Even when every project is unquestionably special, some commissions can only be described as exceptional. Such a gem is Hanuman – a modern recreation of Tommy Sopwith’s beautiful 42.08 m / 138.06’ ‘Super-J’ Class yacht, Endeavour II.
Created for a very experienced owner – who also commissioned both Hyperion (47m / 1998) and Athena (90m / 2004) from Royal Huisman – Hanuman has been conceived as a faithful homage to the original. Clean, tidy and efficient deck spaces, teak-clad deckhouse, matt finished deck hardware and gleaming black hull with a recessed gold cove stripe are complemented by a magnificent, hand-polished period interior in French Walnut designed by Pieter Beeldsnijder and finished by art and architectural renovation experts, Acanthus International.
Yet this elegant 1937 design is more than she seems. Naval architects Dykstra & Partners have optimised performance potential in line with the rules of the J-Class Association which permit some flexibility in sail area, ballast ratio, righting moment and build materials whilst restricting historic design features.
Hanuman’s hull is therefore high tensile Alustar aluminium, her deckhouse carbon-composite beneath the rich period teak cladding, her Rondal mast, boom and standing rigging in High Modulus carbon has been designed and engineered in parallel with North sails to synchronise the mast and sail design to act as a single aerodynamic shape. A combination of technology and design optimised to the highest degree.
The absence of a flat screen navigation display at the helm was recognised as too great a racing disadvantage, so Royal Huisman challenged the design team to incorporate a display with maximum sensitivity to the yacht’s heritage. The challenge was met in terms of both style and functionality, with the creation of a classic-looking pedestal that also neatly disguises bow-thruster, throttle and other controls.
The overall result is a delectable classic, yet a wolf in sheep’s clothing that will surely hit and exceed every mark on the performance curves once dreamed of by designer Charles E. Nicholson, as well as aspiring to today’s more ambitious challenges set by the Dykstra design team.
Photo courtesy of Hans Westerink