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Review: JFA 90' MotorSailer "Hortense"

Discussion in 'General Sailing Discussion' started by YachtForums, Mar 23, 2010.

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  1. JFA 90' MotorSailer "Hortense"
    Mizzens and Motors; Sagacious Sensibility

    Review by Chuck Gnaegy​

    A powerful emotion surges through the heart of every sailor -- or “blow-boat” seafarer –- when,
    safely out of the harbor into the open sea; the engines are silenced. Ah-h-h-h, wonderful, delicious,
    quietude. Total Tranquility! Then, sails billow like mushrooms, snap to full; driving her forward into a
    bountiful sea. She responds, dancing her ballet, in a quiescent oneness with the ocean, sky, and
    wind – deeply stirring. For her crew, the thrill of another voyage is nothing less than bewitching. ​

    In a departure from YachtForums’ usual display of sumptuous, elegant motoryachts, this vibrant, canvas-draped lady brings us to an equally striking, yet unusual configuration, the Motor Sailer. Richly artistic in her own particular way, this high-masted traveler is especially favored by a great many yacht owners; those who never forget their original serene feeling of being at one with the planet’s elements – Under Sail. Speaking of quietude, her design wizards lavished special care to sound and thermal insulation; so that, even under power at cruising speed, with gen-sets and air conditioning on high, her noise levels are a super-low 55 dB. In an anchorage, 40dB in the Master stateroom; even less in other locations.

