Initially featured in Q4, James Carley, Senior Designer at Bannenberg & Rowell Design, discusses the studio’s latest concept the BR55, whose sculpted profile is in keeping with Bannenberg & Rowell’s signature styling based on function and clean, simple forms.Bannenberg sailing yachts have been a rare breed in the past, but have included Tiawana, Acharné and Bannenberg’s own yacht, Beaupré. Here we see additional renders and a sketch of the design.
The yacht’s raison d’être is sailing performance combined with lifestyle. Our aim has been to maintain a simple, efficient structure that supports both mast and keel and also gives us greater freedom when designing for lifestyle. The hull’s performance is maximised by using a slender form and a high power-to-weight ratio, which means reducing weight while increasing ballast and righting arms, achieved in some part by using a lifting keel mechanism that increases draft from 4.2 to 6.5 metres.
The use of continuous decks without steps at main and lower deck level and a slightly greater freeboard contributes enormously to the yacht’s overall longitudinal strength and stiffness. The superstructure literally sits on top of the main deck allowing floor-to-ceiling windows in the main salon/dining area without restrictive bulwarks masking the sea views.
The yacht’s enclosed bow and stern rise up out of the main deck level, with the tender housing in the forward section and built-in seating and fold-out platforms aft. These platforms mean that the aft deck space can literally “grow” to provide much greater exterior living space and greater connection with the sea.
The interior layout is defined by large open spaces, centralised stairwells and strong links to the exterior environment. With the fold-out platforms open, the owner’s suite has direct access to the aft decks. The design features two helm stations, both in the wheelhouse and on the flybridge.
The yacht’s most distinctive design feature, however, are the fold-out aft decks. A priority was to keep weight out of the fore and aft ends of the yacht and with this in mind the fold out platforms evolved into an athwartships movement. This not only results in a more practical deck arrangement, but also minimises the projected distance of the platforms thereby reducing the moments. The straight edges along which each platform rotates is designed so that a simple piano hinge can be fitted.
Our thoughts for the opening mechanism are similar to that of a hatchback car door, using a door using a combination of springs with pneumatic or hydraulic dampers. The composite platforms are lightweight with inherent stiffness in their shape, so they can be easily and manually opened by one crew member. The main support of the platform in the open position would be split between the piano hinges and a series of buffers in the hull side, against which the platform rests and is locked off.
The hull’s longitudinal strength and local structure supporting both the platforms and rigging as well as watertight integrity, remain within the hull form and are distinct from the platforms to keep the platforms simple, lightweight and more manageable. The yacht has a projected displacement of 350 tonnes and a sail area of 1,200 sqm.