Sunday, December 8th, 2019

O – So Classy!

Published on October 14, 2014 by   ·   No Comments

‘Class 4’, the first custom-built catamaran from Latvia-based O Yachts shipyard, has just completed its 3,500 mile sea-to-sea test run from their shipyard in Riga on the Baltic to Cannes on the Mediterranean.

O Yachts may be the new boys in town, but they have handpicked their experienced international team.

The naval architect on Class 4 is Frenchman Eric Lerouge. Eric is the big boss at the unsurprisingly named Eric Lerouge Yacht Designs.


Since he started in business in 1976, he has designed and built over 500 different sailing yachts, specialising in the design of multihulls.

O Yachts’ designer is Clifford Denn of, wait for it, Clifford Denn Design (they must funnel all their imaginative juices directly into the boats). Clifford Denn singlehandedly turns this international team into a VERY international team.


He was born in Persia to an English father and Swedish mother, brought up in Holland and Africa, schooled in the UK, and is currently based in France near Antibes.

Their technical advisor is Swiss sailor and adventurer, Laurent Bourgnon, who learnt to sail at four and was already sailing the world by the age of 13.

On top of his rather impressive sailing portfolio he has completed three Dakar Rallies.


O Yachts’ website and press releases are quiet on the history of CEO Joel Levy, so all I can tell you about him is that he bears a more-than-passing resemblance to Jean-Luc Picard off of Star Trek.

The ‘O’ in O Yachts stands for ‘Owner’, stressing right from the get go that these yachts are about ‘owner at helm’ sailing and not charter. In fact O Yachts is very keen to emphasize that its Class 4 is a very different yacht to one which has been built with charter in mind.

“Owner-operated yachts have different design criteria. Owners know that they will have to achieve very long distances by themselves.


On such voyages, seaworthiness is key; and a fast, well-balanced cruiser is a necessity. In order to execute such capability in a vessel, the only option is to target the best weight control. With 6,200kg of displacement on the Class 4, we offer one of the lightest catamarans on the market, while still over the 2,500kg payload.

To achieve this number, we use the best construction methods and material – with care and attention to each component. In doing so, we have produced the ultimate vessel for those wishing to cover over 250 miles a day in safety and comfort.”

The ‘O’ in O Yachts could equally stand for ‘Options’ as their semi-custom build process allows for an amazing amount of input from the owner; custom cockpit, steering, rigging, interior layouts and equipment. General Manager, Dan Levy, says, “[O Yachts] build custom yachts according to what the client desires.


Each has his own skill, experience and definition of sailing. Everything can be customised except the mould”.

The Class 4 at 14 metres (46 foot) is the smallest of the O Yachts stable. However she has been built to allow a huge 36m² interior living area with a king-size bed in both of the aft cabins and doubles in both of the forward cabins.

On deck there is a large, comfortable aft 4.5 metre x 1.1 metre platform perfect for sunbathing.

Other O Yachts boats include the slightly larger Class 5 which at 16.5 metres (54 foot) is another ‘owner at helm’ yacht designed to be handled by a couple.

And, if you’re insistent on chartering out your catamaran, they also offer the Class 6, which at 21 metres (69 foot) has a standard layout with five guest cabins and one crew cabin.






Readers Comments (0)


FAR COLUMN: Add Widgets