Published: Friday, 31 March 2017

Royal Huisman has launched the 58m Project 398 Ngoni. Dubois Naval Architect was responsible for its naval architect, while Rick Baker and Paul Morgan create its interior design.

Royal Huisman Launches 58m Project 398 Ngoni

(Photos: Royal Huisman - Project 398 Ngoni)

Together with Captain Iain Cook, Godfrey ‘Goddy’ Cray, who is placed as the owner’s project manager with a pro-racing background of several round-the-world races and America’s Cup campaigns under his belt, focused on performance without compromising efficiency and simplicity.

Goddy has worked closely with the shipyard to evaluate where the systems architecture can be simplified. He had discussions with spar maker Rondal, Royal Huisman’s sister company, and North Sails.

The long and slender hull combined with a 71m rig demanding high forestay tensions, requires all the stiffness that advanced engineering can mastermind. The bow with its flush deck furlers is not just striking to look at, but has been proven in wind tunnel tests to create less wind disturbance to the leading edge of the headsail than a conventional bow. 

The reverse inflection to the sheer has accounted for a 12 per cent increase in strength for an equal amount of material used on a more typical sprung sheer. 

The single-skin keel trunk is composed of milled solid aluminium parts to support close to 100 tonnes of fin and lead bulb.

Ngoni’s hull will sport a bespoke metallic topcoat that the owner’s team calls ‘Claire de Lune’, applied using an electrostatic coating technique that uses charged particles to bond the paint to the surface. 

The pedestals of the steering stations are fashioned from advanced carbon composites, while the curved surfaces of the tops are milled out of steel. A free-standing bimini can be installed over the steering stations to provide shade for the helmsman. 

Other exterior features made of advanced composites for a black carbon-fibre look include the cockpit table and server tables at the sides, the flagpole, parts of the steering wheel and the spa pool on the foredeck. 

Royal Huisman Launches 58m Project 398 Ngoni 1

The deckhouse windows are made of double curved glass. Of the various suppliers who were challenged to showcase their abilities by making test panels, only one was able to achieve the desired result. Ngoni features large portholes with a special request for an opening hull door with porthole in the gym at sea level.

As an experienced yachtsman, the owner insisted that the manual steering should be light yet firm, responsive and adjustable, which resulted in one of the largest advanced composite rudders. 

All visible steel deck hardware from stem to stern will feature a bead-blasted finish to ensure harmonious looks throughout. The Harken winches and hardware on deck complement the reel winches by Rondal, which feature the new electrically driven feeders. These variable speed feeders have been developed for high-speed operation, contributing to safety and reliability.

The interiors highlight the furniture by Francis Sultana that is yet to be unveiled. With the LY3-approved crew quarters already fitted, the remaining accommodation is still a work in progress. This comprises of a master ‘apartment’ with gym and book-rimmed study, two guest staterooms with a steam room and a large open main deck saloon that extends via full-width Rondal glass sliding doors to an alfresco seating and dining area in the cockpit.

Roemer Boogaard, Managing Director of Royal Huisman, said: “With her progressive looks and high performance, Ngoni will send a clear message that Royal Huisman yachts embrace the Spirit of Individuality.”