Spotlight – Schooner Elena
Schooner Elena is a 55m classic sailing yacht with a rich and fascinating history. Built in 2009 as a perfect replica of the famed 1910 vessel of the same name, this timeless beauty is the perfect mix of pioneering shipbuilding, luxury and speed.
Since her completion in 2009, Elena has secured numerous victories at classic yacht regattas on both sides of the Atlantic. She has a loyal fan base of admirers and represents the golden era of sailing. Thanks to her unrivalled speed and comfort, she has earned a reputation as one of the the finest examples of a traditional racing schooner in the world.
In 1910, Morton Plant of New York commissioned naval architect, Nat Herreshoff to build the original schooner Elena, with the simple brief – ‘build be a schooner that can win’. In the year that followed, Herreshoff and his team of shipwrights, worked hard to perfect every aspect of the build and improve upon his earlier designs, which were already winning regattas across the world. Following her launch, Elena went on to win a number of prestigious races, before achieving the biggest feat of all, the Trans-Atlantic race record.
During the Second World War schooner Elena was donated to the admiralty, where her ballast was removed for lead and the original yacht was converted into a hospital ship.
Classic yacht Elena – delissa.com from Delissa Needham on Vimeo.
Classic yacht replica
Following the early successes of the original Elena, a team at Factoria Marin set about the task of hand building this important part of racing history. Every aspect of this modern day replica was carefully planned, to ensure the build remained true to original designs. Skilled boat builders utilised the same materials used nearly a century ago, importing quality materials such as Oregon pine.
Few changes were made to the original plans, despite huge advances in technology over the years. Interestingly, during the rebuild, the original rigging plan was put through rigorous testing using a specially designed computer program, which simulated a range of wind and weather conditions. In all eventualities, it was found that the original sail plan outperformed modern day counterparts, both in terms of strength and lightness, highlighting the ingenuity of engineering at the time.
Great care and attention to detail has been paid to every aspect of the yachts interior, to ensure the living quarters remain sympathetic to the original design. Through meticulous planning and careful study of hand drawn plans and historic images, the team have seamlessly combined classic design with all of the modern facilities, discerning guests expect during charter.
The elegant staterooms have been adorned with mahogany panelling and opulent furnishings. Ornamental details present in the original plans have been painstakingly recreated, as an added nod to the bygone era.
The expansive deck has been fashioned using high quality teak, providing the perfect place for visitors and crew to relax and unwind.
Built to race
Despite the lavish furnishings and the luxurious interior, one thing is for certain, schooner Elena was built to win. With a cruising speed of 13 knots and a specially designed keel to improve windward ability, she provides a thrilling experience for the 30+ experienced racing team that help sail her to victory! To compliment the sleek racing design, the schooner has been fitted with all of the latest navigation equipment and electronics. She is also powered by MAN 600HP engines for when she is not under sale.
Image credits: schoonerelena.com