Beautiful to behold and offering a wonderful on-board experience, the latest design from the German shipyard is a successful compromise between large volumes and top-level performance
by Luca Sordelli – photo by Francesco Ferri
«WHEN WE FIRST STARTED TO DREAM UP THIS BOAT, MICHAEL’S INSTRUCTIONS WERE CLEAR: just one glance should be enough to give you a strong urge to go sailing». These are the words of Bill Tripp, the man who produced the sketches for the Y7. The Michael he refers to is Michael Schmidt, who conceived and created the entire YYachts range.
And, indeed, it is immediately apparent that this boat is a true ‘sailing machine’, designed to travel a lot of miles, with a sophisticated carbon fibre construction and powerful and well-balanced rigging. «Designed», as Schmidt himself says, «for fun even when there is little wind, in the lightest of breezes». A design for experienced boat owners, who appreciate the pleasure of travelling under sail. «How many modern boats can truly sail close-hauled?», the German yacht-builder asks us. Two statistics sum up this philosophy very well: the yacht’s displacement of just 29 tonnes, and the 300 m2 sail area when close-hauled, which becomes 550 m2 with a trading wind thanks to the gennaker rigged to the bowsprit. «Über alles» performance, in other words. But that’s not all.
Volante’s interiors have a very austere style, featuring welcoming rooms and pale colours. The standard version features bleached oak and white finishes.
Volante is also spacious, with a beam of 5.75 metres, four large cabins plus the crew’s quarters, sophisticated interiors and a carefully honed design that allows you to move around onboard, and enjoy the sea, with almost homely comfort. «It’s no coincidence», Michael Schmidt continues, «that one in four owners who have chosen our Y7 come from the world of motor sailing».
«A boat that embodies the idea of contemporary beauty, performance and ease of use. And that can take you anywhere, in complete safety». Bill Tripp
While performance and liveability are the first two words Volante brings to mind, simplicity is not far behind. It has a self-tacking jib, spreaders that avoid the need for a backstay, and halyards and sheets that run below the deck all the way to the helmsman’s station. The boat is easy to handle even for a single person, something not often seen on a 21-metre-long craft. And mooring is fairly straightforward too. Not only is there a retractable bow thruster, but there are two engines at the stern – two 80 hp Nanni engines, to be precise – making the boat extremely agile when manoeuvring in small spaces. The double engine also brings other advantages, as Schmidt explains: «They are easier to fit onboard, and the overall weight is not much different. And by using just one engine at cruising speed you can travel at 7.2 knots with an almost infinite range». To keep everything as simple as possible, while remaining highly functional, only the vang is hydraulic, while all the Harken winches are electric.
The interior layout can have three or four cabins, all with their bathroom, plus the crew’s quarters with two bunks. The galley can be positioned either at the centre of the boat or in a more traditional position at the foot of the staircase leading up to the deck.
The interiors of Volante have a decidedly Nordic style, featuring welcoming rooms and pale colours. The standard version features alternating bleached and smoked oak and white finishes, but, as Michael Schmidt says, «everything is possible»: there is an almost unlimited range of custom solutions on offer. Certain intriguing furnishing details stand out on Volante as the grab handles in the central saloon made from strips of leather that run along two tracks on the ceilings; the stylish locker handles, again made from simple leather laces; and the strip LED lighting, which gives all the rooms a warm atmosphere and makes the furnishings ‘flutter’ slightly, giving them a pleasant lightweight sensation. A final distinctive feature of the boat is the low, elegant window that surrounds the deckhouse in a horseshoe shape. Inside it bathes the entire central part of the yacht in natural light, while viewed from the outside it is the stylistic trait that makes Volante unmistakeably a YYachts boat.
Yard: Michael Schmidt Yachtbau GmbH
Naval architect: Tripp Design
Interior design: Norm Architects
Maximum beam: 5.75m
Draft with a fixed keel: 3.50m
Ballast: 9.6 t
Mainsail area: 174 m²
Self-tacking jib area: 123 m²
Code 0 area: 350 m²
Gennaker area: 550 m²
Main propulsion: 2x Nanni N4.80 SD, each 52.9 kW 80 hp
Fuel tank volume: 800 l
Fresh water tank volume: 800 l
(Y7 Volante, the pleasure of sailing – Barchemagazine.com – July 2021)