Rigged and sailing: Ed Kastelein’s ‘Atlantic’...

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Rigged and sailing: Ed Kastelein’s ‘Atlantic’...

Recent Launches

The Dutchman’s 69m (227ft) LOA recreation of the legendary three-mast racing schooner has launched in Rotterdam on June 23 and her sea-trials are now complete.


Designed by William Gardner, the original three-mast racing schooner Atlantic was launched on July 28, 1903, at The Townsend-Downey Company yard at Shooter Island, New York, the same yard that built the Kaiser’s Meteor III. Then after many racing successes, she most famously won the Kaiser’s Cup from New York to The Lizard in the spring of 1905 under the command of the equally famous Charlie Barr. Atlantic set the record that year for the transatlantic crossing at 12 days, four hours and one minute ‒ a mono-hull record that would stand for 100 years; it was eventually broken in ‘05 by Mari-Cha IV in the Rolex Transatlantic Challenge.
The original Atlantic could do 17 knots on her 400hp steam engine and boiler, which weighed in at 30 tonnes, and was quite the superyacht of her day ‒ generators, refrigeration, water heaters and cabin heaters. Her lobby was mostly marble and the interior was all mahogany paneling. There were large tiled bathrooms (with bath tubs) and a large galley.
The new Atlantic has an LOA of 69.24m (227ft) including the bowsprit and mizzen boom overhangs of respectively 8.76m (28ft 8in) and 4.05m (13ft 3in). She measures 56.43m (185ft) over the deck. The max beam is 8.85m (29ft) and her draught is 5.00m (16ft 5in). The displacement is 395 tonnes. The original Atlantic had various sail-plans during her life. Ed Kastelein (bottom picture) chose the record-setting 1905 rig of 1,720m² (18,500ft²) for his recreation.
Kastelein was assisted in his Atlantic research by yacht historian John Lammerts van Bueren and Doug Peterson, who handled the naval architecture. The steel hull was commissioned in the autumn of ’06 and complete in late ‘07. It was welded, not rivetted like the original. From there Kastelein masterminded and managed the whole project personally, drawing upon skills and experience of a lifetime experience in classic yachts, including his previous 42m (ft) recreation of the Herreshoff Eleonora and the 38m (125ft) Grand Banks schooner Zaca a te Moana (recreation of Westward) projects.
Apart from the absence of the original funnel between the foremast and the main mast, she is aesthetically faithful to the original, although in terms of systems she’s a thoroughly modern superyacht. Her teak decks look fantastic thanks to timber merchant Royal Boogaerdt and its finger-jointing technology; all the planks are invisibly joined to lengths of 13.20m (43ft). Those deckhouses and skylights are authentic proportions and crafted in solid teak. All the deck hardware – such as anchor chain stoppers, stanchions, belaying pins and pin rails etc – were custom made by Portuguese company Absolute Projects using original plans and photographs. Harken supplied the 36 custom bronze winches. The immense spars stand almost 45m (148ft). Both the lower and the top masts have been built in alloy and the booms and gaffs were built in Alaskan Sitka Spruce.
The atmosphere of the interior is created by varnished mahogany paneling and light cream panels, colonial style furniture. There’s a full width saloon amidships. And forward of the main deckhouse finds to port the master's suite, complete with mini-library and a writing desk; and its bathroom includes a bath. Then there are five other guest cabins.
The decor was down to Ed's wife, Sophie Kastelein.
The ultra modern galley and pantry, satisfying the most demanding chef, is located forward of the main mast extending across the full beam of the yacht.
The bow section is reserved for a crew of 10 in seven cabins and a spacious crew mess with separate deck access. In terms of space there is no comparison with the original, which had 39 crew and officers who lived on board all year round.

© Phil Draper