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Kokomo III Launched in NZ

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  • Kokomo III Launched in NZ

    The largest yacht to be built in NZ has just been launched.

    If you are the type who doesn't like reading about ultra-expensive vessels at the cutting edge of modern technology, then this article may not appeal.

    Alloy Yachts, our consistently best and most internationally well respected (and awarded) builder of large sailing and powerboats, have, once again, exceeded their own high standards and launched a vessel that will surely gain even more accolades.

    At 58.4 metres (over 192ft), Kokomo is not only the largest sailing yacht built by the company, it is also the largest yet launched in New Zealand. She also boasts, at 74.3 metres, the largest mast ever made by local world-class sparmakers Southern Spars and the largest set of Doyle Sails made here: her mainsail is 883 square metres, the genoa 1151 square metres and, at 2227 square metres, the asymmetric gennaker is Doyle's largest ever single sail.

    The yacht also features unique submarine anchors and deck fittings that literally disappear into the bulwarks and below the deck.

    Described as a classic flying bridge design, Kokomo is the third superyacht designed by Ed Dubois and built by Alloy Yachts for the same clients.

    Like it's predecessors, it is an impressive looking ship. A jet black hull contrasts with a stark white superstructure to create strikingly simple lines that are further enhanced with extensive natural teak decks, carbon fibre trims and silver transom graphics and cove stripe. The partnership between the UK-based Dubois Naval Architects and West Auckland's Alloy Yachts is clearly one that works and works well.

    "Alloy Yachts understands sailing yachts," says Dubois.

    "They have pioneered many sailing yacht systems and first built a Dubois-designed yacht in 1989 when they had 30 people. Now they have over 430 people and have moved into a wonderful area," says Dubois.

    Dubois says the aim with Kokomo was to combine total seaworthiness, reliability and comfort within a package able to sail well in any conditions.

    It is an aim he believes Alloy Yachts have exceeded.

    "Kokomo is a landmark by anyone's standards and a particular landmark for us. It is the 20th Dubois design built by Alloy Yachts and they have done an incredible job. The new Kokomo is the manifestation of all their experience and understanding."

    Apart from its size and the size of its mast and sail plan, what is it about Kokomo that is so special? According to Alloy Yachts' very hands-on managing director, Tony Hambrook, at least part of the answer is the "extensive line-up of innovative customisations".

    One of these is the raise/lower ballasted keel, a significant change for a Dubois design. This features a keel tower that comes up through the centre of the vessel, allowing the whole bulb of the keel to be raised and lowered. This allows Kokomo to draw over 8m with the keel down but less than 5m with it up.

    The submarine anchors are another first for the Alloy Yachts team. Mounted inside the hull, the anchors (custom-made locally by Manson) are deployed via a wet-box from the base of the hull. Alloy Yachts' designers researched and developed a customised retrieval mechanism to ensure the anchors are correctly aligned when retracted into the hawse pipes. Once the anchors are in place, the submerged anchor locker is protected by a polished closing plate, providing a clean, sleek and watertight closure. Underwater lights and cameras allow the anchor lowering and raising process to be monitored through Alloy Yachts' trademark SeaTouch monitoring system.

    Kokomo III also has substantially more freeboard than her predecessor and this has allowed Alloy Yachts to add a lot more underdeck stowage (for two tenders, a tender crane, winch lockers, sail lockers and a staysail furler when not in use) and to create a much larger teak foredeck, one that runs right back to the mast.

    The custom-made spa-pool has also been inset into the deck under its own teak cover, leaving nothing above deck to detract from the clean lines and sense of space.

    Kokomo's owner was also keen to see the decks kept as clear of equipment as possible.

    Alloy Yachts have achieved this by concealing the bollards and fairleads inside the bulwarks. A sleek lid hinges open to access the bollards for mooring purposes and, when not in use, they are completely hidden; the continuous bulwark line and smooth teak deck not interrupted either visually or physically.

    Kokomo sleeps 12 guests in five cabins, all, as one would expect, with ensuites. She can also accommodate a crew of 12, in six cabins, again, all with ensuites.

    Her interior is described by interior designer Tony Dixon as modern, but "not hard edge contemporary".

    "Very dark, distinctive wenge and light forest teak timbers accentuate chocolate-brown leather tops and chunky nickel hardware.

    "Stronger features are created by wrap-round corner veneers on cabinets and the contrasting leather stitch-work."

    Kokomo is currently still based here in Auckland as her captain and crew become familiar with her huge rig and sail plan and her numerous systems.

    One imagines, however, that it will not be long before her owners and crew become impatient to stretch her legs and set sail for warmer waters, perhaps across the Tasman or north to those wonderful tropical islands.


    * LOA: 58.4 metres

    * LWL: 53.63 metres

    * Beam: 10.87 metres

    * Draft: (keel raised) 4.95 metres, (keel down) 8.1 metres

    * Displacement: 598 tonnes

    * Mast height: 75 metres above waterline

    By Mike Rose ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~