Mark Evans on McConaghy's New Makara Superyacht Series

By Jenna Mehdi

McConaghy Boats recently announced the introduction of the Makara sailing superyacht series; a new breed of semi-custom luxury racing yacht whose advanced technical design, ease of use and ultra high performance sets it apart a cut above the rest. We heard from Mark Evans, Managing Director of McConaghy Boats, to discuss the design inspiration behind the sleek new range and its importance in the place of wider industry trends.

The Makara series comprises the Maraka 85, Makara 105 and Makara 120 - designed by British designer and sailing yacht aficionado Malcolm McKeon. McKeon has achieved a sleek and streamlined exterior profile, defined by a distinctive hull chine and low profile superstructure and accentuated by shrewd use of dark glass. 

The advanced technological systems onboard the Makara seires and refined sail handling technology achieves push-button performance with unprecedented levels of ease. ‘The Makara series is primarily designed around speed, comfort and ease of sailing short handed,’ Mark tells us. 

With composite engineering by Pure Design, the objective of the Makara series was to devise a monohull capable of comfortably accommodating a family, which could also be sailed and raced short-handed. We asked Mark Evans if this simplicity of operation was an important philosophy to advance, in light of preconceived notions that sailing requires a high degree of specialism and manpower.

‘Modern sailing systems can be designed and integrated into large sailing yachts that enable short-handed sailing between just a pair or a small crew,’ Mark said. ‘As an industry, more could be done to highlight this ability and educate prospective clients about the technology.’

The semi-custom design is highly customisable, presented with four interior arrangements and the option of three or four cabins, with the master suite positioned either forward or aft, and a full complement of crew. We asked Mark how important it was to present sailing yachts as a viable alternative with comparable ease of use and comfort to motor yachts. 

‘It’s important to show prospective yacht owners that sailing vessels can have considerably large entertaining and outdoor spaces. With the added factor of a sailing yacht being a more green choice operationally and the understanding that this modern, high-tech kind of yacht is powerful and fast, the joy of sailing is a wonderful experience.’

Comfort is arguably one of the most important factors on the luxury yacht owner’s agenda, and the Makara series makes no compromise on this. The cockpit is arranged with ergonomic coaming to allow guests to sit safely on the deck while the yacht is underway and the crew is manoeuvring. Cushioned sun beds provide an ideal relaxation spot while at anchor, while the interiors have been fitted with glass at eye level to give the sense of ultimate connectivity even while indoors. 

Contrary to common conceptions, Mark tells us, In many respects with sailing yachts, the comfort and stability at high-speed is often more comfortable than a power yacht due to the ballast of the keel and the steadying nature of the sails. Although the boat will heel, in general, you’ll end up with a softer ride.’

McConaghy has a breadth of experience in building high-performance sailing yachts. The 25.9m model has a lightship displacement of just 48 tonnes, and a client can hone their racing preferences with the option to add a bowsprit and lifting keel. ‘It is a race horse, wrapped in silk,’ comments Mark. ‘The series benefits from a wealth of knowledge accrued from over 50 years’ experience building advanced racing yachts.’

Other notable features onboard include a series of McConaghy-designed carbon fibre deck items and hardware and a stern lazarette with fold-down transom door that creates a spacious swim platform. A choice of interior fittings has been developed for the Makara series, including the choice of classic oak or walnut veneers or a more minimalist grey finishing. The Makara 85 is ready to commence production, from $6.75million USD. 

"It is a race horse, wrapped in silk. The series benefits from a wealth of knowledge accrued from over 50 years’ experience building advanced racing yachts."

Mark Evans, Managing Director McConaghy Boats

"It is a race horse, wrapped in silk. The series benefits from a wealth of knowledge accrued from over 50 years’ experience building advanced racing yachts."

Mark Evans, Managing Director McConaghy Boats
By Jenna Mehdi
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