"Build me a long-distance sailing ketch for exploring remote places and high latitudes, with decent performance and great safety, for a live-aboard owner sailing mostly short - or single-handed."
This is the brief given to Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders by our international client.
Wind Spirit is a fractional rigged ketch constructed of six layers of cold moulded, longitudinal and diagonal planked yellow cedar, with an outer skin of e-glass and Kevlar. With deck-stepped carbon masts, all carbon standing rigging, twin helms and a hull that is an engineering masterpiece that takes advantage of both Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders' traditional wood construction experience and their composite expertise.
Launched just before Christmas 2022, Wind Spirit will be exploring some of the world's most pristine environments, so she is self-supporting and leaves the smallest footprint possible. This is achieved by having all the key infrastructure electrically powered. From the rubber dinghy's electric outboard motor, the water maker, dive compressor and retractable bow & stern thrusters to the oven/induction hob, fridge, freezer, washing machine and dryer.
Much of the electrical generation for the vessel is supplied by solar panels and a pair of hydro generators, charging a lithium-ion battery bank – no genset required. All this hi-tech infrastructure is seamlessly integrated using a CZone system managed by high-performance B&G touch screens.
The general approach for sail handling on Wind Spirit is of traditional sailing skills, where physical exertion is the preference to pushing buttons, as is consistent with the owner's racing pedigree. To this end, very nearly every primary sailing control line has its own dedicated winch, as opposed to the more conventional, a few winches and multiple rope clutches. The sails are hanked on and non-furling; this again is the owner's preference, as furling sails "…are binary. They are either in or out…. Also, Murphy's Law says they will jam at the worst possible time, in the middle of the night with the wind howling on a lee shore, the engine out of commission. Thanks, but no thanks…"
The brief also stipulated that the owner prefers sporty over luxury. Of course, Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders' interpretation of sporty is probably not what most people would expect. With a stunning interior made from naturally finished Anegre wood panels, incorporating a 2mm negative detail and finished to LSB's usual, very high standards, you could easily describe her as luxuriously sporty.
Wind Spirit's home port is Brest, France. So how did Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders become the builder of choice? According to Arnaud, it was no choice at all. "I investigated numerous boatyards around the world – mainly in Europe but also in the U.S." He finally discovered Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders and decided to drop in for a visit. "I liked what I saw – the people and the culture – but especially the depth of the company's timber and composite construction expertise. The choice was obvious…"
Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders are very proud of Wind Spirit; she is a stunning boat and we look forward to hearing about all the spectacular adventures that await her. Welcome to the LSB family.