|Smart Cockpit Feature on Sailing Yacht Kestrel|
|Written by Kim Kavin|
|Monday, 21 May 2012 09:19|
One of the charter yachts that caught my eye earlier this month at the MYBA Charter Show in Italy was the 106-foot sailing yacht Kestrel. She’s the first of her kind, launched in March 2012 from the Aganlar shipyard in Turkey. She was conceived by the head of a consortium with a longtime background in gulet charters. He wanted to take what he knew about guest comfort and translate it into a boat with far better performance characteristics than the traditional Turkish motorsailers offer.
Kestrel has a lot of nice features, all of which Capt. Ian Heseltine pointed out to me with great pride (I’ll have a full First Impression review soon). The feature that I want to mention today is the bench seating in Kestrel’s cockpit, because I think it’s the kind of idea that a lot of other sailing yacht owners should consider.
Kestrel’s cockpit looks like it has regular bench seating, which means a place where charter guests can lounge, read, dine at the table in the middle, and so forth. However, upon closer inspection, I learned that this seating is built on rails. It slides—the entire benches, that is—toward the port and starboard sides of the yacht. With the bench seating pushed outward and the table between them removed, the cockpit becomes a huge entertaining space. You could literally hold a dance there.
When I saw this feature, I immediately thought of motoryacht guest cabins with twin beds that slide together to become a single king. That feature is becoming more and more popular aboard charter yachts because it makes the space flexible for whatever the guests want, and thus makes the yacht more desirable for charter. I thought this cockpit bench seating aboard Kestrel was similar to that concept, something that a lot of sailing yachts could benefit from as a flexible feature.