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Superyacht Cygnus Montanus glides out of Auckland destined for Sweden

by Sail-World.com on 31 Jul 2016
Cygnus Montanus shows off her sailing performance in Auckland sea trials - she features Southern Spars rig with EC6 and Doyle Sails Matt Crawford mattcrawfordphotography.com
Cygnus Montanus is the first new build by Yachting Developments in four years. She departed New Zealand in July.

The 33.83m (110ft) lifting keel ocean going sloop, was designed by German Frers of Frers Naval Architecture, with interior design by Adam Lay Studio. Work on Cygnus Montanus ('Mountain Swan') began in September 2014 and she launched in May 2016, before delivering to her Swedish owners in June 2016.

After starting her design life as a cafe racer, Cygnus Montanus became orientated more towards ocean passages. She is a step up in size from the owners previous yacht, of the same name, a Swan 77. Her owners undertake lengthy voyages, enjoying the journey as much if not more than the destination.

Cygnus Montanus is believed to be owned by Carl-Henric Svanberg (64) and his wife. Svanberg is chairman of Volvo and BP, and was previously the guiding hand behind Ericsson the Swedish conglomerate that transitioned from being a forestry company into the leading mobile phone manufacturer, prior to the advent of the iPhone. He still holds a substantial shareholding in Ericsson and was previously with Assa Abloy. Both Ericsson and Assa Abloy were Volvo Ocean Race entry sponsors during his tenure in both companies, with the two boat Ericsson campaign being successful in the 2008-09 Race.

Built in West Auckland, the hull, spars and sails for Cygnus Montanus all came from companies just a few kilometres apart.

The systems, capacity and engines were extended to facilitate the longer passage. She can now motor for 2000nm at 12kt, and 3000nm at 10kts.

A lifting keel also makes berthing in shallower ports and locations more viable.


The design brief says the owners approach to sailing influenced the style and size of the yacht, with a key requirement being that the yacht be easy to handle by a small crew, with the owners and family intending to sail the yacht together with the crew. The goal was to produce a family-focused and very personal interior that was a development of the owners’ previous yacht, keeping a similar feel and atmosphere but with detailing proportionate to a larger and more luxurious vessel.

Mast and self furling boom are by Southern Spars who also supplied the EC6 rigging. Her sails are by Doyle Sails - all sails, spars and rigging supplied from Avondale based companies within walking distance of each other. The jibs are soft-hanked - with no self furler. Unusually for a superyacht, but not surprising given her owner, Cygnus Montanus is registered in Sweden and was built to the high standards applicable to that registry.

Captive winches are used for the mainsheet and main halyard, and all other sheets are on conventional above deck winch drums. Primaries and secondary winches are the same size, all are hydraulic. The deck winches are by Harken.

All deck gear is made to be removable, along with halyards to reduce deterioration if the yacht is laid up for substantial periods between cruises.


A Manson stainless steel submarine anchor is deployed, watchable via an underwater camera, with another viewing window. The anchor is about 4metres from the bow, allowing the chain weight to be carried a little further aft.

A feature of Cygnus Montanus is a large 'man cave' around the anchor area which carries a skippers workshop and sail storage area, under the floor.

Her sailing performance is good, achieving 11kts upwind in 12 kts of breeze

Builder Ian Cook of Yachting Developments describes her as a 'this fast, light, carbon-fibre, family-oriented boat is exactly the kind of project that our team likes to build. We are delighted that these very experienced owners chose Yachting Developments as the yard to build their project at, and the beautiful end result is a real testament to the vision of her owners and the build and design team that they put together to make this project a reality. We wish Cygnus Montanus many happy years of sailing ahead of her.'


Designer German Frers, of Frers Naval Architects remarks: 'like most new builds a custom yacht is built to a special brief and a dream. In this case the owner’s dream was to cruise in company of their large experienced family together with a crew who shares their way of living and camaraderie at sea, where everybody is able to do their part and participate of the chores on board.'

'For Cygnus Montanus, after the initial meeting the size was set, with key deciding factors being the number of guests and crew that would be sailing on board and the importance of having an aesthetically pleasant modern, light, yacht that would be both easily driven and fast, while cruising in all areas of the world. This settled the size and the result is this new composite-built 33.8m sloop.

