An American consortium has commissioned Spirit Yachts to build an S&S designed J Class in Britain

The first J Class yacht to be
built in Britain since before World War 2 has been commissioned by an American
consortium ho have chosen Spirit Yachts in Ipswich to build the yacht.

The new J will be named ‘CHEVEYO’ (pronounced shu-Vay-o), a native
American word meaning spirit warrior. 
Registered in the United States, the yacht will carry sail number J1.

CHEVEYO will be built to the
RANGER 77B design. This is one of the original series of six designs submitted
by Starling Burgess and Olin Stephens to Harold Vanderbilt for the 1937
America’s Cup defence.

In 1936, each of the six RANGER
designs was extensively tank tested by Burgess and Stephens to select the
optimum hull form to defend the America’s Cup against the challenger ENDEAVOUR II, designed by Charles Nicholson.

Vanderbilt selected the ‘C’
version because it was found to have the best potential for racing solely in
the sheltered waters off Newport RI. The Super J RANGER was thus born, and went on to
triumph decisively over ENDEAVOUR II in the 1937 series.

For 2012, S&S and Spirit
Yachts have further evaluated the RANGER design series. The US-based design
house conducted an in-depth survey of all the original Burgess/Stephens J-Class
lines in their library. These were optimized for two variables: Spirit Yachts’
advanced wood/composite construction techniques as well as for the more exposed
conditions of today’s Classic regattas.

The RANGER 77B version was
identified as the best design.

CHEVEYO will marry the classic
design of yachting’s golden era with modern build techniques of the 21st
century. Spirit Yachts, experts in
wood/epoxy construction will build
the ‘J’ using this technique mated to laser cut stainless steel ring frames to
create an exceptionally stiff yet lightweight hull. Spirit and S&S are
currently finalising construction drawings suited to this composite build

Johnson, President and Chief Designer of Sparkman & Stephens, said:

“By utilizing the wood composite construction
technique that Spirit Yachts has perfected over the years, CHEVEYO
will break from the current norm of modern J’s
aluminum construction and return to a more historically accurate construction
method, albeit with the use of modern epoxies and laminating techniques to
maintain a light-weight structure. As a further nod to historical
accuracy, she will float on her lines as designed in 1936, not requiring the
J-Class Association’s additional freeboard allowance, thus resulting in less
wetted surface area.”

On deck,
this new ‘Super-J’ will remain true to the original design. The authentic
low-profile deckhouse has been retained, resulting in a clean, unobstructed
working deck and a beautiful sheerline. Complementing this heritage will be
high-modulus carbon spars, carbon rigging, state of the art sails and all the
modern sophistication of a contemporary performance yacht that will allow her
to be raced competitively against any modern yacht and, most importantly, in
the spectacular growing J-Class fleet. 
Authenticity continues below deck with a 1930s-inspired interior that
will offer excellent accommodation for up to ten guests in five cabins. There
will also be facilities for eight crew able to offer
service from modern and well equipped ‘hotel’ facilities.

McMillan, Managing Director and Chief Designer at Spirit Yachts, said:

“From the dawn of history, wood has been the finest material in which
to build a boat and it remains so to this day. With modern advances in laminar
wood technology, many of which have been pioneered by Spirit Yachts, we are now
able to build complex sophisticated yachts with a strength-to-weight ratio
earlier designers could only dream of.

“Because the hull structure of CHEVEYO will be built in
wood/composite, the natural beauty of the wood will be celebrated below and
there will be no need for heavy linings or insulation. The weight savings from
this, and in the hull itself, translate directly into an increased ballast
ratio resulting in further improved performance.”

The yacht
has been commissioned by a US-based syndicate of investors and sailing
enthusiasts. A driving force
behind the project is the desire to experience the thrill and elegance of
yesteryear’s yacht racing on a modern vessel with the essence of tradition.

Kevin Felix, Chairman of Spirit Yachts, commented:

“CHEVEYO will capture imaginations and evoke the
romance and excitement of the finest expression of yacht design as epitomized
by the J-Class. The yacht is reminiscent of the historic America’s Cup
competition between England and the United States. From design through
construction to eventual competition with her peers, CHEVEYO will espouse this
history. Imagine: US sailors commissioning a British company to build a classic
yacht from designs by an American firm that were originally created to compete
against England in the America’s Cup – that is an impressive and somewhat
ironic dynamic.”

It is hoped timber for the new
yacht will be cut this autumn and that the yacht could launch in late 2014 or
early 2015.

Images: ©
Spirit Yachts 2012. All Rights Reserved.