With the new Friendship 75, the largest of the Friendship fleet, yacht designer Ted Fontaine has once again pushed the envelope in his design for Isabel, an elegant sailing yacht of grand proportions that can be confidently handled by two. Like her sisters, the Friendship 40 and Friendship 53, the new 75-footer combines simplicity of handling and performance with the aesthetics of a classic Fontaine design.
As with the 40 and the 53, Fontaine has once again proven that, when properly designed and equipped, a large and sophisticated yacht can be sailed safely without additional crew, assuring a uniquely intimate sailing experience previously unheard of on a yacht of these proportions. In fact, that was a large part of the design brief for designer Fontaine when he drew up Isabel.
On deck, Isabel shares the styling and ergonomics that are fast becoming a legacy of the Friendship fleet — a low profile house and cabin trunk, functional stern deck, sweeping broad side decks and a clean open foredeck. There are twin L-shaped settees each with their own bright finished tables. Housed in bright finished teak, a fully integrated helm pedestal with destroyer-style wheel is located aft of the guest seating area and equipped with engine controls, low-profile foot controls for bow thruster, main sheet and genoa furling functions. The helm pedestal also houses controls for the Oceanfurl in-boom furling system, boom vang control, throttle and autopilot controls. It is fitted with twin 10-inch pop-up Garmin 5212 display units that function as chartplotter and radar. A Garmin GMR 24 HD radome is mounted on the mast at the first set of spreaders.
Additional navigation equipment includes a Danforth compass, Garmin GSR 22 digital sounder, Garmin Marine Network system interfaced with Garmin GDL 30/30A XM WX/stereo receiver and B&G Hydra Cruise Pack wind instruments.
Controls for the Navtec hydraulic backstay are mounted outboard on the guest cockpit coaming to port and the engine instruments on the coaming to starboard. Primary and secondary Lewmar winches are port and starboard of the helm seat. The aft coaming is fitted with integral line bins for the headsail sheets. The main sheet disappears aft and below decks. The mast and boom are carbon fiber and built by Hall Spars. The standing rigging is from Navtec and the headsail furler a Reckman RF 90-3.
Moving forward from the guest cockpit is a low-profile pilot house — a hallmark of Fontaine’s designs. It has an area for light dining for six, complete with a wet bar and spirits storage. Forward of the wet bar is the nav station with a full complement of display screens, monitoring systems and ship communications equipment.
Below, the yacht’s accommodations feature two spacious guest cabins with en suite head and showers. Situated fore and aft, each cabin has a king-size centerline berth, port and starboard settees, large hanging lockers and flat-screen televisions. There are beautiful built-in bureaus for additional storage. The arrangement assures the owners and guests the utmost privacy. There is also a small starboard cabin amidships complete with en suite head and shower and two single berths should the owners have additional guests or choose to have crew aboard. Directly opposite the crew cabin is a fully appointed galley with a custom stand-up reefer and freezer, trash compactor, Fisher & Paykel dishwasher, GE Profile Spacemaker II microwave oven and Techimpex four-burner marine range. The countertops are Silestone and there is a Miele washer and condensing dryer for light laundry.
Like all of the Friendship fleet, the interior joinery is ornate and world class. The main saloon is large and has exceptional headroom. An entertainment center and bookcase/sideboard flank the forward bulkhead port and starboard. Built of solid teak, the interior furnishings are finished in a high-gloss varnish.
For propulsion, the owners chose a single 250-hp Lugger marine diesel engine type 1066 H turning a 32-inch Bruntons Varifold four-blade prop. The gearbox is Twin Disc type MG 5075 A. Auxiliary power is provided by a Northern Lights 20-kW M8 44 LW 2 genset.
Ancillary equipment includes a Jefa transmission steering system, Lewmar 15-kW (20-hp) bow thruster, Tecma Silence Plus and Silence Plus Short heads, Marine Air air conditioning and a Sea Recovery Ultra Whisper Modular 600-1 watermaker.
For global communications there is a KVH TracPhone FB250 and KVH satellite with wireless modem.
Like her sisters, the 40 and the 53, Isabel is a handsome yacht of uncompromising build and finish. But what is even more important is that with Isabel, Fontaine has once more raised the bar in yacht design, creating a new classic, one that can be sailed safely by two people, yet affords the luxury and accommodation of yachts twice the size.