'Easy access to the sea to enjoy aquatic activities, good speed, positive control in all conditions, a warm comfortable interior and good looks were the other requirements for this light displacement, stable, twin rudder, telescopic keel, hull.

'A clean practical deck layout and modern carbon fibre, roller furling boom are the other elements that complete the picture and were executed by the Yachting Developments team according to their world renowned expertise and experience.'



Adam Lay of Adam Lay Studio responsible for the interior design of Cygnus Montanus outlined their brief and approach.

'Cygnus Montanus is a very personal boat, which will only be used privately for family use. Serious blue water sailing drove the project and the design brief from the start.

'The interior has a unique family oriented layout where the crew are very much part of the overall accommodation. There are mirror image twin crew cabins up forward accessed via the galley and crew companionway via a central passageway. To port is the main cooking and preparation area and to starboard the laundry, accessed between the athwartships
mounted fridge and freezer. The whole main living area, apart from the cabins, is open plan and skylights make the area feel light and bright.

'At the aft end of the galley port side resides a small crew mess, coffee making and dry storage area. At this point the galley opens directly into the port side navigation station area with access to the forward twin/double convertible guest cabin to starboard with Pullmans and en-suite bathroom. The layout of this area has been designed so that a door could easily be installed to provide separation between crew and guest areas in-line with sensible resale considerations. Having an open plan apartment style layout where you can virtually see from the forward bulkhead to the aft bulkhead was a major part of the design brief and layout optimisation discussions.


'Stepping up into the spacious full beam saloon with portholes, skylights and high level coachroof windows, there is a bar on the starboard side and a dining area for eight people. A large format flatscreen TV is mounted to port behind a generous u-shaped lounging area with coffee table and an integral piano keyboard.

'At the aft end of the saloon is the companionway up to the cockpit and beside it steps down to the guest passageway with mirror image twin/double convertible guest cabins with Pullmans and en-suite bathrooms. The engine room is accessible from the guest passageway.

'Moving aft to the owner’s cabin, a dressing room sits to port side opposite the starboard side bathroom with twin basins, bath and shower. The passageway then opens out into a full beam cabin with king size bed which is offset slightly to make space for a seating area to port side with a small sofa and desk to starboard. Again, skylights add natural light and allow airflow without air conditioning.


'The design of the interior décor started with a reference to the owners previous 77’ yacht which comprises predominantly teak joinery with some raised and fielded panelling, teak and holly soles and light coloured fabric covered deckheads. Each space has its own personality, with the décor themed around trips undertaken on the owners’ previous yacht

'As is befitting a larger vessel, Adam Lay Studio together with the owners and captain has developed the interior to be a more mature version of the previous yacht using teak to dado rail height with a combination of painted and fabric panels to a teak cornice moulding and fabric deckhead panels. The painted panels in the guest area have been developed by Yachting Developments talented in-house joiners to provide an open-grained appearance that gives character and depth. The cabinetry retains raised and fielded panels with teak fiddle rail details throughout.


'Teak and sycamore soles maintain the feel of the current yacht whilst the bathrooms are altogether more refined with ceramic basins, corian countertops with mirrors above and off-white Corian floors with contrast colour inlay details. The door hardware has an antique finish so as not to look too perfect and the tapware is similarly stylish in a timeless design.
Finishes have been chosen with longevity and robustness in mind, the result of the yacht being destined for blue water cruising in almost any weather never being far from the minds of the design team. This is not to say the interior is utilitarian or spartan - far from it. With discerning owners who have an exceptional eye for detail and a requirement for cosy well lit and decorated spaces that feel homely once at anchor, this interior has all the ingredients to meet both aspects of the demanding design brief.'

Technical Specification:

Year: 2016
Builder: Yachting Developments
Hull Number: YD1012
Cut plate date: September 2014 Launch Date: May 2016 Delivery Date: June 2016
Naval Architect: Frers Naval Architecture Exterior Design: Frers Naval Architecture Interior Design: Adam Lay Studio
LOA: 33.83m | 110’9
LWL: 31.73m | 103’1
Beam: 8.06m | 26’4 Draft: 4.86m | 15’9 Tonnage: 131GT Type: Sloop
Hull: Carbon Fibre Superstructure: Carbon Fibre Mast Height: 50.5m | 165’ Mast/Rig: Southern Spars Sails: Doyle Sails New Zealand
Accommodation: 10. Master Suite, three VIPS









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