Athos is the latest in a string on new schooners and comes complete with a 29er and two motor bikes


Still on my Dutch tour (see previous blog) I had a chance to look at the mighty schooner Athos at Holland Jachtbouw or HJB as they now like to be known. At 203ft overall and 184ft on deck, to say nothing of her 36ft beam, she is an extremely large yacht by any standards and is destined to join the world’s growing fleet of schooners including Elena, Eleonora, Windrose, Skylge (both HJB), Adela and et al. I feel a schooner fest coming on?

She’s designed by Andre Hoek – his 25th project with HJB – who has configured the yacht with a ballasted centreboard which increases draught from 3.5m to more than 8m. Plenty of bite for upwind work but this yacht should fly off the wind. He used a 19ft model for tank testing to ensure that the balance is right on the button. All will be revealed when Athos is launched in September.

Both the main and fore, set on Rondal carbon spars, are heavily roached and yet they can be furled into the booms. She will set a suit of Doyle Stratis, with newly designed batten car taking the compression loads off the luff boltrope to allow these enormous sails to be contained in the boom shells.

Athos is twin-engined and has five separate generating sets including twin 90kw units, two shaft generators and an emergency genset. With vast power take offs on both engines the owner has ensured that he will have all the hydraulic grunt he needs to get this yacht around the race course.

When at rest he will be able to choose from a 29-er, two Optimists and a brace of motor bikes stowed in the yacht’s toybox.

The picture shows the complex looking bow of the all aluminium yacht. The anchor pockets on either side of the bow are obvious, the square hole on the centreline accommodates the bow thruster and the aperture that looks a bit like a propeller shaft tube is in fact a mounting for a forward facing sonar. I wonder what that will do to her rating?