Performance Classic Yachts

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PC 55 Video: footage of our test of the Hoek designed Performance Classic Yachts 55

  • Toby Hodges
  • October 17, 2017

Full boat test video taken during our trials of the first PC55 – a modern composite built Hoek design inspired by the timeless shape of a pilot cutter

PC55 Test

The PC55 is a performance cruiser with a difference – it’s looks. It owes its aesthetic inspiration to the original pilot cutters – working yachts that gained a legendary reputation thanks to their speed, manoeuvrability and ability to be handled by just two crewmembers.

The traditional pilot cutter is oft described as the best yacht design ever. It seems strange then that there is not a greater choice of pilot cutter inspired designs around today.

PC55 Test

One person who is onto their enduring appeal more than any other though is Andre Hoek. Hoek’s ‘Pilot Classic’ range spans the whole size spectrum, from the 33ft Essence and 37ft Wally Nano to the 152ft Royal Huisman built Elfje and even a 200ft+ project currently on the boards.

Performance Classic Yachts (PC Yachts) has created a production yacht business around these Hoek designs from this PC55 up to a 85 footer. It is a five-year old British company that sub contracts the semi custom builds to Metur Yachts in Bodrum. Metur, a classic yacht specialist, has built numerous Hoek designs over the last two decades, including two for Andre Hoek himself.

The first PC Yacht was a wood epoxy built Pilot Classic 66 in 2014, followed by this composite PC55. The designs retain the generous sail area of a pilot cutter, albeit with a Bermudan rig, combined with a modern underwater shape. Weight is reduced and centralised wherever possible to optimise performance.

The PC55 has a carbon reinforced composite hull and deck and foam-cored furniture as standard. The combination of classic-inspired lines together with a modern lightweight shell and appendages looks quite irresistible. We travelled to Bodrum to see if the mix works on the water. Here’s the video:

We had perfect trial conditions, with winds averaging 15 knots over calm seas. The PC55 is designed for the yacht to be powered up in typical Force 3–4 Med conditions.

And she was quick to establish why the word ‘performance’ belongs in her title. We clocked 9–9.5 knots beam reaching, 8.5 knots when fetching and 7.5–8 knots upwind tacking through 85º. I was impressed.

PC55 test

Our test was a good representation of how a potential owner would want to sail the PC55. It’s an ideal concept for those who want to keep their yacht in a Med marina – to be able to take it out for a sail with partner and/or friend and maximise the moderate breezes.

The PC55 is around €300k less than a similar-sized luxury cruiser from the likes of Swan, Spirit, Oyster or Contest. So in production market terms, it’s more comparative to yachts like an XC55 or an Italia Yachts 15.98.

But much rests on the looks of the PC55 and whether they hook you in. The PC55 represents a cool blend of modern styling on a dreamy pilot cutter shape. It’s a yacht that has that ability to turn heads anywhere.

PC55 test

  This extract is taken from the full test report of the PC55 in the November 2017 issue of Yachting World. Pictures and video shot by Richard Langdon, Ocean Images

LOA 18.54m 60ft 10in

LOD 16.62m 54ft 6in

LWL 13.38m 43ft 10in

Beam (Max) 4.23m 13ft 10in

Draught 2.7m 8ft 10in

Disp (lightship) 15,570kg 34,722lb

Price (ex VAT) €775,000

Design: Hoek Design

Seahorse Magazine

The perfect label

The perfect label

In a still-growing field Mark Speirs’ team at Performance Classic Yachts are doing an exceptional job of delivering genuinely exciting sailing performance with the most elegant blend of aesthetic styles

To see Performance Classic Yachts’ PC66 as an elegant, sedate, traditionally styled cruiser may be an accurate first impression, but it would also be to seriously underestimate this yacht’s true capabilities.

From the plumb bow and fixed bowsprit alone it is easy to see the design influence of traditional pilot cutters and the smacks of the 19th century. But as your eyes are drawn aft to the angular style of the superstructure, be it either the deckhouse or the flush deck version, along with the long sweeping overhang and the counter stern, each provides subtly different classic details to form an impressive and striking overall appearance that is greater than the sum of the parts. And yet this is a design that is about far more than just looks.

