At night, the lit mast could be seen clearly from as far away as Culver City.
The five tiers of spreaders with all of its standing rigging looked almost like a radio tower, rising up from the 159-foot sloop out of New Zealand called Georgia as it sat at the Marina del Rey fuel dock over the weekend, resting and provisioning after a long journey. The Georgia arrived last week and left the Marina Monday, August 21st.
In 2000, she was the largest sloop (a vessel with one mast) ever built.
While there have been more extravagant yachts occupying that same spot at the dock, such as Larry Ellison’s 192-foot motoryacht Ronin that sported its own basketball court, helipad and helicopter, Georgia is still a masterpiece of innovation and a conspicuous display of opulence.
Currently, she is the third largest sloop in the world, but at the time of her conception, this vessel was pioneering technology from a design and engineering perspective that in some ways has changed the face of yacht building all together.
“A lot of research went into it,” said Georgia’s Captain Anthony Daeberitz of the uncharted ground that everyone involved in the project was treading upon. “There were a lot of leading designers and manufactures that had to endure a big learning curve themselves. For example, the first winches and furling gears they tried out on the bench just exploded.”
While the boat spans the length of an entire dock, it still bears the characteristics of a 35-to-45-foot cruiser/racer that has been magically enlarged.
The winches on Georgia look just the same as ordinary stainless winches that one would see on any modern sailboat, but it’s as if they’re being viewed through an enormous magnifying glass.
Everything on the boat is massive and designed to weather loads of astronomical proportion, but all of the sail trim is controlled electronically by joysticks and it can actually be sailed singlehanded.
“One person to sail it, eight to keep it clean,” Daeberitz said smiling.
In addition to the engineering challenges the participating companies faced during the construction of Georgia, sheer space was also a stumbling block for some of the building components, such as the nearly 200-foot carbon mast.
“It was a huge project for them,” said Daeberitz of the spar company that handled the construction and installation of the mast. “They had to find a place that was big enough to build it, and they had to face the challenge of getting the mast from a horizontal standing point to a vertical position on the boat — it was a huge leap for them.”
This fully custom-built aluminum sloop is beyond luxurious — with a heated Jacuzzi for eight, seating and entertaining areas, a climate-controlled outdoor cockpit, a private dining salon for ten, four double guest cabins with bathrooms, a master suite that extends the full 33-foot width of the vessel, an exercise room, a restaurant-style galley and a living area for the crew with commercial laundry amenities.
It is also a performance cruiser built to sail fast.
With a sail area of 1,600 square meters, she can move quickly, especially considering the extraordinary size and weight of the vessel.
In 20 knots of wind, Georgia can sail at approximately 15 knots of boat speed. In ten knots of breeze, it can cruise at seven knots depending on the angle.
“It was built as a performance sailing boat,” said Daeberitz. “A performance world cruiser is what they call it.”
The privately-owned sailboat is currently nearing the end of a circumnavigation, which should be finished by the end of the year.
The crew has sailed nearly 50,000 miles in the last two years and once the circle is complete, the owner will be putting Georgia up for sale.
Interested parties can contact firstname.lastname@example.org