Sassy expects Smooth Sailing Come 36th Americas Cup

M/Y Sassy is feeling as prepared as she can be for the 36th Americas Cup – being held in Auckland, New Zealand – after undertaking an extensive refit at The Boat Works.

The Australian renowned 95 ft (31m) Superyacht has recently changed ownership and the new owner is keen to take the boat further afield.

First major voyage on the list? Across the ditch for America’s Cup.

Emirates Team New Zealand are gearing up to not only defend their Championship Cup, but they will also be hosting the prestigious yacht race in the beautiful Waitemata Harbour.

As exciting as this is, the transitory weather conditions in the South Pacific are cause for some serious preparations as far as M/Y Sassy’s Captain Owen Howe is concerned.

Keen to make the voyage in early January – arriving in time for the Prada Cup – Mr Howe explains how he and the new owner thought long and hard about the best possible systems necessary to make the trip as enjoyable as possible.

It was time to forgo the old underway only system and upgrade to something that could handle open ocean cruising, with the added luxury of stabilization at rest for those busy, not so serene anchorages.

After researching into the available stabilizer options, the owner decided to go with ABT-TRAC – the industry leader for Hydraulic systems – based on the unrivalled reputation of the product and brand, and the back up and support available in Australia via Stella Marine.

Stella Marine are veterans when it comes to upgrading a vessels stabilizer system. The company’s owner Mr Gary Cooper explains that the process for upgrading a current vessels stabilization system is not always as easy as ripping out the old and installing the new.

“When upgrading a system like this from underway only to STAR (Stabilization At Rest) a full assessment of the hull and structure in way of the new fins and actuators is required. The forces exerted to stabilize a vessel while at rest are significantly higher than when underway, so typically there is significant strengthening required” says Cooper.

After the structural design was complete, Ocean Degree Yacht Services were chosen to complete the extensive structural fibreglass work on the hull. The process conceived was to achieve maximum strength around the install area with high quality material that will withstand the huge forces exerted through them when the stabilizers are in use.

This not being the first time Stella Marine and Ocean Degree have teamed up to upgrade a yachts stabilization system, owner of Ocean Degree Mr Levi Duncan was more than happy to step up to the task.

Duncan says, “With any hull work like this, the scale of reinforcement and challenges involved with application to the hull are immense.”

The final hull reinforcement process that allowed for the stabilizer system to be installed on Sassy was hand laid vinyl ester internally, and a modern infusion of fibreglass laid on both sides of the vessel externally.

With the reinforcement complete, the vessel will now boast an ABT-TRAC 370 Stabilizer System with 16.0X extended cord fins driven by a hydraulic system off the main engine for underway cruising. A new Northern Lights generator was installed with a hydraulic pump mounted via a PTO for STAR (Stabilization At Rest).

In addition to the Stabilizer Project, Stella’s very own 240 LPH Water Maker was chosen for installation to increase the vessels fresh-water capacity during long ocean voyages.

Stella is renowned for being Australia’s leading manufacturer in desalination.

“Sassy’s crew now have their own fresh water making capabilities, allowing for more time underway and less time spent worrying about whether there is enough water supply in the tank” said Cooper as he explained the many benefits of having an on board watermaker.

Sassy also chose to have a 300mm Quick stern thruster installed by Stella which will only aid in manoeuvring the vessel through tight spaces.

To complete the work, Millennium Marine Australia were chosen to undertake cosmetic repairs around the vessel and have completed a repaint on the entire foredeck area including the non-skid on the foredeck and side decks. Also included were repairs and touch ups around the vessel and transom area. Millennium’s vast experience in superyacht refinishing made them the ideal choice, based on their reputation to produce the highest quality finish. The team at Millennium used their custom-made tent with a purpose-built extraction system designed to ensure the cleanest blemish free finish.

This whole refit was carried out on site at The Boat Works, within one of the new purpose-built Superyacht Refit Sheds. Since opening just five months ago, the new yard has proven popular with the region’s superyachts – both privately owned and commercial vessels. This positive demand has driven the start of stage 3, which will see the yard boasting an additional 10,000-square-metres of purpose-built marine workshops and retail facilities to complement the existing Superyacht yard expansion.

Notably, as with any great organisation it’s not just the world class facilities that underpin The Boat Works as “Simply the Best”, it’s the people. All in the yard understand the importance of onsite trade collaboration. This positive environment can only yield positive outcomes for all involved, because in many cases like Sassy’s refit, it’s how the best result is achieved.

Sassy will be heading over to NZ for the 36th Americas Cup next year and after such a successful refit, the vessel will no doubt have an amazing smooth voyage across the ditch for the event. Happy sailing!!!

Stella Marine = ABT TRAC stats
370 Actuators
16.0X Extended cord fins
Traclink control system

Quick Stats of the Refit

350,000 grams of epoxy resin used

1200 gsm Quadraxial e-glass used

90L Seavictor 50 Antifoul for under waterline used

Above waterline Jotun Extreme Gloss

Ocean Degree Yacht Services = Structural Engineering

Millennium Marine Australia = Re finishing works