Major contribution to Kinsale design for new 54m sloop with supranational connections

Today’s largest sailing superyachts are so much a world unto themselves that they lead a sort of independent, supranational existence. The name of Argentinian-born designer Juan Kouyoumdjian (one ancestor was Armenian) is perhaps best known in Ireland for his direct creative connection to George David’s Rambler 88. But in terms of big boat development, the Rambler 88 is now historic and small with him, while the late Juan K worked in conjunction with Kinsale-based Rob Doyle on decidedly large-scale projects.

In fact, they’re on such a scale at 54 meters LOA that it’s hard to grasp their size, especially when you consider they’ll be walking on a single, cloud-piercing mast that will be well north of 130 meters from height. This will inevitably limit their sailing areas, as there are many large bridges spanning the ship channel that they cannot pass under. But at the moment there seems to be something of an arms race in the upper tier of sailing superyachts to have the boat that can list the most non-negotiable decks. So as far as the Argo 54 is concerned, it’s fine.

His design decisions affect budgets in the millions – Rob Doyle at work in his Kinsale office

The beautifully crafted aluminum hull was launched in the heart of the Dutch suburbs last week and, with consummate skill, navigated a canal seemingly no wider than Dublin’s River Dodder, until more open water is reached and the voyage to the completion yard in Greece could begin.

The new Argo 54 hull afloat for the first time.  The locations of some of the main Dutch boat building facilities can be surprisingly suburban - can you imagine coming across something like this in the middle of Sandymount?The new Argo 54 hull afloat for the first time. The locations of some of the main Dutch boat building facilities can be surprisingly suburban – can you imagine coming across something like this in the middle of Sandymount?

As we said, it’s not so much international as supranational, and at next week’s METS in Amsterdam, players from this extremely rarefied world will come together to negotiate superyacht deals for sums significantly in excess of GNP of some of the Polynesian small island nations. And amidst it all, there will be Kinsale brains and talent hard at work, moving exit dreams along the first steps into reality.

  “Meanwhile, just off Sandymount Green…..” No matter how you look at it, the Argo 54 is a serious biggie

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