In exciting news for the disabled sailing community worldwide, the S\V14 organisation announced that FarEast Yachts will produce the S\V14 at their production base in China and in a remarkable offer, will supply the first one thousand S\V14’s at a subsidised price of US$ 3,000 for the base boat ex works Shanghai. FarEast Yachts have also agreed to keep this price fixed until the end of 2019 after which the price correction will be no more than the material cost, and capped at the official inflation rate as published for the People’s Republic of China.
“This is an unprecedented development none of us saw coming”, says Mr. Alex Simonis who was in Shanghai to sign the agreement on behalf of the S\V14 organisation with the CEO of FarEast Yachts, Mrs. Demolar Du.
“We started discussions with FarEast Yachts in December 2017 with a follow up meeting in January at the Dusseldorf Boat Show.
“It turned out that both Simonis Voogd Design and the owners of FarEast Yachts shared the same vision that this project was our opportunity to give something back to sailing in a way which could make a difference to many. The fact that our two companies have been successfully working together for nearly a decade helped, but it is still beyond remarkable that we are all driven by the same passion to make the S\V14 a success despite our cultural backgrounds being so different,” added Simonis.
The S\V 14 is a truly unique project. Initiated by Thailand-based Marine Surveyor Peter Jacops, its aim is to make sailing more affordable and accessible for people with disabilities.
The S\V14 has become a global collaboration, with multi award-winning Naval Architectural and Yacht Design studio Simonis Voogd Design (Netherlands/ South Africa) designing the boat, and valuable oversight coming from respected disabled sailor Russell Vollmer. Production starts soon at FarEast Yachts, best known as the largest Optimist builder in the world and more recently for their success in the sportsboat market producing a range of boats from 19 to 37ft, with their 28R being an official WorldSailing approved class.
FarEast Yachts have started the CNC milling of the moulds for the S\V14 out of aluminium. Although expensive it allows the boats to be built to an extremely high level of accuracy. The S\V14 will be a fully vacuum-infused construction in GRP/Foam Core. The weight will be the same as the original wooden version to allow both models to be used in regattas.
By making the first one thousand S\V14’s available at a cost which lies below the raw material cost for the wooden version, the aim is to kick start the class by introducing as many people with disabilities as possible to sailing, with the ultimate goal of seeing participation grow to a number that sailing can take its rightful place once again in the Paralympics.