
While originally S/Y LIARA was meant to be a performance family cruiser, plans soon changed to include competitive racing.
Video of Baltic 112 LIARA on sea trials:
“The goal posts moved when it was decided she was also going to go racing and that we needed to focus further on weight saving,” said naval architect Malcolm McKeon. To reduce the weight of her hull the team built her from carbon composite in a process that involved the hull being made in a two-part moulding, overall providing easier access, greater accuracy and a faster build time.
The use of carbon cable trays and hose holders and Nomex-cored furniture construction throughout further reduced the weight on board and the end result was a final light ship displacement measures at 88 tons.
The design boasts a powerful stern and the luxury sloop received the expertise of Southern Spars and the North Sails technical group, who used their virtual wind tunnel programme to create a fitting sail wardrobe: For performance the mainsail area was boosted using a square-top configuration, and there is a broad selection of code and asymmetric sails designed for fixed or soft stays with halyard locks and tacked to the deck or forward on the integral bowsprit.
When cruising in light wind conditions power is provided by a main offset engine that drives the RPS via a 90 degrees bevel gear box. A large lithium ion battery bank allows LIARA to run in ‘silent mode’ for up to eight hours with guests still able to access systems for entertainment, lighting and air conditioning.
Interiors designed for comfortable family living
The overriding goal of the brief was for a safe and comfortable family cruiser, and a key element of this design is the central recessed cockpit which has a removable hardtop for increased performance while racing. The glass companionway doors not only create an inviting view into the full-beam lounge within, but provide direct line-of-sight through for the helmsman.
The interiors styled by Adam Lay Studio and called for a design and materials that reflected the weathered natural beauty of the Owner’s home region:
“The design brief for LIARA was to create a practical, functional sailing yacht interior with smart stowage solutions and an open feel that reflects the natural environment of… the Channel Islands located between England and France,” Adam Lay explained.
The generous headroom provided by recessing the deck-head panels between structural beams has added to the effect of being in a forest-like environment, with light through the glass canopy mimicking the light through tree branches.
“An immensely practical man with an intense interest in engineering, the Owner, together with his wife wanted the interior design to capture the atmosphere of the islands. Adam Lay Studio was asked to design an interior with a natural aesthetic augmented by bright colours in the soft furnishings inspired by the incredible colours of the island environment.”
A neutral palette was used on the surrounding walls and fixtures to ‘future proof’ her in the event of a resale, with colour placed in the furnishings and artwork from local Guernsey artist Valerie Travers. The dining table and coffee table both have the effect of ripples on still water, while storage lockers also have this rippled water effect or the appearance of tree bark. Textures in the materials and carefully positioned lighting pull all of these individual elements together to create plenty of ambiance.
This colour scheme also has the benefit of emphasising the already ample interior space, for which some innovative solutions were required: Ducting and pipework from the mid-section to the aft cockpit had to be carefully planned around the guest and crew areas, which are also spacious and offer a large mess and crew cabins for comfortable rest and socialising.
Smart storage solutions were implemented to make use of what would otherwise become ‘dead space’, resulting in the under-sole stowage with a track and box system. The amount of stowage from the Owner’s previous vessel was used as the benchmark for luxury sloop LIARA and even the sections inside the dining table and coffee tables have been put to use.
The guest accommodation can be found forward and aft of the salon and sleeps up to 8 guests over 4 en-suite cabins: 1 Master suite, 1 VIP stateroom and 2 twin cabins with a crew of 5 on board to ensure that all operations run smoothly.
From forward to aft, the Owner’s suite is placed in the bow and a VIP stateroom is placed beside the lower salon. This snug joins to the larger amidships salon and the twin cabins are placed aft.
For the crew, there is a galley, crew mess and laundry, an office that can be used as a temporary cabin, plus the navigation station and two en-suite twin crew cabins with en-suite bathrooms.
Luxury sailing yacht LIARA will be making her public debut at the Monaco Yacht Show 2019, running from the 25th to the 28th of September.