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2001 43 (ft.) WALKER WINGSAIL Zepher

Inactive - This listing is not for sale at this time

General Information

Listing# 38927

Kent, United Kingdom
Boat Type
Model Year
John Walker
43 (ft.)
Hull Material
Fuel Type
Engine Model
Number of Engines
Engine Hours

General Details

After a luxurious refit and successful sea trials. Her owner said
"I've believed in the Wingsail concept for many years. I purchased the last Wingsail when the company that built the only 4 existing wingsails went into liquidation. Over a period of 8 years we have totally rebuilt and modified her and installed completely new systems to ensure she works efficiently and safely. We have experimented with varying degrees of success in trying out differing methods to control the wing and now believe after extensive trials that we have accomplished our aim. Now we have no need for complicated computer technology. By operating a simple manual system, it’s not only fail safe but it removes any reliance on technology breaking down during critical periods i.e. a severe storm encountered mid ocean. The reason for sale after years of enjoyment is simply to upsize and build another similar craft using all the knowledge gleaned from perfecting the current Boat".


Beam: 29 Max Draft: 5.2 Max Bridge Clearance: 55.7
Total Power: 55
Fuel: 121 Fresh Water: 184
Larinka is the last of four Zephyr 43 Walker Wingsail trimarans designed by John Walker and built in the Royal Naval Dockyard in Davenport Plymouth. She is a Category A Ocean going vessel and as such for compliance and CE Proofing this ensures Larinka is able to operate in winds of up to force 10 (Beaufort scale) and to survive more severe conditions. Such conditions may be encountered on extended voyages or on trans ocean trips. Should wind speeds exceed 30mph the wing is simply feathered in so much as a weathervane on a tall building with the result that the wing produces no resistance but is able to maintain thrust. In turn this ensures that the wind and waves do not affect the stability of the craft. Wing The wing area is 44 meters squared, with the main section providing thrust and the tail providing angle of attack. The main wing and tail can be both manually and electronically controlled by the helmsman from the helm which is not exposed to the elements. For first time use approximately 30 minutes training is required for a novice and no complicated tuition is required enabling complete controll of Larinka. The yacht is simply steered like a car turning the wheel steering to port or starboard and the yacht will respond accordingly, no booms sails or rigging to worry about. All that is required is a slight shifting of the tail and flap to take account of the new direction. This is done by merely engaging a few knobs as you would for flicking a few switches on your car dashboard whilst driving. Engine An engine is fitted below the cockpit to provide mechanical thrust. The 55HP Yanmar 4JH2E engine is a diesel 4 cylinder inline type that has a closed cooling system and uses a heat exchanger and seawater to assist cooling of the engine and exhaust system. It drives hydraulic pumps leading on to two Silette Sonic catamaran drive legs and has a type C Yanmar control panel at the helm which incorporates oil pressure, engine temp, RPM, ignition and hour meter. In addition the engine pumps hot water through the domestic imersion system replenishing heat in the system. Generator The 6kw HFL generator operates using diesel fuel from the day fuel tank and is started from the dedicated 12v battery and isolator switch, both located with the generator in the aft port float. A remote control panel is located under the main switch panel in the galley and incorporates a 12v battery meter and failure alarm. The generator requires seawater to cool the exhaust and engine coolant, the coolant circulates the engine block being cooled via a heat exchanger. Isolator switches for the AC output and DC battery are also in the float. Heating system. The 5kw Webasto diesel heater is located behind the forward en-suite cupboard and uses diesel from the day tank fed by a metering pump in that location. There are four thermostats to operate the four heater matrix fans onboard. A control panel is located above the chart table with timer function and power is enabled by a switch in the switch panel. Heated coolant is circulated to the matrix by an integral pump and in addition a second pump located under the aft saloon seat. Each of the four float chambers include 150w wall heaters that can be operated simultaneously via a switch on the AC control panel. Fuel system The fuel system consists of 225 litre tanks in each forward float and a 100 litre day tank under the aft galley hatch, a transfer panel is in the starboard cockpit hatch. In addition under the cockpit stairs is a manual transfer pump to replenish the system. Both systems permit diesel fuel to enter and exit the engine, generator and to distribute between any tank. The Webasto heater has a pickup tapped directly into the day tank and therefore has no interaction. Freshwater System The freshwater system capacity is 840 litres, with one switch on the control panel to feed water to the taps, heads, showers and the windscreen wipers. Water first passes through two carbon Aqua filters that require yearly renewal and have the date written on them. A gauge and gauge switch is also located in the switch panel. Hot water system An immersion tank is located under the master cabin hatch and requires mains AC power via electric hook up or generator and is enabled via the switch on the AC control panel. Hot water is fed to all sinks and showers. It takes only 15min on generator to heat the entire tank and this provides enough hot