‘Karma’ the first MD75 by Mills has just hit the water and is already turning heads with its sleek exterior and cool modern interior. Designed to be the highest performance cruiser that remains easy to sail and handle shorthanded, she is a reflection of the dedication of the client and builders Maxi Dolphin to produce a modern sportster with minimalist character inside and out.
We were asked to draw Karma by an Italian client who enjoys smaller high-performance dinghies and kiteboarding, with the wish that his new big boat could possess some of this excitement and immediacy. His very experienced project manager had distilled much of the clients wishes as well as his own views to present a very coherent outline of what was desired at the first meeting, including a backstay-less rig, nearly flush deck with large comfortable seating in the cockpit, and the involvement of the very talented Nauta Design of Milan on the interior.
The core of the design is keeping the weight and sail areas as aggressive as possible. The hull and appendage design was developed with our regular R&D partners KND, to ensure the all-around performance we expect would be delivered. It was refreshing after numerous raceboat projects to turn our VPP race model into a VPP cruise model to quantify the clients cruising emphasis on more reaching, more interior volume, and easier handling and responding with features like an aft LCG, a little more volume forwards, and twin rudders.
The clients clean modern taste promotes a relatively light interior, and we worked with Maxi Dolphin extensively to control the weight and CG as the build progressed. With a light displacement for this type of yacht the beamy hull shape offers low wetted surface when upright but rapidly increasing righting moment as it heels, encouraging strong light airs performance as well as speed in a breeze.
The sail plan combines the speed and shapes from a raceboat with ease of use, starting with the absence of backstays. After considering both fixed and lifting keel arrangements, a lifting keel was chosen to maximise performance. Since the primary role is high speed cruising, twin rudders are the perfect solution to ensure great handling offwind, as well as allowing a large dinghy locker for the tender and kiteboards. The deck plan includes a number of nice details such as the flush dodger hoop, the underdeck halyard and line runs, and the integrated tail lockers.
We look forward to Karma ripping up the Med this summer, and maybe showing up for a taste of racing along the way. The beauty of the project was the semi-custom planning by Maxi Dolphin to ensure that future builds of the MD75 can be a unique solution for a new client based on the foundations of Karma.
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