Stormvogel in fastnet race


Principal Dimensions

Length Overall74 ft. 6 in.22.72 m
Length of Deck73 ft.22.25 m
Length at Waterline59 ft. 4 in.18.10 m
Beam16 ft. 4.4.88 m
Draft9 ft. 3 in.2.82 m
Designed Displacement31.2 tons31.7 tonnes


RigBermudan Ketch
Main MastSparlight Spars. 1961, Aluminium,
Air Draft82 ft           24.8 m


Sail Area: Total2,589 sq ft238 m2
: Fore Triangle1,035 sq ft95 m2
: Main1,140 sq ft105 m2
: Mizzen414 sq ft38 m2

Stormvogel  featured in the movie ” Dead Calm: with Sam Neil and Nicole Kidman



Ocean racing in the post-World War 2 era was a changing sport. A far cry from the once ‘gentleman’s sport’ yacht racing was fast becoming a highly competitive field with new technologies and initiatives from progressive competitors. Stormvogel was the result of the radical ideas of Cornelius Bruynzeel, a Dutch construction timber manufacturer, and a close collaboration of well-renowned designers. Cees Bruynzeel was mainly interested in speed, boat for boat, and being first across the line, to achieve line honors, that was his goal. His experience with Van de Stadt’s design, in 1949 Zeevalk, a 12.5-meter offshore racer, and 1956, Zeeslang, a 9-meter radical lightweight racer convinced him that light displacement was the key if you wanted to be the first boat home. Both yachts were hard chine construction, built of Bruynzeel plywood, and had a spade rudder and attached fin keel. In 1959 he decided to apply this to the biggest possible yacht that was allowed to enter races, a boat with a 70-foot rating, and a length of approximately 23 meters, better known today as a Maxi. The yacht had to be as fast as possible, but it also had to be safe and easy to handle in all conditions, because it would be used as a charter vessel in between regattas. Celebrating his 60th birthday, Bruynzeel asked Van de Stadt to design the boat and make all the construction plans.

However, the Van de Stadt Zaandam drawing office was very busy towards the end of 1959 so Bruynzeel subsequently turned to Olin Stephens, but Stephens did not dare risk his reputation as a designer with a project that he felt involved a considerable risk. Bruynzeel then asked the English designer Laurent Giles, who had experience with building large, lightweight stringer construction wooden hulls to come up with a design. While Giles was still working on a preliminary design, Bruynzeel by chance met Capt. John Illingworth, a man who loved to experiment and Bruynzeel could not deny him the opportunity to put his vision down on paper. Bruynzeel was thus given two widely differing designs, making it difficult for him to choose. He asked Van de Stadt what his preference was, but he appeared not to be very enthusiastic about either plan, so during the following weekend Van de Stadt developed a preliminary design including line drawings.

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