IN 2012, AFTER 11 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN CHARTER BUSINESS AND ANALYSIS OF A LARGE NUMBER OF VESSELS, NAVAL ARCHITECT AND PRODUCER DAMIR KUFNER STARTED HIS WORK ON DESIGN OF A SAILBOAT NAMED D&D KUFNER 54. IN 2012.
Nautika Kufner has been in business since 2002 and contains a fleet of 70 sailboats in four locations: Biograd, Trogir, Split, Krvavica/Makarska. Having seen the results of his analyses, Damir Kufner decided to improve numerous small technical flaws of his competitors, as all producers mainly build vessels for private buyers, and very few build for charter market, where a vessel is expected more power and durability, being used more and with less care.
One of the significant demands was to make room for comfortable stay of a larger number of passengers, a common request for charter sailboats of this size range. For that reason, salon on model 54 is designed – like very few – to have two tables instead of one. It is well known that a group of about ten people sharing the same space may not always share the same interest in conversation topic or activity. Interior is luxurious in design, containing five cabins and four toilets for comfortable cruise of a maximum of 12 persons.
Number of tourists on sailboats is rising, and number of real fans of sailing is falling, therefore special attention was given to comfort on the outdoor part, as guests tend to spend most of the time outdoors while sailing on the Mediterranean.
One of the most attractive design solutions is teak decking, covering 49 m2, with completely hidden ropes and windows at the same line as large flat areas. The deck is safe, as there are no ropes on it to trip over. With suitable awnings and soft cushions, the vessel is equipped for sleeping under the starry skies in the summer time. It is not so only in the cockpit as there is a lot of circulation, but also on the sundeck with an awning (still not visible in the photos).
Cockpit is a large and spacious place, from which it is easy to handle the roll-mainsail and the roll Genoa jib with the total of 139 m2. The mast, 24.5m tall above the waterline, is produced by French company Sparcraft. Installed steering gear, the helm and the helm sheet are all precise and reliable, with guarantee by Jeffa company and support of Garmin electronics and navigation.
Engine Yanmar turbo diesel, direct drive with installed power of 110 hp indica-tes that the sailboat will always reach the speed of 1.5 knots with 90% power at 2700rpm, no matter whether there is wind or not, or whether it is using sails or not. Fuel tank capacity is 280 liters.
Anchoring and deck equipment, including winches, deck organizers, rollers, travelers, blocks, and other equipment is produced by renowned company Lewmar, Harken. Outboard engine Suzuki 2,5kW is used as a backup engine. Bow thruster is 5kW, for side moving of the bow.
Installation is of top quality, with several independent parallel systems for improved safety and functionality.
Electrical installation has three independent lines with three chargers, a total of four batteries, 4×180 Ah, 1x100Ah.
Water installation contains two independent systems, four pumps, two water heating tanks (2×40 l) and total capacity of water tanks of 880 liters. This sailboat is equipped by heating system Webasto 5.5kW, thus it is possible to sail even in cold weather. For long and safe food storage, there are 4 fridges with the total capacity of 280 liters.
Safety and security are ensured by safety equipment and a life-boat, a 2.7m rubber dinghy, in accordance with regulations.
”Boost for this project was also the fact that European brands are getting more expensive, and their quality is declining, maintenance costs have risen, so it has become increasingly difficult to make profit in charter business. I simply had to do something about it. Having obtained vast experience in very complex production and design of large hydro-generators (Končar – GiM, designer/technical manager), I decided to start this project”. We were told by the designer and producer of this sailboat, Damir Kufner. Despite the fact that the intention was not to create a light boat, as it is well known that the feeling of comfort is better on a heavy vessel, the boat is extremely fast due to her great hull shape and optimised helm sheet and keel. She was given a sea trial by a famous Croatian sailor, Mate Arapov, who was very satisfied by the achieved speed, and so were all the charter operators who sailed on one of the three produced sailboats (and it should be highlighted that the sails are plain charter of substantial weight). The secret is in the optimised hull shape, relatively large sails, and good balance of keel – helm sheet – mast – sails.
”So, with a little luck, we produced a good-looking, comfortable, fast, and affordable sailboat, which I personally like to call ‘sailboat for every sea’ for her robust looks”– Mr Kufner explains.
Redesign of the interior is underway, with new details and new colours, so as to offer more modern design to their buyers. Entrance to cockpit has been changed on the 4th vessel, so it is now wider, more sporty-looking, and the aft platform is larger. In the long run, D&D Yacht production is moving from Dicma near Split to a small Slavonian place of Đurđenovac near Našice (commencement is scheduled for March 2017) where there is a plot of land already purchased (6000 m 2 square hectares). It will be a state-of-the-art and optimised plant for production of 20-30 vessels annually: the existing model 54, commenced model of 38 feet, and a planned model of 49 feet (i.e. with 5, 3/2 or 4/5 cabins)- practically fully covering charter market demand. Should the market potential demand, the plant will expand greatly and the product range will include up to 70 feet.
D&D Yacht are also preparing a sailboat with three cabins, model D&D Kufner 385, with the launch planned for June 2016, and the estimated price for a fully equipped and registered boat is about 102 000 EUR plus VAT.
- Yard: D&D Yachts, Croatia
- Material: GRP fiberglass
- Length overall: 16,5 m
- Beam max: 4,97 m
- Engine: Yanmar, turbo diesel, direct drive 110 HP
- Deplasman(ca.): 18.800 kg
- Keel: 5.600 kg
- Draft: 2.5 m
- Tank water (4): 880 l
- Tank fuel (1): 280 l
- Mast (Sparcraft, France): 24,5 m
- Sails (roll Genova, roll main sail):139 m2
- Cabins: 5
- Toalets: 4
- Persons max: 12
- Speed: 10.5 knots
- Steering gear: Jeffa, Denmark
- Electronics: Garmin
- UK Price: 240 000 € (VAT not included)