Carkeek and Neo Yachts have joined forces to produce a new cruiser / racer, the NEO 570c, with similar performance characteristics as a TP52
If you design and build a boat to look this wickedly fast, you better hope it performs. And it seems Shaun Carkeek and Neo Yachts have done everything they can to try to achieve just that by producing an 11.5 tonne 57-footer which has half that weight hanging in the bulb 4m below the surface! Their brief to produce a repeatable cruiser racer with the same speed, power and performance as a TP52, yet with a habitable cruising interior, always ensured this would be a fascinating project.
Paolo Semeraro, the head of Neo Yachts and Banks Sails, reports that the 570c has already performed very well in the light airs first trials. “Making 10.2 knots upwind is quite easy as well as reading 12.5 knots under code zero in less than 10 knots true wind speed.” He also says that the inclusion of water ballast on this first model really helps when sailing short-handed.
Semeraro stresses that, despite the fanatical attention to weight during construction, this boat is equipped for cruising, including comforts such as aircon, watermaker, bow thruster, induction cooking and a garage for a 3.3m tender. Yet it offers “performances in some cases higher than a TP52 for a very similar handicap.”
Some (not I), may find Carkeek’s distinctive and heavily chamfered forward sections too aggressive. The camber shape takes a chine from the lower stem all the way aft to form a chisel shape, which looks menacing when seen from bow on. But the success the South African designer found with the virtually untouchable stealth bomber-style Fast 40 Rán VII has ensured this has become a signature trend. We’ve seen the iconic shape now spin off onto projects such as the CF-520 (Oystercatcher XXXV being the first example) and the M72 in build at Mylius.
Nevertheless, this Neo 570c is the first production-style yacht to back up these looks with a seriously lightweight performance build. The full Gurit prepreg carbon hull is cured at 70ºC. The keel lifts to 2.8m, but also ensures low slung ballast when lowered to 4.2m, so it can offset 184m2 of upwind sail area – or over 400m2 with the A-sail set. The rig is made from hi modulus carbon, the hydraulics are by Cariboni.
The sailing photos and 3D imagery show a fastidiously flush deck, which includes mere bumps for coamings so it’s hard to envisage much cruising comfort. But the deck plan makes it easy to transform between racing and cruising modes, thanks to high speed electric winches and traveller and removable tables.
The flare to the aft quarters suits such a cool, angular design, while plinths for the runner and mainsheet rise vertically from the 45º angled deck. Transverse jib tracks leading right inboard allow for scything upwind sheeting angles.
Owners can choose varying degrees of interior fit out and comfort, including a stripped-out two cabin layout with open forepeak or a three cabin version with full owner’s suite forward.
“Although the 57ft size is calculated to be a corrected time winner in Mediterranean offshore races… from the same mould we can build a 60-footer (with different deck) to allow a third bathroom and racing in the minimaxi class,” Semeraro explains.
NEO 570c specifications
LOA: 17.50m 57ft 5in
Beam: 5.30m 17ft 5in
Draught: 2.80m-4.20m 9ft 2in-13ft 9in
Displacement: 11,500kg 25,353lb
Price including full carbon build and lift keel: around €2m ex VAT
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