‘The exhilarating feeling one gets from helming a responsive yacht is the exception not the rule these days,’ says PC Yachts’ founder and CEO Mark Speirs. ‘And while we all enjoy charging along in a good stiff breeze, I think the sensation of perfect balance and trim, especially when sailing in light winds, is what separates the ordinary from the excellent. So for me, the ability of the yachts to be first and foremost terrific sailing boats is where we start with all of our models.’

In an era where internal volume and aggressive looks on the outside are two cornerstones of contemporary style and where performance and handling often get pushed further down the list of priorities, it is refreshing to hear of a cruising yacht builder that aligns its priorities in this way. Yet there is still no avoiding the fact that when you see any of their yachts, it is the distinctive looks that grab you first. Under the skin though, such details make their own contribution to a technical specification and performance that will take you by surprise.

While the plumb bow helps to create a long waterline length, the bowsprit allows the genoa tack set at the extremity of the bow, maximising the foretriangle area. The result is a contribution to an impressive sail area -to-displacement (SA:D) ratio that is well in excess of some more modernlooking performance cruisers. When it comes to displacement, the PC66 weighs in at around 23,500kg, lower than several of her more modernlooking rivals. So, with a decent sailplan, a modest displacement and an impressive ballast figure of 8,500kg, it is clear that the basic data provides evidence that the C66 has the potential to deliver an impressive performance.

The VPP data backs this up. Upwind in 10kts she slices along at 8kts which increases to 9kts in 20kts of true wind. Off the breeze she matches the true wind speed in 10kts at 110° true and peaks at just over 12kts in 20kts true. The PC66 is clearly no slouch.

The concept began after Speirs had been impressed by the distinctive style of the 37ft Wally Nano and commissioned Hoek Design to create a 66-footer in a similar style. After taking delivery and cruising it extensively for two years he received plenty of flattering compliments about his boat, convincing him that there was a market for this type and size of custom-built cruiser. But it was a call from someone he had met on his travels who said that they wanted to build a new 66 that drove the message home. So, as the lines of the next 66 took shape, so PC Yachts was born.

Launched in 2014, PC661 Mazu was built in wood-cored epoxy using West System, while the 2018 PC662 Sultana was built using carbon skins with Gurit Coracell M-foam inside the hull and deck, vacuum bagged and supported by a carbon-reinforced grid system.

Such different construction techniques are a clear indication of the versatility that is possible within the range.

‘We are not tied to one method of construction,’ Speirs explained. ‘Instead, we offer our clients the ability to build in a material of their choice from a West System type epoxy wood core to a full carbon composite layup. We believe it is important to be able to adapt when it comes to construction to allow for the varying amounts of equipment that may be installed.

‘Depending on the core material, hulls can be either built on a male mould (wet layup) or infused in a female mould with decks infused in female tooling.’

This ability to work with a range of construction techniques, along with the contemporary underwater configuration where a shallow canoe body, a fin and bulb keel along with a skegless rudder are the norm, are among the ways in which PC yachts can deliver modern performance. Indeed, when you look at the deep, secure cockpit, control lines led aft and the large single wheel it is easy to see how this layout inspires confidence in those who are looking for an elegant cruiser that will be as comfortable and secure on a blue water cruise, as it will be oozing elegance during a daysail in the Mediterranean.

‘To me, a boat has to look right and perform well and that cannot be achieved to the level we are looking for by building using chopped strand mat, polyester resin and heavy plywood bulkheads. It is modern materials and structural engineering techniques that help to bring these boats alive. You only have to look at displacements with others in this size range to see how well we compare.

‘As with any modern composite design, structural engineering is very important and here we work with Mark Bishop of Waterfront Composite Solutions. He is based in the USA and is a very experienced composites engineer having worked on projects such as Ran 7, Leopard 3, Azzam Abu Dhabi while working at the Farr office.’

PC Yachts are built in Turkey by Bodrum-based Metur Yacht. Established in 1983, they have considerable experience in cold moulding using the West System and were the first company to do so in Turkey. Since then, their work has expanded into composite construction and numerous Hoek designs, including for André Hoek himself.

performance classic yachts

The bottom line is that while their striking appearance and compelling performance figures make for a tantalising prospect, PC Yachts are custom-built boats, which in itself can be an intimidating prospect for clients that haven’t been through the process before.

