August 14, 2015
The 51ft Hinckley yacht KIVA participated in the recent TR 2015 Transatlantic Race in June and finished a creditable 7th in class with a crew 8 on board. The TR 2015 threw up some testing conditions for the competitors with gale force winds mid-Atlantic and, despite the yacht’s robust build, KIVA was unfortunately one of several yachts to sustain some damage on the race. The owner Mark Stevens and veteran Newport sailor Hank Halsted had entered the yacht in the two-handed division of the Rolex Fastnet Race this weekend and it was vital therefore that KIVA be repaired quickly and soundly so the two hardy sailors could start the race this Sunday.
Owner Mark Stephens comments “… after the damage occurred we were very unsure if we would be able to sail in the Rolex Fastnet following structural issues with the mast…”
Hank Halstead added “…we undoubtedly arrived with issues on the yacht – but we have long term friends in Lymington and the Berthon Boatyard was first on my list of places to call to assist us with the repairs. I knew the shipyard services were efficient here – but I am really impressed with the speed and quality of the work undertaken – Berthon have done a great job to get us back racing and on time.”
KIVA is a Hinckley 51 – she is 51’ 3” / 15.6m LOA, with a 14’ / 4.2m beam and a draft of 9’ 4” / 2.8m – Mark and Hank have described her as “like sailing your living room couch!”
Hank and Mark have been sailing together for over 30 years, competing in many fully crewed races; however, they prefer the 2-handed racing format and now have over 5000 miles of racing experience paired together. Hank said that they had both been planning on ticking the Fastnet box for a while and the introduction of the double handed class spurred them on to do it. Hank is also very well known on the international yacht racing circuit, having been a superyacht captain himself – he was also one of the founders of the Bucket Races that take place every year in the Caribbean and East Coast of America.
It might take them a bit longer to complete the 608 nautical mile course than the other 50 footer PRIVATEER that has also been preparing for the Fastnet at Berthon, but we understand that the food will be considerably superior on board KIVA. Hank let us know that they always have fresh cooked meals – anything from braised beef to shepherd’s pie and none of the freeze dried food now available.
The repairs that Berthon made to KIVA were focused around the carbon mast – an area of spinnaker track had badly detached from the mast. The damaged track was removed and remedial repairs were made to the carbon structures. The whole area was filled, faired and repainted as well a new section of track being added. At the mast head a few cracks had appeared – these were ground back and over-laminated making the area considerably stronger. There was also damage along the boom in the area where the 3rd reefing line attaches – this area was ground back, repaired and reinforced to add strength to the boom where the reefing line loads are highest.
Damage to the spinnaker track can be seen above.
The damage and repair made to the mast head.
The carbon mast being repaired in one of the paint shed preparation areas Berthon
All this work was all done in rapid time using a selection of 400gsm uni-directional and bi-axial carbon cloth and Ampreg 22 epoxy resin. The 3 repairs were all post cured at 60 degrees for 24 hours and then painted in our climate controlled yacht paint spraying booth, one of the most sophisticated units in Europe. The mast, dressed and stepped was ready for Mark and Hank to inspect and then head off to Cowes in KIVA time for the start of the Fastnet.
Berthon Rigging Team step the mast using our dedicated mast crane
Everyone at Berthon wishes KIVA a safe and successful Fastnet Race.