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When we developed the HopYacht 30 concept, a key part of the design brief was to ensure that the boat was exceptionally easy to handle. Ideally, a single sail with all control lines led to the cockpit to make single-handed sailing very straightforward. 

Geoff Meek, North Sails, Cape Town.

Geoff Meek, from the North Sails loft in Cape Town, South Africa, took on the challenge of creating the sail plan. He had experience working on a comparable rig for a 60’ catamaran and was enthusiastic about making sure that the HopYacht 30 had excellent all-around sailing capabilities with a single sail.

The result is a low profile Genoa, swept much further aft than a traditional boat, with the mast also positioned further aft. 

This ‘dhow’ shaped sail is an impressive 29.5 sqm (317.5 sq ft) and creates the drive of both a genoa and a mainsail. On a broad reach the Hopyacht 30 will sail comfortably at 6.5 knots in 20 knots of wind. 

Geoff comments, 'We’re fortunate in Cape Town to have a constant supply of strong winds, so we have been able to test the HopYacht in challenging conditions. To live up to the promise of easy to sail, the HopYacht 30 is also very easy to reef. We added three reefing points, clearly marked with bands stitched on to the foot of the genoa.'

The recommended "do not exceed wind strengths" for each reefing point ensure that the boat remains exceptionally stable and easy to manage. Despite each reef creating a significant reduction in sail area, as the wind strengthens, there is surprisingly very little loss of speed by reefing early.

The reefing process is simple, especially when sailing alone, as the furling line is conveniently placed at the outboard edge of the helm station. From there, you have a clear view of the genoa, making it easy to determine how much sail to furl.

Geoff recalls watching Dhows on the east coast of Africa as they return from a day of fishing and how they sail swiftly up to a mooring buoy, simply drop the sail, and secure the boat in a matter of seconds!

With a single sail on the HopYacht you can do the same! It takes less than 15 seconds to furl the Genoa away.

Apart from tidying up a few lines and securing the cockpit enclosure, you’re ready to head home, stopping momentarily to wave to your neighbours in their traditional boats, still stowing the mainsail! 

When visitors step into the saloon of the Hopyacht 30, they often look confused and ask where's the galley gone? In reality, they have just walked past it without noticing! This is yet another design feature where we have broken with tradition to create living space that is not just multi-functional, but also a lot more socialable!

Preparing food with family and close friends is a fun activity, so why banish the chef to the inside of the boat, whilst everyone else is having fun on the outside? And why cram the galley into a claustrophobic space that locks in the cooking smell?

The HopYacht 30 galley is located in the cockpit area. Designed as a L-shaped unit mounted against the main bulkhead, many people simply don’t notice it at first. Cooking 'alfresco' is great way for everyone to enjoy being together and food is prepared right where it will be served.

And if the weather isn’t playing along, the drop down awnings completely enclose the cockpit area, to create flexible living space come rain or shine! The awnings have two layers. Firstly, a breathable see-through mesh layer to make life more comfortable in windy conditions and secondly, a clear Isinglass weatherproof layer. Life and cooking can continue normally.

The custom-made galley sink has a flush mount cover to provide extra work surface when not in use. The 2-plate induction hob gets things sizzling in seconds and we’ve even managed to fit a whopping 130L drawer fridge with a seperate freezer compartment, all within easy reach. Plus there’s lots of built-in storage space for food and cleaning materials.

Next question ... where's the garbage bin? How about a 40L tip-out bin that uses standard off-the shelf rubbish bags, also in the cockpit, right where you want it!

If you search for the word 'BUSY' in a Thesaurus, you'll come across synonyms such as 'ENGAGED', 'IMMERSED', 'BUSTLING', and 'HUMMING'. Yet, the most fitting word to depict the current high level of activity at the HopYacht factory is 'HOPPING'. Yes, we've been hopping!

And hence the radio silence! We've had very limited time to put digital pen to paper, to continue to tell you more of the HopYacht story on this blog.

At our new factory in Cape Town, we are currently producing HopYachts HY005, HY006, HY007, and HY008. These four HopYachts are destined for four different countries, and we are excited about several new features being built-in, to enhance the original design.

We've always been proud of having full standing headroom (1.98m | 6.5 feet) throughout the interior ... with the exception of the shower! One of our tallest owners said he found it a little uncomfortable to have to tilt his head slightly to fit under the shower head and asked if there was any way we could create more headroom?

The height of the original shower tray meant we lost valuable space. So our design team has come up with a new drainage system that lowers the base of the shower almost to floor level. And we have achieved this without affecting the folding glass door which seals off the shower. Problem solved, and you won't find yourself having to stand on a wet floor when you are brushing your teeth!

We had already upgraded the helm seat to be a two-seater from HY002 onwards; however, we've added a new development. You can now unlock and drop the seat base down, so you have more space when you want to helm in a standing position. It's a small change, but it makes a huge difference to both comfort and functionality.

It was one of our owners who casually commented that "the HopYacht 30 is a small yacht that masquerades as a big yacht"! Her point was that even though it's a small yacht, it's really nice that we have so many high-quality finishes. This has become a really important guiding principle for us.

When you open a cupboard door on a superyacht, you automatically expect to find the same quality of finish on the inside. For our cupboards and lockers, we have incorporated fibreglass inserts to ensure that the inside now has a matching white gelcoat finish to the exterior. This not only enhances the overall appearance, but also makes them easier to wipe down and maintain cleanliness.

We've also added black glossy plexiglass panels to replace the previous paint and vinyl finish, just aft of the side windows. In the photograph above, you can see how this creates the effect of a seamless transition onto the smoked glass windows. Plus, it really shows off our new HopYacht logo! Did you notice the subtle change?

Over the next few weeks, we promise to keep you updated with more of the developments happening. In the meantime, if you would like to download the latest HopYacht 30 brochure, you'll find a PDF at this link.

Right now we need to get back to ‘Hopping'

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