The Italian designer Claudio Maletto from the studio Fontana Maletto in Como has been working for many years for the Italian Syndicates of the America’s Cups, contributing, as a yacht designer, to the design and development of eleven famous Italian cuppers. After his return from Valencia he decided to use his enormous knowledge and huge network for the design of production boats, all becoming successful.
“SAPHIRE is the most unique concept on the market and its potential is enormous. Target was to design a boat that can be manoeuvred by a family with small kids but at the same time also used by hard core sailors for regattas. It was very important for me to combine safety with speed since modern racing boats also bear quite some risk in strong winds. Flexibility for transport and slipping the boat was also a key element of the concept. The design language is modern and still timeless to grant a long lasting value for the boat. “Easy to sail” was the clear guideline to integrate all the innovative ideas and to create a boat that is unique on the market”.
Michael Tobler has worked in the consumer goods industry since his studies in the early 90th in sales and marketing. He could gain 20 years of international experience in different areas. His career brought him from direct sales, to the international brand management, to the lingerie business for a famous Swiss brand and he finally ended up as chief sales officer of an international outdoor company with its headoffice based in Switzerland where he successfully led the sales and created daughter companies in UK, Japan and Korea.
“After having achieved a successful international career I wished to combine my hobby with my profession and decided to create this unique SAPHIRE brand. It was born while racing and spending too much time without the family. I wanted to combine my passion with the family’s life and created this concept of fun, sport and easy handling. “Slip & Trail”, “Family Sailing” and “One Design” are the three aspects of the concept and bring it all together. Just take the trailer and go. Let’s share this passion be it over the weekend with your family or be it on a though race with friends or professionals! One passion we share it all: pure sailing!
Project leader’s comments
Trimarine Advanced Marine Projects, Ltd. is a project management company that was founded in 1995 to develop weight optimized solutions for marine applications. They specialize in the process engineering, construction, systems design and fit-out of racing and high performance cruising yachts using advanced composites. The origins of our company go back to 1989 when the core of what is today the management team was invited to participate in a landmark project - the ‘Il Moro’ IACC campaign. Along with other members of the 200 strong team, they designed and built a unique facility where all five campaign vessels were developed, built and tested. Their involvement was not accidental, by then they had amassed a wealth of experience in the use of advanced composites - particularly carbon prepregs and cored sandwich construction - that dated back to the early 1980’s.
SAPHIRE project leader, Sebastiano Rech Morassutti has himself managed seven America’s Cup projects – the last one being +39 - and brings some of the broadest knowledge of the whole industry to the project:
“From the very first moment we focused on industrial mass production and light boat building technology and all construction elements had been developed and designed to be highly efficient in production. Next to a clear target pricing we developed the boat in a way that it can be reproduced easily in different yards on different continents. However, the quality needs to fulfil Swiss expectations and standards and only an ISO certified yard was chosen to build the boat to start the project. This shall be the basis to achieve high numbers and to create big fleets all over the world”.
Sail Designer’s comments
SAPHIRE has developed its own sails. SAPHIRE SAILS is the brand to be used on the one design sails. The sail designer is Alessandro Castelli, an aeronautical engineer with a major in aerodynamics. He has worked also for the first Swiss America's Cup Syndicate and has a huge experience on sail design, winning a big number of championships himself. His sail design won the Worlds of the X35 in 2011 and dozens of championships in different classes before that:
« The family and racing combination requires a special sail plan with light and easy handling sails. Traditional materials are too heavy and stretchy for a carbon mast. Therefore we decided to use light POLYESTER laminates for the upwind sails and NYLON for the gennaker. The full batten square top mainsail in combination with the carbon mast and without any backstays is the ideal combination for fast sailing and easy handling. This style derives from the Americas Cuppers and modern catamarans and is more and more used on production monohull boats. The jib is optimized to sail a close angle upwind and is slightly overlapping the mainsail to increase performance. For classical family cruising and beginners I developed a "user friendly" less powerful mainsail. To sail easy and fast downwind I use quite a big gennaker to quickly reach good speed. For long distance cruising and racing you can also use the code 0 to increase sail area and speed in light wind and medium wind reaching conditions.
Strucutral designer’s comments
Advanced Mechanical Solutions was founded by Francesco Pelizza in 2005. As a mechanical engineer, he started AMS putting together the sailing experience made through years of blue water racing (Minitransat, Sidney Hobart, Course de l’Europe) and working in the aerospace field. AMS core business is the design and analysis of composite materials for nautical fields (hulls, masts, appendages, etc.). Furthermore, the company works in the industrial and aeronautical field. Structural design for boats like the RC44, Advanced 66, Grand Soleil 39 and 43 and analysis of many Wally yachts are some of their recent references.
“The step forward we made was to design a boat that with these features and without this massive study would have cost a fortune. She is extremely light, stiff and sound and we used the latest engineering instruments (CAD, FEA, CFD) with the aim of producing a sport boat at the price of a production boat.”
Interior and deck designer’s comments
“From the beginning of this exciting adventure with SAPHIRE I have imagined its potential client very demanding for all the aspects of the design, outside and inside. In my mind I see that client like the one who appreciates the lines of a sport car but also the comfort of a family transporter: two faces not so easy to put together. A hard job has been dedicated to give modern lines to the exterior, with some really new elements and details for a production boat of this dimension. Both, the interior and the deck layout have been developed under the dictate of light weight and functionality. Long studies had been done together with Claudio Maletto to integrate his well performance oriented thoughts to be combined with my view of a cheerful day onboard SAPHIRE”.
Mauro Sculli, chief architect of the StudioSculli, has been working both as yacht designer and project manager for approximately 30 years, alone or cooperating with other companies. His main partnerships have been developed with Fontana-Maletto, Giorgetti & Magrini and Wally, including sailing boats, racing and classic, sailing and motor yachts of big dimensions.
CEO's comments from the yard
Delpia Yachts shipyard was established in 1990 by brothers Piotr and Wojciech Kot to produce its first sailing boat, the Sportina. Since then, Delphia Yachts has grown to become one of Europe’s largest producer in the leisure boating industry producing far over 1000 boats annually. Every aspect of construction reflects the highest standards of craftsmanship. Delphia Yachts is ISO 9001 and Germanischer Llyod certified and has become respected for its enviable built quality incorporating superior marine technology. Delphia Yachts has extensive experience in using precision CNC machining in its construction processes allowing rapid and exact sculpting of a variety of materials to ensure perfect symmetry in each product. Bogdan Skórkiewicz, General Manager of Delphia Yachts states:
“From the very first moment I was enthusiastic about the unique concept idea of SAPHIRE. We have produced thousands of boats in the leisure industry but this one is really different. Thanks to our industrial processes, we are able to produce light weight family racing boats that fulfil the requirements of a one design class. Maximum allowed weight difference for SAPHIRE is 3% and we can guarantee this due to the fact that all our processes and production methods are standardized and certified. Thanks to our in-house quality department and our own transport company we can assure not only the product quality but also the delivery and after sales service”.