“Please refrain from publishing your pictures for a little while”, Justine asked me as we were roaming the production facility of RM Yachts in La Rochelle some weeks ago (read the article here). It was just the moment as a brand new hull was being pulled out from the painting booth and a lot of employers of the yard came together to take a look at the raw hull: “This is our latest boat”, Justine continued: “And she is like being secret somehow.” I took pictures of the RM 1370, maybe one of the very few photographers who were allowed to.
Now, some weeks later, the lot number #1 of the 1370 is readily fitted and undergoing rigging, testing and first sailing trials. As the official launching of the boat y the yard has been done (please check for the official website here), I think it´s no problem to move back a bit to grant an exclusive look onto the building stand and into the yacht as she was there in raw condition.
Smooth as smooth can be
The RM 1370 is a big yacht for sure. Her length overall is impressive 14.70 meters with a max beam of 4.50 meters. This creates a huge volume which was filled by naval architect Marc Lombard, who is also responsible for the complete RM-range of fast cruisers (read my interview with Marc during Boot Dusseldorf here) with a three cabin layout, two bathrooms, a huge O-galley and a spacious saloon. But later more of that.
When I entered into the cockpit area I was stunned by the sheer space. I can imagine sitting here, having all of the 112 square meters of upwind sail area hoisted and sprinting towards the horizon. The RM 1370 will be fitted with Genoa-winches which are to be mounted directly at the entryway down to the saloon. That means that main sheet winches and Genoa winches will all be accessible by one single person. This is a concept typical for RM Yachts although I must admit I´d like to see this live and in person. (read my article about the perfect cockpit layout here aboard a Maxi 1200)
The building quality of the hull is just stunning. When I was roaming around the hull to inspect the classy paintjob I couldn´t spot a single pimple, not speaking of bigger bumps or faulty surfaces. The hull appeared to be made of perfect bone china, smooth and made of one piece like a perfect, white mirror. No wonder, of course, given the staggering elaborate techniques which are applied to build a hull here at For a Marine, but nevertheless, the difference in quality to a standard GRP-hull is fascinating indeed.
The RM 1370 at this building stage was of course just a promise of the coming. Nevertheless I could see a lot of things already making sense. Room in the cockpit for example is plenty of for the helmsman behind the twin steering wheels as well as for the foredeckhand working the winches. Guests will be reclining on large seating areas – anticipating big cabins underneath. I asked Justine if I was allowed to climb inside, she smiled and gave me a nod.
Almost like a deck saloon yacht
“Wow!”, I was excited: “This almost appears as light-suffused and roomy as a classic deck saloon yacht!” And it did indeed: Upon entering the saloon that was of course in a raw building stage, I instantly noticed the huge dimensions. The forward part is styled in a pretty much conservative way with a large folding dining table around the mast stand and two 3-seater settees facing each other. One step down and one enters the large fore cabin with separated WC and shower-cabins.
The extra-large O-galley was still covered with protective masking, but I could sense the dimensions of this area pretty good. It´s huge: There will be a big 2-part fridge-freezer-combination, pretty much like the ones on my Dufour 460 when I sailed the Atlantic Ocean recently (read it here), a three-flame stove, two-tier sink, a large working plate and a lot of stowage for plates, tools and provisioning. The galley´s dimensions are both spacious on the one hand and small enough on the other to wedge oneself in heavy seas properly. Great construction!
The best part, in my view, was the nav-station for sure. I think it´s a shame that large production companies more and more scale down the size of the chart tables up to a state where you cannot speak of a proper “chart table” anymore. This is of course due to the fact that most sailors do navigate by means of electronic devices and skip classic paper chart navigation on the one hand and on the other hand most boats are used in charter business where chart work is a loanword. Not so with RM Yachts. “All of our boats do have a proper sized chart table”, Justine tells me: “Even the smallest RM Yacht has one.”
The size of the table is extraordinary. I haven´t seen such a huge chart table on a “modern” cruising yacht since visiting the new Hallberg-Rassy 44 (read it here) or other, explicitly for owners on long haul cruises designed boats. Standard pleasure craft sized charts will fit in here as well as the bigger, normal sized charts. Then there is a large panel for the main switchboard, VHF and other auxiliary electronic devices and controls and of course stowage (read about the design & built of the chart table in my own yacht here). Sitting here, elevated above the saloon with free sight of almost 300 degrees through the extra-large portholes must be a breathtaking sight: And probably the preferred place to sit for the skipper.
Cabins and layout of the new RM 1370
The RM 1370 will be available with 3 cabins of which the starboard side aft cabin could be modified to either fit standard bunk beds or a large double bed. When I took a look into this very cabin I noticed large stowage and compartments for provisioning and other things to stow away as the tanks which are usually mounted underneath the aft-berths are placed under the saloon near the center of gravity of the boat. Then there´s huge space aft of the engine which could be filled with surplus machinery like generators and stuff – or left empty for taking on some other stuff for the long haul.
It was as interesting as the whole day to roam aboard the raw built 1370 because this enabled me to fully understand Marc Lombard´s concept of these boats: Made to sail fast, build with wide sterns to create volume to be filled with practical yet kind of luxurious solutions to create a very appealing setting for the crew. Both on deck and below this boat will offer a spacious, roomy, light-suffused atmosphere making a long passage sheer pleasure for sure. After having seen so much how these extraordinary yachts are build, what lacks, is sailing one … I am working on it.
Other interesting articles on that topic:
A day at RM Yachts in La Rochelle
Building a plywood Mini 650
Captain´s chairs for my yacht?