AQuiJo’s owner was determined to make his dream of sailing around Cape Horn come true. But before attempting that feat, he spend a long time sailing his new boat and discovered in the process that it wasn’t just comfortable but also a bit of a thoroughbred racer.
Grappling with a big sea and winds of between 35 and 40 knots in Greece, she made a peak speed of 20.4 knots but had no problem of racing along at 19. That may not sound too big a deal until we mention that the yacht in question was AQuiJo, which at 85 metres in the world’s largest ketch.
She was designed by Tripp Design Naval Architecture, founded by Bill Tripp in 1984. Her build was a joint effort by Vitters, the yard behind the likes of the 42-metre Svea, the world’s largest J-Class and the 150’ Ribelle, and Oceanco, which has turned out many 80-metre-plus yachts, both sailing and motor.
The team was completed by Dölker + Voges of Germany, the pens behind the interiors of A, the 143-metre owned by Andrey Melnichenko.
AQuiJo stretches 14.48 metres in the beam and has two 91-metre masts towering above her deck which together can unfurl 5,300 square metres of sail to the wind. But despite her size and the aforementioned mind-boggling stats, AQuiJo is both easy to handle and versatile, including in light breezes.
This is thanks to an unusual steering system, developed by Tripp, which provides direct feedback of the hydrodynamic forces of the water on the rudder blades to the wheels up on the fly-bridge.
The cockpit opens directly into the saloon on the main deck where there is also a lounge and dining area. Like the rest of the interiors, Dölker + Voges has given the latter a cool, natural yet elegant stamp.
Everything is wonderfully simple but also beautifully planned in terms of the layout of the furnishings and the use of wood and steel in particular. The same applies to natural light which beautifully enhances the master suite.
Located aft of the steering area and guest area on the top deck, the suite affords 270 degree views and has a large sliding door that opens on to an expansive private terrace with its own bar, dining and relaxation areas. The suite is just above the main deck living area with two dining areas.
There are also six guest cabins on the lower deck, two of which can be combined to create a suite with its own lounge. Guests can also access the beach club from the cabin section. T
his is a unique area with a large pool and stern platform. The perfect finishing touch for the stylish and high tech AQuiJo which is not only the world’s largest ketch but also sets a whole new benchmark for sailing superyachts.