Brian Benjamin's Carbon Ocean 82, Aegir II, was launched in November. The 82-foot cruiser/racer looks like a sexy metallic grey racing machine on the outside but on the inside it is warm and inviting.
Aegir II's shakedown sail will be the trip from Portsmouth, Rhode Island, to the British Virgin Islands where it will be the bridal carriage for Benjamin's daughter. Following an intimate island wedding, the newlywed couple will cruise with no particular agenda in mind. The Carbon Ocean 82's design includes a large sail plan and space-age composites such as carbon fiber and aluminum-Nomex honeycomb, so it can sail in less than eight knots. When the trade winds blow, Aegir II will sail fast allowing the honeymooners to take in many islands in one day, if they desire.
They'll enjoy all the luxuries of a custom cruising yacht including a large master suite, flat screen TV's and shower stalls with elbow room. The 82-footer has a large Mediterranean cockpit, two helm stations, hydraulic winches and a garage that houses a tender and other recreational equipment. It also has specially designed gadgets so that once the honeymoon is over and the boat arrives in Antigua before the start of the Caribbean 600, the crew can convert Aegir II to a racing machine.
It's estimated that Aegir II's displacement will drop by 10 tons after its Park Avenue boom, delivery sails, anchor cassette, tender, tables, master suite shower stall and other cruising comforts and decorative features are removed and placed in the racing team's container. The boat's interior will not be stripped entirely. The cabins and saloon will be intact and the owner, guests and crew will be able to sleep aboard with all the creature comforts of a luxury cruising yacht, including air conditioning.
It's the first time that such a dramatic conversion will take place. The crew is optimistic that once they get a system down it may take as few as two days to make the transformation. The bigger test will be the Caribbean 600, the first time that Benjamin and his racing crew will put the clean deck layout and specially designed hardware and systems to use.
Carbon Ocean Yachts wants to show off their handiwork and the no compromise cruising and racing features of Aegir II. It will be the first in a range of luxuriously comfortable cruising boats designed and built with same weight and strength considerations used in Volvo Ocean Race boats. Unlike other offshore racing boats, the Carbon Ocean range will have luxuriously comfortable interiors that take advantage of modern lightweight composites and materials. Sometime between the finish of the Caribbean 600 and the Heineken Regatta, they'll have a party to celebrate the four-year effort to complete the boat and their unique achievement.
"We don't know how big our market is, but we suspect that there are a lot of owners who just don't know that there is a better alternative, like a Carbon Ocean 82, available. They don't have to have boats with heavy wooden interiors that stick to the water like glue in light air. Rather than cover the distance of one or two islands a day, often with their engines on, they can set their goals for multiple islands. They can do it in comfort and style and they don't need a big crew to do it," said Benjamin. He invites anyone who wants to see what Carbon Ocean Yachts has accomplished, to join them for a sail while they are in the Caribbean.