J-Class Racing Field Grows as Sparkman & Stephens and Spirit Yachts, Ltd. Announce New Project

J-Class Racing Field Grows as Sparkman & Stephens and Spirit Yachts, Ltd. Announce New Project

J Class

Sparkman & Stephens and Spirit Yachts, Ltd. f Ipswich, England announced today their collaboration today to build a new J-Class racing yacht. (See our photos and reports on the J-Class Regatta held in Newport, RI, last summer.)


Exterior styling and interior design will be by Spirit Yachts with naval architecture and engineering by Sparkman & Stephens. The boat will be named 'Cheveyo' (pronounced shu-Vay-o), a native American word meaning 'spirit warrior' and will carry sail number J1.

J class2
While the 1937 J-class Ranger design utilized lines 77C because it was found to have the best potential for racing in the sheltered waters off Newport, Rhode Island, Cheveyo will be built using the Ranger 77B hull design for the more exposed conditions of today's classic regattas.

In 1936, an original series of six hull designs was submitted by Starling Burgess and Sparkman & Stephens to Harold Vanderbilt for the 1937 America's Cup defense. Each of the six Ranger designs was extensively tank tested by Burgess and S&S to select the optimum hull-form to defend the America's Cup against the challenger Endeavour II, designed by Charles Nicholson. The 'Super J' Ranger was thus born, and went on to triumph decisively over Endeavour II in the 1937 series.

A Continuing Partnership
“The yacht is reminiscent of the historic America’s Cup competition between England and the United States," said Kevin Felix, Chairman of Spirit Yachts.

"From design through construction to eventual competition with her peers, CHEVEYO will espouse this history. Imagine: US sailors commissioning a British company to build a classic yacht from designs by an American firm that were originally created to compete against England in the America’s Cup – that is an impressive and somewhat ironic dynamic.”

Furthering the irony is that Spirit Yachts announced the partnership at the same time President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron were doing a joint press conference in Washington in which both praised the partnership between the U.S. and Britain.

Bruce Johnson President and Chief Designer Sparkman & Stephens added that it was his hope that the boat will be participating in upcoming J-Class Regattas created especially for this re-energized racing design.

Modern & Classic
Cheveyo will marry the classic design of yachting's golden era with modern build techniques of the 21st century. Spirit Yachts will use sophisticated wood/epoxy construction mated to laser cut stainless steel ring frames to create an exceptionally stiff yet lightweight hull.

On deck, this new 'Super-J' will remain true to the beauty and grace of the original design. The authentic low-profile deckhouse has been retained, resulting in a clean, unobstructed working deck.

Complementing this will be high-modulus carbon spars, carbon rigging, state-of-the-art sails and all the modern sophistication of a contemporary performance yacht that will allow her to be raced competitively against any modern yacht and, most importantly, in the spectacular growing J-Class fleet. Authenticity continues below deck with a beautiful 1930's-inspired interior.


The complete press release including additional images, drawings and technical data can be found on the Spirit Yachts website.

‘Super-J’ Class Sloop

Principal Characteristics:
Length Overall:     139 ft 42.4 m
Length Waterline:     86.9 ft 26.5 m
Beam:     21.0 ft 6.4 m
Draft:     15.0 ft 4.57 m
Sail Area:     8290 ft2 770 m2
Displacement:     176 LT 178 tonnes
Machinery:     Caterpillar 320hp.
Gensets: Northern Lights     Northern Lights

Naval Architect:     Sparkman & Stephens Inc.
Greenwich CT. USA
Builders:     Spirit Yachts Ltd. Ipswich UK.
Interior Design:     Sean McMillan, Spirit Yachts
Project Manager:     Innes McGowan
Original Design:     W. Starling Burgess and Sparkman & Stephens

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