Adventurer Skip Novak’s latest and largest Pelagic design is under construction at aluminium yacht building specialist KM Yachtbuilders in Makkum, the Netherlands

The hull was turned in November and work continues this winter on Pelagic 77, a 23.5m schooner, which is a design collaboration between Novak and Tony Castro. It is being built for Chilean businessman Nicolás Ibáñez Scott for use privately in Chile and offers a step-up in comfort levels for high latitudes and remote cruising.

“The expedition vessel is an evolution from Pelagic Australis [Novak’s current 74ft charter and exploration yacht], and was conceived and designed for expedition sailing, mainly in high latitudes,” Novak explains.

“This implies enhanced autonomy, ease of handling with respect to sail areas and, of course, given our Pelagic philosophy, simple systems that a yacht crew operating in remote areas can service without specialist help.”

The new build will displace nearly 60 tonnes, 18 tonnes of which is ballast, and it will be able to carry over 8,000lt of diesel for the twin Yanmar engines. A ballasted centreboard reduces draught from 4.31m to 2.15m and will allow the boat to be beached.

The centreboard also means the accommodation layout is slightly different to Novak’s Pelagic Australis, with a single corridor and larger midships cabins. There will be six double cabins forward of the pilothouse.

Pelagic 77 will be crewed by four and can host 10 guests. It has two engines, twin rudders and two carbon masts – splitting the rigs creates smaller and more manageable sail areas which can be controlled manually.

The project is due for launch by the end of 2020. The first goal will be to sail to Chile to start educating the children of a sailing school the yacht’s owner has set up in Puerto Williams.

First published in the January 2020 edition of Yachting World.