11 Dec 2009

Celeste Coupé


This yacht is conceived for 2 persons cruising. Her home port is near Cannes, in the south of France.

She is genuinely built for two. There are fewer berths than you will see in any similar size boat. The idea is that two persons will be able to stay onboard in comfort for long periods of time.

At the same time, her owners are generous people, the open interior is lovely for friends and family and her galley is laid out for keeping everybody happy.

She is at the same time generously inviting, and cosily private.

But being built for the Mediterranean, the focus is on deck. There is room for all in and around the cockpit and her nearly-flush deck is vast for sunbathing. With her transom folded, her cockpit extended and the swimming ladder in the water, she is a perfect boat for a day sailing off the French coast.

Unusually for a yacht of such moderate size, she was built as a one-off by Fantasi Yachts. Project management by Celeste Yachts. Celeste Yachts started in 2005 with the plan to produce exclusive yachts in small series – one-offs like the present yacht, or production yachts with a very high degree of customising.

The present yacht is the first introduced under the Celeste name, called Celeste Coupé. She is painted with Awl-Grip in the trademark Celeste colour.

At first glance she is an unassuming yacht, and relatively small by today’s standards. But featuring a highly sophisticated hull shape, perfected in collaboration between Heyman Yacht Design, Chalmers Institute of Technology and the tank test facility in Göteborg, SSPA.

This hull shape is all about two things: Performance, and Handling

With her sharper than normal entry, she has a better speed than boats of comparable proportions. In a world of uniformity, the difference is vast. VMG (speed to windward) is better by 4-5%.

Her handling is magic. She stays on track with a finger on the wheel even when pressed hard. Let go of the wheel and she slowly heads up. Grab the wheel, swing her around at full speed and she turns like a go-cart. Bear away, and her rudder has a firm grip at all times. Go forward or backward under engine and turn her around corners in crowded ports.

With her sharp, buoyant bow she has an easier motion than other boats. And, oh yes, she is dry too.

Then there’s the rig.

The sail plan of Celeste Coupé is conceived for fluky summer winds in the Mediterranean, and is almost 19 metres high. The spars are carbon, by Marström, Sweden. Sails by North. In addition to the 3DL main and non-overlapping jib there is a code zero and a gennaker.

Sailing upright makes a difference, both for speed and for comfort. There are two spare water tanks for cruising, 370 litres each. These happen to be positioned low to port and starboard, near the widest part of the hull, under the forward part of the cockpit. Fill one if you need the extra litres, shift the water to windward if you like. You activate the pump via two push-buttons from the steering pedestal and there are gauges each side so you can monitor the windward tank filling.

The effect is equal to 3 persons on the windward rail.

Celeste Coupé is not really designed for racing, she is a little too elaborately built and extensively equipped, and she only draws 1,84m (6 feet). But you never know; her owner is a racing aficionado and had some success with his last boat in Copa del Rey. The Coupé has good potential, especially in light or medium conditions.

Hull and decks are built of mulitidirectional glass and Vinylester on a Divinycell core. Beams and stringers combine with cored bulkheads and the outboard edges of interior details to make up a rigid monocoque structure. The keel fin is solid glass and the rudder stock solid aluminium by Jefa, Denmark.

The deck is covered with 8mm vacuum-glued teak. The interior carpentry is a masterpiece made of lovely unstained Honduras mahogany.

The Celeste Copé has an open transom. But for longer passages, like to Corsica or Mallorca, one might prefer it closed. Thus, it is both. When the transom is folded down it forms a longer cockpit floor, and concealed at the aft end is a the swimming ladder. The open transom is also ideal for stern-to docking, Med style. There are both lower and upper handrails to make boarding easier.

The steering pedestal holds controls for shifting water to windward, for the Selden electric jib furler and the anchor windlass. The instruments and plotter are all Raytheon. For shorthanded sailing, the Andersen electric primary winches are used both for the jib and main sheets. There is no traveller for the main, just a single block. Forward of the secondary winches there are two small drained lockers for all ropes.

The yacht can be handled entirely by the helmsman (thereby of course referring to helmswoman as well but this word is perhaps a little awkward) and the cockpit seats forward are meant for spending time together, reading, eating or watching the stars.

The Celeste Coupé is laid out for two persons. Apart from the w.c. / shower, the entire yacht is like an open studio on the water. You can overlook the accommodations from wherever you are inside the boat.
The galley has an electric cooker with a ceramic top, and the microwave has an oven setting as well. Less ideal perhaps for cooking at sea, but who wants to do that during summers in the Med? The fridge / freezer is both front- and top opening for access.

Forward of the bathroom is a dining table and a comfortable L-shaped sofa. Opposite, you find the office. You can pull two linen curtains (Josef Frank, Svenskt Tenn) to close the sleeping compartment off

The berths have spring mattresses from Madrassfabriken, Gothenburg. Forward under the flush decks is a little ‘dressing room’ with hanging lockers and lockers with shelves behind mirrored doors.
The air conditioning works in reverse cycle for heating as well. This installation is obviously most convenient for harbour use but, under anchor, can be powered by the generator as well.

The Celeste Coupé has a little dedicated engine room for the 40 hp Volvo Penta main engine, the 3,5 kW generator,  charger and inverter, the air conditioning, fridge & freezer compressors, sea cocks, pumps and filters, a day tank for diesel and the special pump installation for shifting fresh water to windward.

Under her Volvo engine the Celeste Coupé is silent and powerful. She leaves the dock in forward or astern with equal ease, turns around in her own length and accelerates with a whisper.

Her ballast tanks are to the sides of the engine room, under the cockpit lockers. There is stowage aft each side of the steering wheel for safety equipment, shower and diving / swimming gear.

Forward, the deck locker is big enough for a tall person to enter. The Lewmar windlass stows 60 metres of chain into a separate high-and-narrow chain locker and the 15 kg stainless steel Bruce anchor stows securely in the bow platform.

The Celeste Coupé handles like a breeze. She is course stable and requires very little attention on the wheel. The aluminium steering wheel controls the Jefa rack-and-pinion system for a superbly sensitive steering. Her steering feels like a precision instruments giving that sensuous sensation of total control with only a gentle touch, and she reacts like a dinghy.

In addition, she stays in full control and should not be possible to provoke into a broach.

Her speed, we believe, is very competitive for her size.

LOA 10,98 m
DWL 10,08 m
Beam 3,40 m
Draft 1,84 m
Displacement 6,200 kg
Ballast 2,250 kg

SA (100%) 71,8 m²
SA (true) 80,4 m²
Engine 40 hp

D/L ratio 166
SA/D 21,7

CE Category A

Designer Heyman Yacht Design, Nya Varvet, Gothenburg
Builder Fantasi Yachts, Källviken, Uddevalla
GRP Lars-Olov Jansson, Köping
Project management Celeste Yachts AB, Gothenburg