water for showers and washing for 24 hours. In adition running the Yanmar engine will also heat the system. Waste System The tank capacity is 750 litres and consists of two heads, two showers three sinks and a waste tank macerator pump. Turning on the heads switch on the control panel will enable all pumps except the waste macerator pump, that can be operated manually as required according to the level of the audio/visual waste gauge. There is also a waste seacock, heads control valve, showers/sinks control valve and a seawater inlet seacock. The latter enables the waste tank to be filled as water ballast. Steering system A hydraulic helm steering wheel (quick release) and Raytheon autopilot provide steering control. There is also a manual tiller stowed in the forward port float which includes an integrated remote and extension,. An isolator valve located under the cockpit steps enables the tiller or helm/motor control. Charging/Inverter System A Victron Charger/Inverter is used to provide intelligent charging to the batteries up to 120 amps and also can produce 2kw of mains AC power. It is located under the aft saloon seat and seven domestic batteries totalling over 600 amp/hours are located under the galley table floor. Navigation console Incorporating two wind transducers and displays for forward and reverse sailing, Garmin G2 Vision 3D chart plotter and 24 mile radar including GPS and rear view camera. A touch screen laptop with independent GPS and Admiralty charts capable of almost infinite tasks including Skype video calls. Depth Souder. Navtex. Weather station, solar and battery displays. Safety 8 person life raft automatically deployed, complete box of flares, grab bag including flares survival aids, hand held vhf, EPIRB etc. Manual fire extinguishers inside and automatic ones near the engines. Life jackets, torches, Dan boy, life boys and strobes etc… Larinka is also fitted with 2 radio/CD players, 2 LCD TV’s a sub woofer, combination microwave/oven, 2 gas burner, washing machine, tumble dryer, 3 person tender with mercury outboard,
Designer John Walker was working on Concorde at the time he conceived the idea of wings for sails after tripping over rope one day out sailing. Working out a solution for this remained with him for many years until the start of Walker Wingsail Systems plc which operated from 1982-98. The English Board of Trade providing £207,500 in financial assistance to Walker Wingsails under the support for innovation scheme. Walker built Wingsails to fit on large ships such as the ‘Ashington’. The Captain, Roger Francis (who has also sailed on Larinka) reported the interesting ability of being able to reverse without any engine assistance using purely the Wingsail at the stern of the tanker. The collapse of world oil prices at the time of this venture diminished the economic case for use of Wingsails in commercial shipping and the company then turned to the luxury yacht market. They launched the trimaran design Blue Nova (subsequently called Inventure and now Planesail) in 1990 and a smaller 43ft Zefyr trimaran design of which four were produced between 1997 and 2001. The wing, operated by a throttle, was set on an unstayed mast that allowed 360-degree rotation. There was much scepticism about the wing, escalating in an infamous libel case against the publication 'Yachting World'. Walker took Yachting World to the high court and we believe the matter was settled amicably. The Planesail/Blue Nova yacht has made two voyages across the Atlantic, including a brush with a Class three hurricane off the Caribbean. During the 1980s and 90s, investment into the company provided by circa 6,500 individual shareholders, contributed £12.5M towards the research and development of wingsails of which four craft where built. One could construe that each of these four Wingsails cost in excess of £3M sterling each! Wingsail boats attract attention wherever they are seen. Inventure was extensively modified to enable sailing by a paraplegic, Trevor Jones to circumnavigate England, with a heavily publicised story. The first three Zefyrs left the UK very soon after being sold. The fourth, Larinka stayed on the south coast. All four Wingsails are still today in operation today. In 2001 Mr James Wright purchased the latest Zefyr 43 Trimaran and gave it for final kit out to Plymouth composite construction to aesthetically finish the yacht. The following was published in Catalyst Journal, January 2005: This is now historical and is printed for your interest because since late 2007 the yacht has been completely rebuilt and many of her system have been modernised. Walker Wingsail Systems plc and Plymouth Composite Construction, companies based in the UK, designed this vessel. The former company is no longer in existence but design work continues. Aerodynamic and design academics, based at Cambridge University Engineering Department are conducting aerodynamic analysis on Wingsails. “Larinka” is powered by a unique aerofoil Wingsail under fingertip control by “Micromariner”, the onboard computer system (the boat can also be sailed manually should a system failure occur). There are back up battery systems further linked to solar power panels which constantly provide electrical power to trickle feed the batteries at any given time). Therefore both electric and manual standby alternatives are available. Additional diesel generated power is available mainly for domestic usage. “Larinka” is no Spartan craft and boasts two en suite cabins. The boat is air-conditioned and has an independent Whisper generator fitted which complements her bridge, which mimics the Starship Enterprise! She sleeps six persons comfortably and the galley is awash with burr walnut and teak with even a bread maker and combination cook oven added for