Kraken Yachts recently welcomed Peter Nielsen from SAIL Magazine on a test sail around Cape Town, read extracts from his review of the Kraken 66 White Dragon here.
A 9,000-mile cruise from Hong Kong to Cape Town isn’t a typical shakedown for a new boat, but it convinced Kraken Yachts founder Dick Beaumont that White Dragon, his new Kraken 66, was the boat he hoped it would be. Based in Hong Kong, Beaumont and co-founder Roger Goldsmith started the company two years ago with the intention of building a line of luxury bluewater cruisers to take on the likes of Oyster and Discovery Yachts. I joined them in Cape Town to put the boat through its paces.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
Although the 66’s styling is contemporary, its hull design, build and systems are conservative. With more than 100,000 miles in his wake, Beaumont knows exactly what he wants in a boat and the three Kraken models reflect his uncompromising philosophy. Kiwi naval architect Kevin Dibley put the flesh on the bones of Beaumont’s vision, Chinese yard Hansheng (builders of Passport Yachts, among others) built the boat, and the result is a high-quality turnkey ocean crosser at a remarkably competitive price.
Rather than being optimized for offwind work as are so many modern designs, the 66’s hull form has been shaped for good all-round performance and seakeeping, with U-shaped sections forward, plenty of rocker and an easy run aft. Beaumont sees the skeg-hung rudder and long fin keel with its encapsulated lead ballast as essential attributes of a bluewater cruising boat. Indeed, the “Zero Keel;’ as Kraken calls it (for zero keel bolts), has become a valuable marketing tool in the wake of several well-publicized keel failures….Read and download the full review below.