    Her soaring, carbon fiber main mast on the ketch rig reaches a sky-busting 33m, 108 feet; her mizzen 26m, 86’, while her 90-ft. LOA carries a beam of 23.5 ft., w/ draft 9 ft. Weighing in at 130 tons, she is one lovely, sportive, greyhound. Built of aluminum with Aluster structural frames, painted with Awlgrip, she bears Lloyd’s and MCA compliant seal, carrying two crew and eight passengers. Her sail plan – ketch rigged carbon – holds up to 380m² sail area upwind, and 570m² down wind, with an asymmetrical spinnaker.
  2. Hortense (what a sprightly name) fulfills the embodiment of the classic motor sailer; designed and rigged especially for extended voyages of exploration and discovery. Gael Douguet of the French JFA Shipyard Chantier Naval, enlisted Naval Architect Joubert-Nivelt-Goeffers to design this prize, with interior by Rhoads Young Limited. Fashioned to spend lengthy time cruising in the Southern Hemisphere, in isolated locations, she is especially equipped with high capacity tanks and extra large freezers, to provide for extended term provisioning. As seen here, a proportionately high freeboard, plus full, wide beam even at the stern, adds great utilitarian space and comfort to her interior.
  3. Her side view demonstrates the lofty freeboard plus numerous windows on her topsides; in forward and side decks. These extend to her upper salon’s floor to ceiling windows, as well as her lower decks’ practical and decorative fenestration. This planning provides excellent views from every location; thoughtfulness surely to be appreciated by adventurers in excellent climes, as well as in ‘weather’ as conditions restrict outdoor recreation. Forward, stern-slanted windshields add space for the helm’s many instruments.
  4. Under power, Hortense’ nicely curling bow wave gives us a look at her “Power” stance as a motor-sailer. Delivering up to 11 knots under power or sail, the basic concept of a “Motor Sailer” yacht -- using the sails as well as engines -- reduces fuel consumption as much as 30% at either level. That utilization, of course, depends upon sea and wind conditions; but adds to her attributes of great independence in every mode, as well as cost efficiency.
  5. This beautiful view gives us the best of both worlds as Hortense voyages in relatively calm conditions, utilizing full sail but minimal power; note the aft flag hardly flying. Her steadiness allows us a look at her top deck; with steering stations, hydraulic controls; the helmsman taking easy advantage of her secondary steering center. Notice also the readily available 18’ tender and 12’ inflatable on the superstructure roof, which can be launched from a flybridge crane, in addition to two 12-ft. dinghies. Also note, several compact life rafts cached at the edge.
  6. On her aft deck we register even more of this peaceful milieu, with a long, padded sitting bench; which also saves room for a full table and chairs, for a sternwise feast, or board games of every kind. At each beam, a stairway allowing access to the swim platform, through bulwark doors and twin built-in stairs.
  7. Another view of the stern’s outdoor party/recreational “back yard,” she can accommodate plush easy chairs for family gatherings or crew meetings. Sliding glass doors, opened, add genuine space, so even this relatively close area doesn’t seem cramped.
  8. The view from port side aft deck reveals the deeply padded, weather-resistant couch which spans almost all the way across, in decorative and comfy fabric. The yacht is fitted with numerous storage lockers, here and throughout.
  9. Her side decks, with high bannisters, present aisles for safe passage even in a sea, but are wide enough for easy walking. Notice the spiked strip teak decking for sure footing all around.
  10. On the port side Hortense’ upper salon is deftly laid out with a long stretch of eat and drink delights. Her walnut table seats eight hungry passengers; a padded divan on one side, facing decorative wicker chairs on the other. Across the walnut flooring walkway, a wet bar stands ready for imbibers to name their preferences.
  11. Her Salon, with ample walk-around room for a yacht this size, shows the gathering place just aft the pilothouse, with easy contact between them. The port to starboard view emphasizes full length, floor to ceiling windows allowing plenty of scenery gazing, as well as room for discussion between the helm and conference room spectators, concerning navigation and planned adventures.
  12. A view across, beam to beam just aft the helm station reveals the spaciousness of her layout She was “designed to be different,” says the builder, “unlike the average Med cruiser with Bimini covered cockpit.” She offers comfortable living at sea; interior and exterior designed for interplay, to maximize the experience through open interaction between all passengers (8) and crew (2).
  13. Looking aft from the Pilothouse, check the copious spaciousness for passengers to relax and discuss world events; their recent sightings of wild game fish, or simply what magic discoveries tomorrow may bring. Well lighted day or night, maximum comfort and ease of communicating led the design team’s main consideration.
  14. Her Wheelhouse’s comfortable seating areas extend right up to the helm and beyond, with the wheel to starboard, placed on an identical L-shaped seating couch as that to port. Her helm itself displays every modern advance in navigation and communications, including B&G Hydra 2000 Nav, Furuno radar and GPS, Gyro Compass, VHF: Icom & Sailor, Fleet 55 Standard C, plus stand-alone, and video Sharp and Bose systems.
  15. Centered, this handsome staircase glides down forward to the lower deck between two twin staterooms; the lower deck housing the full-beam Owner’s stateroom, as well as three ensuite cabins for guests, plus the Galley. Finished nicely, its oak walls contrast with the walnut recessed panels and doors, sporting stainless steel fittings.
  16. Below deck, the fully outfitted galley is furnished with custom, commercial stainless steel fridges, three Liebherr freezers, ovens, Miele microwave, and utilities. The lower salon area sports a light, airy feel with varnished birch furniture, over oak flooring. Gleaming, mirror-bright stainless table tops provide a fine working area for the chef. A twin berth, ensuite, crew cabin is just past the Galley on the port side, near the engine compartment.
  17. Commanding the spacious lower deck , the Owner’s Suite sets the stage for the yacht’s decor, with light birch cabinetry in semi-gloss set over white carpeted flooring. His king-size raised berth also displays the lightness in tone, ecru; in the overhead and window frames. Copious walk-in closets; no “hanging lockers” on this sailboat.
  18. A long view shows the capacious roominess displayed in the Owner’s Suite, with the ultimate, squared-off design placement of each element adding to the room’s restful quality.
  19. An alternate view expands the Master Suite’s furniture arrangement, emphasizing its crisp placement, plus couch furniture, correspondence desk, and entrance to the bath.
  20. Following the reserved, near-Spartan furnishing plan, the Master Bath utilizes a simple shower compartment with a clear glass door; plus a wide, cabineted vanity under three bright window ports.
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