James Grundy’s Carkeek 47 makes its racing debut

Published on March 8th, 2014

James Grundy’s Carkeek 47, Grundoom built by Premier Composite Technologies (PCT) made its racing debut in the 2014 RORC Caribbean 600.

Olympic medallist and multiple world champion, Steve Benjamin was tactician for Grundoom for the RORC Caribbean 600. Benjamin is widely regarded as a leading expert on light displacement performance race yachts and a founder of the High Performance Rule. Here are his comments:

“The new Carkeek 47 Grundoom is the latest high performance racing boat to be launched by PCT and the RORC Caribbean 600 was a real test for the boat. My first impression was how stable the boat is and how comfortable it was inside. We are just at the beginning of the work to optimise and tune Grundoom for racing but the boat is very impressive. The ‘600 provided ideal conditions as the course gets all the sails out of the bag and we had wind speeds ranging from light to heavy.

“Grundoom was the smallest boat in our class and at the start we were mixing it with Maxis, matching the yachts, twice our size on the beat at the start and keeping up with the very well sailed TP52, Pace. Even with the sea state we were achieving nine knots upwind. After Green Island, the Code Zero was unfurled and we were reaching past several maxis, surfing in the high teens. It was a fabulous ride to Barbuda and a magnificent downwind run to Nevis with the sun setting behind the spinnaker, we put 20 miles distance on a Swan 90 – it doesn’t get better than that.

“The top of the course involves a chicane through several islands. It was tough work going through the sail changes but the systems on board worked extremely well, taking a lot of effort out of the physical work. The longest leg of the course, 180 miles to Guadeloupe was a fetch and the water-line length of the bigger yachts was a big advantage but we finished the race in seventh place on the water and nearly three hours ahead of the Ker 46, which has been dominating the offshore scene in its class for six years.”


Jeremy Williams, PCT design engineer describes some of the design solutions engineered for the C47:

“An open boat like the C47 is susceptible to water ingress, which reduces both comfort and performance. Designing and building a drainage system and keeping the interior uncluttered was a complex problem, but PCT came up with an innovative solution, providing a practical drainage system, which not only keeps the interior dry but also clear and tidy.

“Grundoom was specified with a lifting keel and PCT built a gantry system normally deployed by sportsboats but on a grander scale. The keel can be lifted manually using the pedestal winches, avoiding the need for hydraulic power and once lifted it has a lock off system. The system is very practical and avoids adding weight that is not performance enhancing.

“Grundoom also has a large propeller giving the yacht good speed under engine and great control when mooring. In addition, the propeller is manually controlled on a lightweight pulley system and retracts on a radius into the hull, reducing drag; the whole assembly is sealed in a water tight compartment.”

Sailing photo: RORC Caribbean 600/Tim Wright.
Cockpit photo: Carkeek Design Partners.
Report: Louay Habib and Joe Hall.

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