home comforts. Separate fridge, washing machine and tumble dryer form part of the itinerary. Toilets are symphonic and there are radio CD players fitted fore and aft together with inbuilt TV/DVD for those periods on a long voyage when there is little to amuse the crew. “Larinka” does not perform any better or worse than conventional craft in light winds but in winds over 15 knots she comes into her own. Not only is she impressively stable in heavy seas but also her speeds are impressive. Other sailing craft would be battening down the hatches at wind speeds over 20 knots but “Larinka” merely revels in such conditions and the wing technology comes into her element. And all crew are snugly inside in the warm and are not exposed at all to the outside elements. There have been three previous boats built to a similar design but “Larinka” encompasses the best of all that learned from the errors of the first three boats and we feel she is the future combining the comforts of a motor boat with the thrill of a sailing boat yet without all the hard work associated with conventional sail boats. The wing is greatly more efficient than a conventional sail for the boom being 8 ft above deck ensures no wind buffeting occurs between boom/sail and sea and the computer scans both wind speed and direction every mille second. In turn the wing swivels to meet that wind for optimum performance as determined by the helmsman via the throttle lever at the helm. Background to “Larinka” Having been raised on the Isle of Mull on the West coast of Scotland until eleven years of age and then packed off to boarding school in England for my secondary education, the sea has always been in my blood. Having spent the first half century of my life building my business I decided that I should now enjoy the fruits a little and purchase once more a boat. I have always liked the creature comforts of large powerboats/yachts but being a true Scotsman felt it a waste of funds in guzzling gas. Whereby in a sailing craft one does not suffer from such pocket emptying necessities! However with time one gets used to creature comforts and I did not like the restraints of getting wet all the time in rough weather and having to deal with sails and ropes etc more than was necessary. These woes are not evident in the Wingsail. For those reasons I declined from buying a substantial vessel. In short a lazy sailor like so many other people who love the sea but do not care so much for the hardships! Purchase of Craft I was therefore intrigued to read about John Walker’s efforts to create and produce trimarans using Wingsail technology in the mid to late 1990s. A good friend, Gordon Chase of Shell went to the factory in Davenport in circa 1997 to view one for me but concluded that there was too much untested on these vessels and the asking price was a little high in relation to the inherent risks perhaps associated with the boats. However the analogy as above of no ropes/inside steering position/creature comforts etc and also the look of the boat continued to intrigue me. I put such matters to one side and gave little further thought. Purchase Attending the London Boat show three years ago I noticed one of the Wingsails up for sale with an asking price in excess of £225,000 via Ancasta the yacht brokerage. Walker Wingsail and laterally Wingtek plc only ever built four of these rather unique craft. I arranged to go down to Plymouth and meet Brian Butler from Ancasta. One of the most professional and affable brokers you are ever likely to meet. The company Wingtek was in receivership, and the boat was being sold via Edward Simmons and partners on behalf of the receivers. After negotiations I duly purchased “Larinka” and then the job commenced to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again. Restoration Dr Alison Cook and Dr Ann Toms of Cambridge University provided a good deal of input and technical assistance when stuck with alignment problems of the wing at an early stage. John Walker left no drawings, absolutely nothing at all to assist and we had to start a treasure hunt to find those involved in the building of the craft together with gleaning information from those previous owners. Boat No 3 incidentally is in constant use by Dutchman Arth Loos who has already been around the word several times in his Angel B – his wing carries a transfer of one giant angel and it looks quite stunning. The base craft was engineered as if a naval ship, and all that is for the good, but the finishing and electrics on mine were a nightmare. I would suggest that to replicate this craft today using similar materials would cost literally millions, for the wing itself when dismantled for refit in winter 2002 filled an entire hanger at the multihull centre. · Zefyr 02, Ocean Tern, owned by Terry Harper is based in San Diego, California. · Zefyr 03, Angel B, owned by Arth and Susan Loos is based in Baie Curasol, Guadeloupe. · Zefyr 04, Larinka, owned by James Wright is based in Dover, England. · The Planesail trimaran is 57 feet long and was built in 1990. Planesail weighs 16 tons and has twin engines
Additional Information
