Perfectly matching rig, rigging and superyacht at the first attempt takes on new meaning when the key suppliers can be many thousands of miles apart from each other.
A close working relationship between a builder and suppliers is important whatever the size of vessel, and the rapport between a mastmaker and boatbuilder is a crucial one where millimetres can define the difference between success and stress. In our super-connected world, the geographical challenge for two such operations might be considered to be one of pure logistics, but when it is Hall Spars and Southern Wind Shipyard, the distance between the two facilities means that getting things right first time aboard a yacht that will be over the horizon in days is not just desirable, but crucial.
Southern Wind’s fifth SW105, Sørvind exemplifies this. Like many that emerge from the Cape Town facility, her first passage was to the Mediterranean. ‘While we treat all our clients with the same detailed level of attention and support throughout the entire process, with Southern Wind we are always very conscious that the first voyage for many of their yachts will be a 7,500nm passage from South Africa to Europe. For any new 100-footer that’s a big ask which focusses minds on all sides,’ says Hall Spars’ project manager Alex Runciman.
‘Very few boatyards faced with such a big maiden passage would be prepared to say yes to a trip like this after just a couple of test sails. But for us, this is the reality and it sets the bar high from the start. But it also says much about two of the key characteristics of a Hall Spars rig, namely precision and reliability.
‘The physical distance between Hall Spars in the Netherlands and Southern Wind in Cape Town make both absolutely essential. The rig has to fit perfectly first time and it has to be totally reliable.’