Owner Q&A: Y7 from YYachts designed for family cruising around the world
The owner of a newly delivered Y7 from Germany’s YYachts explains why he chose the German-built carbon 70-footer for long-distance cruising with his family.
YYachts was founded in 2016 by Michael Schmidt, a passionate regatta sailor and boat builder. Its portfolio currently consists of the Y7, Y8 and Y9 models, as well as Custom Division builds such as the new Tripp 90, profiled in Yacht Style Issue 62 (see link below).
All models are created exclusively from carbon composite in a new production facility in Wieck on the Baltic Sea, where it can produce fast, lightweight and easy-to-handle sailing yachts up to 30m.
In the US, a world-renowned designer is the owner of a newly delivered Y7. The Californian talks of why he chose YYachts, his input on the design, how important sustainable luxury is to him and his plans for long cruises.
How did you become aware of YYachts?
Good question. I think it was through posting on a blog. I started researching yachts after once pondering what it would be like to sail around the world with my family. It was a fleeting thought that somehow shocked me twice. First, that in my position as one of the leading designers of a world-renowned company, I was thinking about just getting out, and then I was shocked that I was shocked at my thoughts. Why was one so stuck in one’s ways?
So, how did this dilemma resolve itself?
I pursued the thought, of course, because we only have this one life. I researched on YouTube how families with children sail around the world. Who can take on which tasks, how does home schooling work, things like that. At some point I came across YYachts. I liked the pictures and the lines of the yacht. As a designer, I am quite demanding.
From your design perspective, what features do you particularly like about the Y7?
In general, I like the clean lines. Bill Tripp did a good job. The Y7 is a mixture of modern and traditional; I also like that in a sailing yacht.
To what extent did you involve yourself in the design?
I wasn’t entirely happy with the profile of the bow and the bowsprit, so I had both slightly modified, as well as some air vents. My wife and I then designed the interior according to our own ideas, using a layout from YYachts.
What is your favourite spot on the Y7?
The saloon is already very large and cosy at the same time – an ideal space for our family of four. We had a sofa installed there with an extra-large reclining area. We also have a nice workstation, especially for home schooling but also for me when I need it. Upstairs, on deck, I really like the cockpit.
Was a motor yacht ever an option for you?
No, not at all. It was clear we would buy a sailing yacht. I have been sailing since I was a child, although I also took a 20-year break. My wife used to be a successful regatta sailor, so we are co-skippers.
As a test, however, we first bought a second-hand 58ft yacht and sailed it for many weeks in Greece. We had to be sure we could function as a family in this limited space and that everyone would like it. After that, the decision was made in favour of the Y7, as it is even easier to operate than the 58-footer we used in Greece.
How important is sustainability in yachting for you?
Very important. I like YYachts’ approach to building the models as green as possible. We had additional solar cells put on the bimini. And maybe we’ll even replace the diesels with electric motors later. In my garage on land, for example, there are only electric cars.
Where will you set off to first with your Y7? And what are your future travel plans?
We will probably be underway from July to October. We are planning a trip across western Sweden to Norway. Ultimately, however, we’ll have to wait and see how the entry regulations develop. Of course, the Mediterranean is also a nice place to sail. And at some point, we would like to arrive in New Zealand.
Specialising in luxury carbon sailing yachts from 70-100ft, Germany’s YYachts has launched its custom-built Tripp 90, which features an exterior by Bill Tripp and a richly detailed interior by Winch Design – and will be followed by the Y9 model in 2022. By John Higginson.