WEST SYSTEM: Swiss Performance Yachts
Tucked away within a modern furniture factory near Tallinn, Estonia, a small company is building beautiful new boats in wood whilst also restoring some classics from the 60’s. The first 10-metre sailing yacht was being made using WEST SYSTEM epoxy to bond the mahogany veneers.
Built to plans from the Dutch naval architects Hoek Design, Swiss Performance Yachts first 10-metre sailing yacht is a modern classic. During epoxycraft’s visit to Estonia last year, we saw the hull taking shape in a factory workshop just a few yards from where high-class Jacuzzis were being built for penthouse apartments.
The 10-metre yacht has the sleek graceful lines reminiscent of a Folkboat and is really intended as a day-sailer with weekending capability. The hull is made using cold moulding techniques, with yellow cedar planks on the inside and three layers of mahogany veneers built up on the outside.
“Here in Estonia we have the wood-working skills available to create such a beautiful yacht,” said CEO Mairold (pronounced ‘may-rolled) Metsavir. “We can make one of these boats a year and whilst wooden boatbuilding is not a huge share of the market nowadays, the custom base is made up of dedicated and passionate enthusiasts willing to commission a brand new yacht from us.”
However, the 10-metre is not entirely traditional but rather a mix of the best of both worlds. She has a carbon mast, a modern bulb keel arrangement and a 7hp Farymann diesel engine working via a Gori folding propeller, but sit in her traditional cockpit and glance down into her hand crafted hull and you could be stepping back to the glorious days of sail.
So where does Mairold source such a fine selection of yacht building timber?
“I have an excellent supplier in John Lammerts van Bueren from Dutch-based Touchwood BV who is also a key member of the International 8-metre Association,” he said. “He has sawmills all around the world and knows exactly what we need, so the mix of woods in this boat has come from a variety of countries. The mahogany is from Africa, the cedar from Alaska and the pine from the US.”
Swiss Performance Yachts has also used epoxy resin as the preferred construction method rather than the more traditional copper nail system. In fact, we noticed WEST SYSTEM epoxy being widely used across Estonia’s new build and restoration sector. Sitting beside the 10-metre, for example, was an original Riva Aquarama motorboat, hull number 50 from 1964, which was undergoing extensive restoration using epoxy techniques. The boat was having new decks, new underwater sections and new frames to make her look like new again.
“We have the skills, the materials and the room here to build any wooden boat you might like from new, or restore one that has seen better days,” Mariold said. “Just give us the plans and we will do the rest.”
Model: Swiss Performance Yachts 10-metre
Construction: Wood epoxy laminate
Rig: Fractional sloop
Keel: Fin keel with bulb
Rudder: Balanced spade design
Engine: 7hp Farymann diesel
Designer: Hoek Design Naval Architects.
Shots of the yacht during build and how she turned out.
For more information, contact:
Swiss Performance Yachts
Old Jahuladu – 4 flr
Tel: +372 501 4770