‘Building a custom boat is a dream for some people, and for many in this group it remains just that,’ continues Speirs. ‘Be it the expectation of high costs and/or the complexity of pulling the project together, it’s easy for them to feel that a one-off boat isn’t on the cards. I know how they feel, so I wanted to alleviate these issues and create a process that clients will not just enjoy, but at a price that will compare well with a production boat. And when it comes to the financial concerns about building abroad, our clients’ contracts are with a UK-based company that is the prime contractor responsible for the fulfillment of the contract, to project-manage the build under UK law.’

At €2million (ex tax) for a fully equipped carbon 66 the cost certainly compares well with others in this size range where base prices can often be 30 per cent higher.

When it comes to the 66’s interior, below decks this boat continues to impress with an interior style created along the lines of a New England beach house. Again, it’s a refreshingly different approach that grabs attention the minute you step below.

‘The first 66 was designed for family cruising, so a large owner’s cabin wasn’t required. Instead, there were four spacious double cabins with a crew cabin forward. Boat number two has two guest cabins aft and an owner’s cabin just forward of the mast and a crew cabin in the forepeak.’

While the 66 has been a natural focus of attention, the company is also busy with several other exciting new projects including a PCr 52ft spirit of tradition daysailer/racer with fun written all over it. Once again, performance is at the heart of this design with an ample 108/223m 2 sailplan, a displacement of just 8.2 tonnes, a fin and bulb keel that contributes to a 45 per cent ballast ratio and a skegless spade rudder.

Drawn by Chris Peart, this is also a design that embraces sustainability. The hull is planned in stripped cedar with the possibility of using woven flax as the laminate with a plant-based epoxy while the deck itself uses Lignia instead of teak. The electric propulsion will be from Oceanvolt with a power regeneration system and solar panels.

In addition, the company is currently building its smallest boat yet, a 47ft weekender due to be delivered next year for a Japanese client as well as having a 55 in build.

‘In today’s world where so many boats tend to look similar it is difficult for an owner to make their mark on a boat. And of those that do, some create boats that are so different that they date very quickly. We believe our skill is in being able to bring together performance with distinctive yet timeless looks.’

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Special Report: Performance Classic Yachts

performance classic yachts

The following is the first of a three part series on Performance Classic Yachts –one of the most innovative and elegant modern yacht companies I’ve seen.

  I’ve always loved yachts designed by Hoek Designs . This is partly because the Dutch naval architecture firm almost invented the genre of sailing yachts that combine sexy and soulful lines of classic yachts above the waterline with the performance and manoeuvrability benefits that come from modern design, construction and materials below.

performance classic yachts

GRACE WITH SPACE

performance classic yachts

I wish I could take credit for the “Grace with Space” tagline but full disclosure, those are the exact words the folks at Performance Classic Yachts use to describe their special approach to combining style and function. And since most of the best moments on an any yacht are spent in and around the cockpit area, they’ve designed the PC 66 to have grace AND space in three distinct areas:

performance classic yachts

The spacious cockpit features a large table accommodates dining for eight. And since all sail controls lead back to the helm area none of your guests will be disturbed in the cockpit when you’re underway. The full bimini provides cooling shade while underway too.

The helm area makes single handed sail controls a snap since main and genoa can be trimmed without leaving the helm.

The large aft deck is perfect for sunbathing and has substantial storage underneath accessible via large hatches.

performance classic yachts

In fact, Sultana’s American owner was so captivated by the Eastern Med, (both in Turkey and the Greek Islands) after taking delivery postponed bringing the boat back to the States as he originally intended. He also raced in Voile de St Tropez last September (taking a 2nd place in the Spirit of Tradition) category before he returned to the Eastern Med to cruise in Greece.

So be sure to stay tuned for part three of this series that covers an innovative program PC Yachts offers to owners who take delivery in Turkey. Because once you’ve had a taste of cruising around Turkey, you might not want to bring your new PC Yacht back from the eastern Med eitherI

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Performance Classic 83 (PC83) - a Modern Classic Sailing Yacht

Traditional lines, modern underwater ship and state-of-the-art materials like carbon fiber that's the performance classic 83 in a nutshell..

