Warwick 64 PC

I love the way daffodils pop up in spring. One day, the ground is bare; the next, it's a concert of color. My in-box is like that. One day, I can see the bottom; the next, it's filled with new designs, among them the Warwick 64 PC.

Her profile stopped me dead in my tracks, and I still haven't grown tired of looking at it. Exquisitely proportioned and beautifully rendered, the 64's profile owes nothing to traditional yacht design, save a very subtle spring to her sheerline and her counter stern. From the stemhead to the tantalizing plunge to the counter, this line whispers "sheer" elegance.

Sitting atop this lovely sheer is a cabin trunk that doesn't have a flat spot anywhere on its molded surface. If you include the cockpit coaming in your thinking, you may see a stretched and flattened Audi TT coupe backed into the yacht from the stern. Warwick refers to the side ports as scalpel-type. I see the resemblance, but the shape evokes speed in comfort, exactly what you expect from a fine grand touring coupe. The curves drawn into the stern and the after cockpit coaming reinforce the sense of speed. They are identical and perfectly balance the cabin trunk's forward swoop to the deck.

The cockpit is above the engineroom, permitting a spacious master suite aft. Another advantage of having the cockpit over the engineroom is machinery access; if any of it has to be removed, the yard won't have to disturb the accommodations. An inboard cockpit, too, is often drier, so you may fold the soft dodger neatly, and completely, into a channel molded into the top of the cabin trunk.

The heavy stuff (machinery space and galley) is arranged near the longitudinal center of buoyancy to reduce pitching, which makes the yacht's motion easier. The reduction in pitching also keeps the masthead rig from cutting huge arcs in the wind, robbing the sails of driving power when you need it most-in heavy seas.

This is a powerful, but handy, masthead rig set on carbon-fiber spars. The high-aspect main furls into the boom manually via a removable cross-linked coffee grinder set up in the main cockpit. The roller-furling, self-tacking jib sheets to a car running on a curved track sunken into the foredeck. This helps maintain the optimum shape of the jib on beam and broad reaches. For offshore sailing, there are removable check stays and a removable inner forestay, from which you'd set the storm jib. Three sets of sweptback spreaders preclude the need for running backstays.

Below the waterline, her flat run, substantial bearing aft and moderate beam will laugh at theoretical hull speed and give her an easy motion in rough seas. The high-aspect keel carries a large ballast bulb at the tip. The rudder is deep and asymmetrical, giving rapid and accurate steering response.

Beautiful, fast, distinctive--the Warwick 64 PC establishes a new and very high standard for middle-size sailing yachts. The owner is a lucky man.

Contact: Warwick Yacht Design Ltd., (011) 64 9 410 9620; fax (011) 64 9 410 8254; www.wyd.co.nz; wyd@wyd.co.nz.