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Expert help to build new high-performance Raglan yacht

A boatbuilder who’s worked on a Volvo Ocean Race entry as well as for a couple of America’s Cup teams has changed tack to spearhead the creation of a 50 foot high-performance cruising yacht that’s rapidly taking shape at Raglan wharf.
And Aucklander Tim Lynch-Blosse says he’s relishing a change in lifestyle, even if it’s a huge project with “phenomenal” man-hours that demands patience and focus.
Work on the yacht began in November ’08. The hull’s now all but complete — the cabin top has still to be built — and the internal fit-out of galley and saloon area is under way.
Tim may have won some plum yachting assignments, including the building and maintenance of Brazil’s Volvo Ocean Race boat and working with Prada and Team New Zealand, but reckons the Raglan project is “really cool”.
The yacht, with its three double cabins and all-composite construction of foam and glass — no timber — is to be Tim’s first “completed under my own steam”. He’s teamed up with Raglan client Rob Galloway to build the luxury yacht and says that, with extra help to call on, they’ve got “quite an efficient little work force”.
Tim beavers away from 7 till 5 each day — with the promise of a surf at the end of it — while for Rob it’s all hands on deck from mid-morning after seeing to things at his business, Soul Shoes, downtown in Raglan.
Rob’s no stranger to boatbuilding himself. He’s done it all before, albeit on a less grand scale, in helping local Kevin Dreaver build a 45-footer that was launched here in 1999. Rob sailed his locally built coastal cruising boat a lot between Raglan and Auckland, then in 2005 competed in the Auckland to Suva yacht race.
Although doomed from the start, with a broken rudder on the first night, the trip led on to another adventure sailing from Fiji to New Caledonia and back home via Norfolk Island.
It was on this trip that Rob started dreaming bigger, and he put his 45-footer on the market soon after, selling it to an Auckland family in 2008. He wanted something “bigger, faster, better”, he says, and had a lot of new ideas to add to the “stock design” of his first boat.
The composite construction of this Brett Bakewell-White designer boat is a major difference, he says, and its rig at 22 metres may be huge but is also light because it’s made of carbon.
While the old boat also had a lifting keel and rudder allowing shallow water access, Rob’s new yacht will have a hydraulic canting keel which sets it apart from most others of its calibre.
It’s one of the first canting keel boats in the country, and among only about 20 in the world, confirms Tim, a 35-year-old with a young family.
The canting keel, explains Rob, makes use of raceboat technology on a straight cruise boat which increases its stability, making it really fast and very competitive — definitely an “around-the-world” type yacht for Rob and partner Marie de Jong to set sail in, as early as next year.
If all goes to plan, adds Rob, the boat will be ready to launch this October.
Rob’s cagey about the all-up price of his dream boat. “A mini superyacht on an aluminium dinghy budget” is all he’ll say on costs.


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