Briand 78

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Whimsy, designed by naval architect Philippe Briand, was launched by Vaudrey Miller Yachts late last summer. The owner, an experienced racing yachtsman who formerly managed a major British design agency, was deeply involved in the project, whose guiding principle was “less is more.” The end result is a very contemporary cruising yacht, which has a modern hull shape, flush deck, low coachroof, relatively straight bow, and the performance potential and handling characteristics of a racing yacht.

Particular attention was paid to achieving a half-load displacement of about 89,000 pounds, which was accomplished by using lots of Kevlar and carbon. The hull carries a T-shaped bulb keel. Whimsy is relatively light, but has more than 3,200 square feet of working sail area and a long waterline; hence she can easily reach speeds of 10 knots, even with a small crew.

The simple and welcoming interior is finished in anegree, rosewood, and brushed steel. The interior’s gray and white hues match those of the exterior hull. Three identical guest cabins with double berths and separate heads open into a large, slightly raised saloon that is brightened by large windows in the overhead.

On deck, the passenger cockpit forward has been designed to be easy to get in and out of. A separate working cockpit features dual steering stations, both with excellent visibility. The drop-down transom has room to store a 10-foot RIB, which can be launched using the boom as a derrick.

After being commissioned in Auckland, the yacht left on a three-month cruise to Tonga and Fiji before continuing to Tahiti and the west coast of South America.

Briand Yacht Design, 26 Rue Saint Sauveur, 17000 La Rochelle, France; tel. 011-335-46-50-57-44

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