Boat Of The Week: This 55-Metre Yacht Raced Regattas—And Won
The lightning-fast vessel, which recently had a major refit, is ready for its second life.
Most owners believe their yachts deliver a one-of-a-kind experience. Sailing yacht Q takes that conviction to another level. Built by Alloy Yachts, a shipyard that no longer exists, and designed by Ed Dubois of Dubois Naval Architects, who sadly died in 2016, Q is a true limited edition that has just completed a major overhaul of the interior and systems.
The 55-metre custom-built ketch is one of the fastest sailing superyachts ever built. Originally delivered by Auckland-based Alloy in 2008 under the name Mondango, the yacht’s pedigreed build team and successful regatta career did not go unnoticed. It caught the eye of its current Danish owner, an experienced yachtsman who makes a habit out of buying performance sailing boats.
His other yacht, the Perini Navi-built Parsifal III (he also owned Parsifal I, II and IV), has proven so popular on the charter market that he rarely has the chance to sail it. Consequently, he acquired Q in 2016 with the intention of keeping it strictly private. That didn’t last long. It is available for charter through Camper & Nicholsons.
“Alloy Yachts are so well built that they’re legendary on the sailing circuit,” the owner, who wants to remain private, told Robb Report. “I sailed optimists and laser dinghies as a child, and I’ve been buying and refitting sailing boats for 30 years, but Q caught my eye with her lower profile, sleek lines and the fact she’s really fast. She’s ideal for racing.”
Among Q’s original Dubois design elements is an uncluttered deck that keeps the profile sleek. The large cockpit is also unique: It’s air-conditioned, with electric windows. It’s a feature that the owner found highly appealing. “We keep the windows open in good weather and close them down in wind. We don’t tend to use the air conditioning, but it’s nice to be able to do so,” he says.
Most other areas of the boat, however, have undergone transitions, following two major refits in 2016 and 2021. The most significant includes large 3DI carbon sails that hoist in a matter of minutes. In flat water and 35 knots of wind, Q easily reaches 19 knots.
A heated Jacuzzi was added to the foredeck and surrounded by sunpads to form a dedicated sunbathing area. The engines and generators have also been refurbished, and the exterior received a full paint job. Inside, the yacht was stripped back and restyled in a similar style to Parsifal III’s Rémi Tessier-designed interior.
“We had a Danish designer who assisted us with Q, though we incorporated a lot of ideas from Rémi, who we remain friends with after all these years,” said the owner.
All furniture was refurbished, while the design team added dark-wood veneers and custom-built Fendi sofas. A more reliable, energy efficient air-conditioning system was installed. There’s even the addition of an app-controlled TopBrewer in the main salon for barista-quality coffee.
Over the past 15 years the yacht has enjoyed active participation on the competitive regatta circuit, from Loro Piana to the St Barth’s Bucket, with the hands-on owner at the heart of the action.
Most years, Q is a familiar sight in the Caribbean and Mediterranean. After this year’s Bucket, Q embarks on a rigorous sailing schedule that will take the boat through the Panama Canal to cruise the Galapagos Islands before settling in French Polynesia for the summer. The owner’s 12-day Galapagos itinerary takes in drift dives, tender rides through sea caves and a trip to Punta Suarez, the only Waved Albatross nesting ground in the world. The French Polynesian itinerary remains dependent on charter enquiries.
The yacht’s drop-down transom creates a large swim platform with a ladder for easy access to the water. It’s a great way to enjoy the selection of “healthy toys” on board, from kayaks and Seabobs to a sailing dinghy and diving gear.
The owner’s favourite place to be is the aft deck, which has a projector installed on the mizzen boom for a home-cinema feel. It’s another detail added during the refit to give the yacht a personalised touch, though now that Q proves so irresistible with charter guests, a third sailing yacht acquisition could be on the horizon.
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