BALTIC 175 GETS A MAKEOVER
16 November 2023
The iconic Baltic 175 ex-Pink Gin is currently undergoing a 10-month refit at the company base in Jakobstad, Finland which will result in a décor change throughout the accommodation and sail plan and deck gear upgrades to further exploit her sailing potential.
The yacht’s new owner bought the world’s largest sloop-rigged, all carbon sailing yacht earlier this year. He embarked on a refit programme following an extended delivery from the Mediterranean, during which he assessed with designers precisely what he wanted to achieve.
Matthew Lester, Baltic Yachts’ Commercial Vice President, said the owner ‘was very keen to bring the yacht back home’, the time he spent aboard during the delivery cruise enabling him to identify what was required to upgrade the Baltic 175 to his personal taste and, importantly, what was not. “That was a very useful exercise,” added Matthew Lester.
The judel/vrolijk-designed Baltic 175 was delivered in 2017, has undertaken numerous transatlantic passages and logged in excess of 25,000 nautical miles. Her regular maintenance and refit schedule has kept her in class and in extremely good condition, so the current work is largely aesthetic and performance enhancing.
Softer tones and light oak
Design Unlimited was responsible for the original interior and the company has been called upon again for the current changes.
Softer tones have been applied featuring light oak veneers on surfaces including bunk headboards, tabletops and a re-veneering of sole boards throughout. The accommodation layout remains largely the same apart from the inclusion of a breakfast bar on the upper level in the main saloon, an area originally occupied by a baby grand piano.
New loose furniture, including sofas to contemporary designs upholstered in largely neutral tones, will feature in the main living areas and the deck saloon bulkheads and mullions surrounding the extensive glazing are being refinished.
The Baltic 175 can accommodate 12 guests comfortably in five cabins, two of which are equipped with pullman berths. In addition, there is a large owner’s suite forward, which uniquely for a yacht of this type, features a fold-out balcony in the topsides providing direct access to a private bathing and boarding platform. The owner’s suite is being completely re-vamped and will feature unique timber furniture hand-carved by Baltic Yachts’ craftsmen.
More powerful sail plan
Baltic Yachts is working closely with North Sails and Rig Pro on a new sail plan, rigging alterations and deck gear to optimise performance and take full advantage of the Baltic 175’s design pedigree. At 70m, her Rondal carbon mast is one of the tallest in existence, 16m taller than a typical J-Class rig.
Her single, fixed backstay will be replaced by running backstays to accommodate a square-top mainsail and deflectors will replace check stays to handle staysail loads. The staysail halyard exit box will be re-positioned to increase the sail’s luff length and overall area.
The Baltic 175’s bowsprit is being extended by 1.5m and her fixed staysail stay is being removed. This will allow a modern, triple-headed sail plan for power reaching, comprising a Code sail set off the extremity of the bowsprit, a jib set on the single fixed forestay at the stem head and a soft-luffed furling staysail which can be lowered when not in use.
Smaller, lighter, faster winches
To complement the upgraded sail plan, all the yacht’s deck winches will be replaced with smaller, faster, lighter drums supplied by Harken. “This will not only provide the faster line speed required for some manoeuvres, but also reduce total winch weight from 600kg to around 150kg,” said Mikael Nyberg, the yacht’s refit project manager. All underdeck captive winches will remain the same.
Finnish designer Jarkko Jämsén has worked on the subtle re-styling of the main cockpit’s fixed bimini, which was retrofitted by Baltic Yachts’ Service and Refit operation in Palma in 2022. Alterations are also being made to the helm stations including modernising the ergonomics and style of the control console and adding an additional helmsman’s bimini set on a carbon fibre tubular framework.
Hull colour will remain the same, but the Baltic 175’s original gold cove line will be replaced with a black line and the yacht’s boom will be re-painted to match the hull colour.
The new-look Baltic 175 will be re-launched in May 2024 and although her plans are yet to be finalised she may well be seen on the race course under her new name and owner.
Displ 250 tons
Ballast 79 tons