Paul Bieker has developed this light-displacement water-ballasted lifting-keel design for a Canadian owner who wanted a high-performance racer that can also be cruised with eight aboard. There’s some indication that it might become a production design. Builder Ian Franklin has already built one Bieker design, the 44-foot Dark Star for American Olympic medalist Jonathan McKee.
Construction is all carbon fiber and epoxy; the interior bulkheads and joinerwork are being cut from prepared sheets of carbon/epoxy composite on CNC cutting machines. The lifting keel is raised with a powered halyard winch, and a hydraulic dampening ram prevents any sudden release of the keel while it is being lowered. The anchor windlass can be removed when racing, and the headsail furler will be positioned in its own well to keep it clear of the pivoting carbon sprit at the base of the pulpit. Both mast and boom will be prepreg carbon fiber, and standing rigging will be PBO with aramid backstays.
Ian Franklin Boat Builders Ltd., Box 19668, Christchurch, New Zealand; tel. 011-64-3-384-2722, firstname.lastname@example.org