Building Comanche – The Ocean Going Beast from the East

Now that the gnarly Sydney-Hobart Race has come and gone (See this blog post to fill yourself in on this historic race), with the mighty Comanche winning line honors, we thought it might be fun to look into some of the build of this awesome racing machine. (another video of the build is here) Photographer Onne van der Wal was charged with documenting the build of this amazing super racer and his video above shows a Downeast boat yard (Hodgdon Yachts in Boothbay, Maine)  who took on one of the most impressive high-tech builds in recent history. No stranger to high class yachts, Hodgdon nailed this one in a “Downeast meets Uptown Carbon Fiber” success story.

The successes of Comanche are notable in her young one+ year on the circuit so far. And while she has yet to the the overall winner of any of the major races she has entered (which is her mission), she has set impressive records and made quite an impact on the large end of high-tech carbon fiber race boats. Come aboard for a wet and wild ride for part of the Transatlantic Race from Newport to the UK. Comanche might not have won that race – but she did set a new world record for fastest monohull in a 24 hour period (average of 27 knots! NUTS!) And this video shows how the build of the yacht is vital to staying in one piece, much less surviving massive seas at a rapid clip of 25+ knots. Stressful for any boat, hull, skipper and crew, to say the least.

Comanche, now fresh from her newest ocean endeavor across the world and down under in Australia, suffered some damage to her rudder in the Sydney-Hobart Race, but managed to stay intact during a nasty storm which afflicted the fleet and knocked out many top contenders and much of her competition in the first night.  All this high speed sailing and record setting makes one wonder what it must be like to blast along on a 100-foot maxi monohull. Well, thanks to an ambitious video from “Juggy” on the Comanche crew, you can take a ride and get a feeling for this speedster and the stresses she endured to pick up a record and  line honors in Hobart, Tasmania just a few weeks ago.

HOLD on!  And try to imagine going 27 knots for 24 hours on any other sailboat you have been on. And what that boat might look like after. This – ladies and gentlemen – is why boatbuilding of this nature is not for just any old yard guy. It takes lots of talent, lots of epoxy and carbon fiber and plenty of the green stuff, too.

 

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