The Performance Classic yachts are one the representatives for sailors who love the elegant lines of a classic yacht  but want a modern and performance-oriented underwater ship design with T-Keel instead of a long keel and hull, rudder and mast made of carbon. Needless to say, the yacht comes with systems to sail it with a minimum crew.

Responsible for the design is no one less than the Dutch design office Hoek Design  that designed many yachts of this kind (including several J-Class yachts).

Performance Classic 83 Sailing Yacht Design Hoek

Other nice design features are a low deck profile and a flush deck that gives her a sporty look without losing the classic look.

The Performance Classic 83 has an owners site at the fore ship where is also the crew area and three double cabins amidship. There are currently no interior renderings, but the brand explains it as follows:

“A ‘New England’ styled hand built white paneled interior is dominated by the light and airy saloon with both formal and informal seating, a large galley and separate navigational area.”

The London-based brand Performance Classic Yachts with construction partners in Turkey offers also a 55 feet and a finished 66 feet version.

Performance Classic 83 Sailing Yacht Design Hoek

SHARING IS CARING - THANK YOU!

Mp670s // marcelo penna yacht design, meraki // 50m classic ketch // vitters, wallywind110, nyumba // nauta design // southern wind, lady in red: baltic 116 “doryan”, amel 64 – bluewater sailing yacht, anatta // vitters // dubois, 23m ketch “iltchi” by hoek design.

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PERFORMANCE CLASSIC YACHTS (U.K.) LIMITED

Company number 10127781

  • Company Overview for PERFORMANCE CLASSIC YACHTS (U.K.) LIMITED (10127781)
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Next accounts made up to 30 April 2024 due by 31 January 2025

Last accounts made up to 30 April 2023

Confirmation statement

Next statement date 9 June 2024 due by 23 June 2024

Last statement dated 9 June 2023

Nature of business (SIC)

  • 96090 - Other service activities not elsewhere classified

performance classic yachts

This Ewan McGregor Thriller Gave Us a Different Kind of High-Stakes Espionage

McGregor delivers a timely exploration of loyalty, chivalry, and the price of nationalism.

The Big Picture

  • Ewan McGregor's captivating performance adds depth to the family drama intertwined with espionage in Our Kind of Traitor.
  • Director Susanna White skillfully adds suspense by highlighting the difficulty of communication in the world of spy craft.
  • McGregor's portrayal of an untraditional hero in the film showcases his character's vulnerability and ethical growth, creating a captivating narrative.

While there is certainly an audience that knows him best for his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars franchise, Ewan McGregor is an actor of great versatility. It’s been impressive that despite his fame, McGregor often chooses character-driven projects over more commercial fare. In recent years, he’s shown his dedication to prestigious television with acclaimed performances in the third season of Fargo , the biopic series Halston , and emotional spy thriller A Gentleman In Moscow . Though A Gentleman In Moscow has earned rave reviews, McGregor first tried out the espionage genre in a 2016 adaptation of the John le Carre novel, Our Kind of Traitor .

Le Carre’s work has inspired many successful adaptations , as the late spy novelist has an unparalleled ability to capture political intrigue. While works such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Night Manager examined the interior machinations of spycraft, Our Kind of Traitor is really a family drama that’s filtered through the world of espionage. McGregor’s emotional performance elevates Our Kind of Traitor into a timely exploration of loyalty, chivalry, and the price of nationalism.

Our Kind of Traitor

Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris star as a couple who find themselves entangled in a Russian oligarch's plans to defect. They must navigate the murky waters of international espionage, prompted by a chance encounter during a holiday in Morocco.

What Is 'Our Kind of Traitor' About?

