Contest Yachts delighted to announce delivery of first new 26-metre Contest 85CS – Polina Star IV

26 nov 2018

Contest Yachts delighted to announce delivery of first new 26-metre Contest 85CS – Polina Star IV

With the November handover complete, Polina Star IV, the first judel/vrolijk designed 26-metre Contest 85CS, immediately took off to begin distance cruising, first sailing directly from Holland to Elba to over-winter before the real adventure begins.

Commissioned by an owner resuming an interrupted world voyage, Polina Star IV shines as an example of just how far semi-customisation can be taken when practised by the highly regarded Dutch shipyard Contest Yachts. Working in the closest of collaborations with deeply experienced owner, skipper and suppliers, it’s all about building dreams together.

The best dreams have sound basis. The Contest 85CS has this in plenty. Firstly, through the shipyard’s 60-year history and the first-class pedigree of design partners judel/vrolijk & co and Wetzels Brown Partners. Secondly, through the most rigorously tested, appraised, approved and integrated equipment and systems from the industry’s leading supply partners.

Performance bluewater cruising lies at the heart of each and every Contest yacht. And naturally, the bigger the more one can offer. The architectural and engineering prowess at judel/vrolijk runs deep and spans design of every level of yacht from mid-displacement to extreme lightweight carbon rocket. Join this with Contest Yacht’s own combination of fine hand-building, engineering and innovation, and the delivered vessel leads the way in the world of semi-custom yachting.

This way the latest launch, the Contest 85CS, presents an exceptional platform for personalisation.

With the judel/vrolijk eye for lines, the curves and shaped facets of a swept, raised saloon and blended cockpit coamings harmoniously top a gently shelved sheerline to a fast but deep-sea kindly modern hull form. The stem and stern are near vertical, both with good buoyancy, and a broad but balanced beam runs aft into a soft turned bilge for high form stability. Foil designs, for both keel and ocean-safe single rudder, borrow from the success of judel/vrolijk higher performing yachts, and in early trials Polina Star IV proved the point.

This all comes with the design and engineering teams’ inherent understanding of the need to accommodate true superyacht comforts in a still fast, all weather high-winded performance cruising yacht. And Polina Star IV takes this to a different level of detailing.

The project is to sail the world, taking in the extremes, encompassing many purposefully long passages with a crew of just two. So self-sufficiency is mandatory and that means all systems must be doubled or more to protect against failure, and that only systems and equipment that can be maintained by the crew were permitted in the build. The duplication of equipment in systems redundancies for swap over without interruption is just the start, the workshop’s extraordinary storage array for parts and tools then continuing that particular story.

It was also specified that all systems and gear must be capable of manual override and operation. That applies from the smallest of valves and electronic componentry to the full management of every aspect of the slab-reefed cutter rig, single-handedly. An extraordinary brief demanding the most detailed design and implementation that those involved in the project have ever seen in a yacht of this size.

This philosophy also explains this particular commission’s extensive use of dorade vents on the otherwise flush deck for permanently untroubled natural ventilation of all accommodation
space. Polina Star IV does have also three conventional heating and chilling systems aboard but with the dorades these are rarely needed. Also in the case of mechanical failure there’s simply no issue, the yacht remains freshly vented throughout, and anyway generator run-time and fuel consumption are kept to a minimum.

Polina Star IV is the owner’s third Contest yacht and incorporates much of his and his skipper’s own personal design innovation from the multiple winch and line arrangement for single-handing the rig and sailplan, to the in-ceiling installation of cabling and emergency electricity supply for navigation and communications systems. This to prolong operation in the event of water ingress. Their nine berth cabin plan also presents an unusual arrangement with most of the forward section given completely to crew and ship management functions, while the galley is back aft for an owner as interested in cuisine as cabin comfort. Even the layout of the galley surprises with its deep-sea thinking.

For different owners, different priorities. In Polina Star IV function is first. With the hull space divided into four fully watertight compartments, detailing for the desired ultimate deep-sea security includes dedicated inset open lockers with lifejackets beside the companionway and each cabin’s exterior; laddered escape hatches within each cabin; and ceiling-height safety lighting. The bilge system follows Contest Yachts’ advanced central line practice with spine and rib piping and outboard sensors to cope with heeled waters, and there’s additional independent high capacity pumping that equally serves for firefighting – along the yacht’s entire length.

The exquisite joinery in teak and oak with the yard’s signature concealed latches and safety locks shows the very best of both Contest Yachts workmanship and Wetzels Brown styling, with faultlessly matched graining and flawless soft satin finish, and complimentary fabrics and leathers used to great effect. Gently curved corners to furnishings and cabinetry reduce risk of harm in a seaway, and beds as well as having lee cloths and boards incorporate high joinered sides with hand-hold cut-outs, for function again. It’s all about sense at sea, in splendid comfort.

In construction, hull and deck throughout are foam cored and vacuum infused, chain plates are laminated as an integral part of the hull, the keel is stainless steel and lead for a thin section and best centre of gravity, and rudder and A-frame for flying code sails are both carbon. And then for that final peace of mind there is Lloyds’ certification.

The carbon rig is from Hall Spars, sails are 3Di from North Sails and sail Polina Star IV will. “This is the joy of a judel/vrolijk design and the Contest approach to lightweight interiors that allow the best of superyacht safety and comfort,” says Contest CEO Arjen Conijn.

“Absolutely,” says skipper and project leader Alessio Cannoni who’s been involved and on site since day one of Polina Star IV’s conception. “We plan to sail all conditions, from five to 50 knots. I like to consider engines as just something to help when there’s really no wind, and just to enter and exit anchorages. The rest of time we sail. We have a huge sail locker because my way is to sail 70 per cent of the time, and if you cannot carry all sails then you are thinking to motor-sail. And then, like so many, end using sails only 10 per cent of the time. Light winds are actually so much more comfortable to sail than bigger winds and, with such a wardrobe as we have, we can always sail flat and fast which makes for great distance cruising.”

Polina Star IV, the first of a series of individually purposed, 26-metre Contest 85CS performance cruisers. Building dreams together.

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