CE Proof of Southampton were very much involved, as were the varying European authorities in order to get her CE and Tuvi marked and then duly registered with the varying authorities. She now has SCV11 coding for charter and is currently based at Ocean Village in Southampton. Capt Dave McCarthy of MEC Sail look after here when not in my care and the boat is available for charter All the initial building and considerable electrical work was carried out at The Multihull Centre at Torpoint in Cornwall. Ian Page of Plymouth Composite Construction who works closely with DazCats supervised all the works and did a good deal of the work himself. I cannot praise Ian Page enough for he looked after this boat as if it were his own and fretted over her as if she were a child. He did far more for her over and above the call of duty. In June 2001 Ian presented the finished article to me and also to my real life wife after whom the Wingsail is named. She looked absolutely magnificent sailing out of Millbrook marina and up through Drake’s Sound and onto Gun Wharf Quays in Portsmouth. She was berthed there throughout 2001/2 and became an almost tourist attraction for the shopping centre which had recently opened. Air conditioning and generator plant were all added and a new computer (Micromariner) resurrected to run the wing. What a performance we had in getting back the people who were involved in its creation, for post fallout of Walker Wingsail everyone had gone their own ways and I did not meet John Walker until the craft was long finished and sailing! Paul Joynson (ex UKSA in Cowes) who was her full time skipper for the first year did a great deal in helping to iron out teething problems and if I tell you there were a few then I would be understating the facts! Result The people at Ocean Village refer to her as the Concorde of the water for she really is a magnificent looking craft and especially so when viewed from ahead whilst out sailing. Characteristics Overall the lighter the wind the worse she is, but then does that not apply to most sailing craft? Once the wind exceeds 12 knots, and in essence the higher the wind, the better the performance. When yachts are taking in sail “Larinka” soars and in high seas, high winds, she is magnificent – solid, steady and will give no cause for concern. She will ride the waves steadily and not roll from side to side. The boom being 8 feet above deck ensures little wind resistance, and if the wind speed reaches near hurricane levels then the wing itself merely feathers. My love is to sit on her bow seat (my “Titanic view”) and watch the waves sweep under her hulls as she cuts through the water. Oddly, when sitting out in a good sea (up to Beaufort 5), this can be a dry spot depending on the angle of the wind. Tacking and gybing are words of the past for one simply turns the wheel and the computer calibrates itself and you hear a whirr whilst it resets the wind speed and position of the wind and the wing and flap then adjust themselves automatically. Conclusion & Way Forward Despite whatever views whether right or wrong one has of its inventor, the proof is in the pudding, and this Wingsail works. Thank you John Walker for your foresight for despite all his troubles for whatever reasons I have enjoyed many hours in this lovely yacht. Everyone is wise with the benefit of hindsight and if I were building another I would use a catamaran and not a trimaran (more space internally). So much space is wasted on Larinka it is almost criminal. I would put in a stern drive as suggested below and ensure soundproofing of the engine was a high priority. Current Boat Larinka is fitted with a 55hp Yanmar inboard engine driving two legs, which in turn operate two drop down props in the outer hulls. These are inefficient and were for the first season fitted with all the allied hydraulics, which not only added weight but also were not 100% efficient… …testimony to coming in to berth when one leg did not engage into the water and the result was a dent in a new Sunseeker awaiting delivery! What she needs and should have been fitted with is a 40hp inboard, which would not only be quieter but would operate stern thrust. A good deal of the power is lost via the hydraulic pumps to the outer hulls and over 6 knots the noise is not acceptable if motoring for hours on end. At 30ft in the beam she suffers from a little windage when berthing, so a bow thruster which was fitted in earlier models would have been an advantage. Like all boats one can continue throwing money and making modifications but like everything under power she is quite manageable, albeit a bit tricky in close quarters. That area is her Achilles heel but she is classified as Category A and therefore designed for long distance cruising. To mitigate such we have installed an outside operating console, which allows you to dock with a hand help control, which operates the boat, rather than have diminished vision on docking from the inside position. Looking Forward: Since then “Larinka” was lifted out at the very prominent Saxon Warf in Southampton for maintenance of the wing and some system updates. The wing bearing had begun grating and a new one was purchased and replaced in a completely new oil bath design to prevent salty air contaminating it again, in addition two recalculating pumps were fitted for future maintenance. Inside the entire systems where simplified by now skipper Joseph Nathan and briefly David Nathan (Owner of the Walker Wingsail - Planesail). Larinka now resides in Dover where the owner enjoys long weekent trips to France. The Zefyr Wingsails are 6 berth trimarans, 43ft in length and weigh 13.5 tons fully laden. • Zefyr 01, Sea Change, owned by Don Tugcu is based in Florida, and has been converted to an Aero-rig. • Zefyr 02, Ocean Tern, owned by Terry Harper is based in San Diego, California. • Zefyr 03, Angel B, owned by Arth and Susan Loos is based in Baie Curasol, Guadeloupe. • Zefyr 04, Larinka, owned by James Wright is based in Dover, England. • The Planesail trimaran is 57 feet long and was built in 1990. Planesail weighs 16 tons and has twin engines
The Company offers the details of this vessel in good faith but cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. A buyer should instruct his agents, or his surveyors, to investigate such details as the buyer desires validated. This vessel is offered subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal without notice.