While many Le Carre adaptations follow an accomplished spy or government agent , Our Kind of Traitor has a very Hitchcockian premise of an “ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances.” The film centers on the professor Perry MacKendrick (McGregor), who takes an extended vacation to Morocco with his wife, Gail ( Naomie Harris ), as a solution to issues within their relationship. Early on during their trip, Perry strikes up a friendship with the rowdy Russian guest Dima ( Stellan Skarsgård ). Despite their different backgrounds, Perry and Dima find they have a lot in common when discussing their familial responsibilities. Perry’s intended vacation takes a dark turn when he realizes that Dima is actually a Russian spy seeking asylum for his family. Dima reveals that he and his family are in danger, as the MI6 agent Hector ( Damian Lewis ) is keen to put him behind bars.

Our Kind of Traitor takes the time to develop its characters before the conspiracy storyline begins , allowing the viewer to understand what stakes are at play. Dima’s loyalties aren’t necessarily his defining characteristic; he’s a genuinely caring family man who has done a few shady things over the course of his career in order to protect the people he cares about most. Perry sees someone he looks up to in Dima, and realizes that any law enforcement officers wouldn’t be willing to listen to his side of the story. This offers a sufficient explanation for why someone like Perry, who is not at all versed in the world of spycraft, would agree to act as a negotiator in a dangerous situation.

Ewan McGregor Wore His ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ Mustache for So Long, It Will Always Be with Him

While it’s not packed with action sequences, director Susanna White adds suspense to Our Kind of Traitor by showing the difficulty of communication. Perry is a professor well-versed in communicating with students of different backgrounds, which makes him perfect to act as a middle man between the Russian mafia and the British Intelligence agents. White shows how keen these two guilds are to lash out at each other violently. Dima could ultimately be just an excuse to kick off a new Cold War . The seeming inevitability of a mishap gives Our Kind of Traitor a more authentic depiction of spycraft.

Ewan McGregor Is an Untraditional Hero in 'Our Kind of Traitor'

Unlike most of Le Carre’s protagonists, McGregor plays a flawed and vulnerable hero in Our Kind of Traitor . Perry had intended for his trip to save his marriage with Gail, as his infidelities have made them close to getting a divorce. Ironically, the dangerous situation that they find themselves in only proves to Gail that Perry’s intentions are pure. His ability to invest his time in aiding a stranger in need speaks volumes about his personal ethics. McGregor is able to show how Perry’s affair has made him more sensitive to other people’s feelings, which color his decision to help Dima. While scenes focusing on familial dysfunction within an intense spy thriller could have felt like a distraction, the excellent chemistry between McGregor and Harris ensures that they are exhilarating.

Our Kind of Traitor deconstructs the espionage world from an outsider’s perspective , as Perry is ignorant to the shady actions of his government. This makes him an avatar for the audience, as Perry is learning about the policies for dealing with foreign agents at the same time that the viewer does. McGregor is able to show how Perry’s extensive knowledge of history and culture comes to his aid, allowing him to find solutions that Hector or Dima wouldn’t necessarily think of. However, Perry is still a civilian who has never experienced political violence and McGregor is able to bring a great deal of vulnerability to his performance .

‘Our Kind of Traitor’ Rejects Spy Movie Clichés

A Gentleman in Moscow earned praise because it elevated its supporting characters beyond spy movie archetypes. In the world of espionage, it’s less easy to identify individuals as “heroes” and “villains” when there are so many secrets involved. Similarly, Our Kind of Traitor features a robust supporting cast that elevates their roles . Skarsgård brings an unusual charisma and sense of humor that doesn’t fit with the standard notion of a “Russian spy.” Similarly, Hector is revealed to be a grieving father in his own right. Lewis is able to show how his past inspires his commitment to justice, as he understands what ramifications could occur.

Le Carre adaptations like The Night Manager or Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy aim to expose how the world of spycraft exists “in the shadows,” but Our Kind of Traitor examines how espionage affects the real world . The stakes feel far more personal, and McGregor’s heroic performance shows the ability of a common man to be a representation of peace. It's a soulful performance that may rank among his very best.

Our Kind of Traitor is currently streaming on Prime Video in the U.S.

WATCH ON PRIME VIDEO

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COMMENTS

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  10. Performance Classic 83

    The Performance Classic yachts are one the representatives for sailors who love the elegant lines of a classic yacht but want a modern and performance-oriented underwater ship design with T-Keel instead of a long keel and hull, rudder and mast made of carbon. Needless to say, the yacht comes with systems to sail it with a minimum crew.

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