We have been blessed with a fantastic summer of sailing so far on the Solent and one of the stars of the show has undoubtedly been Sir Keith Mills’ brand new Ker 40+, Invictus.
Invictus is fresh out the shed this season from McConaghys, China and the ‘+’ in the name denotes the fact that this 40ft racing machine is a far cry from its Ker designed predecessors. The new Ker 40+ has a different hull shape, lighter weight carbon fibre hull, a more stripped-out interior and a larger sail area. Invictus has been on the podium at all of the major regattas this season so far winning on its maiden outing taking class honours in the Round the Island Race.
Keen to help deliver a fully optimised and race ready package for what is becoming a fast growing class of 40 foot boats Diverse Yacht Services have had the pleasure of being involved in the project from the start. Diverse visited the boat whilst in build in China and provided the specification for the electronics, winch package and dropline system plus other hardware upgrades which make the boat fast and easy to get around the race course.
The electronics package selected was the new H5000 Performance system from B&G which offers usability combined with all high end racing options such as enhanced sensor functions and calibration. Diverse designed an H5000 based system that strikes the right balance between technology, accessibility and affordability for this type of boat. The system includes a custom Diverse Loadcell, together with sensor inputs for rake and rudder angle which allow the setup of the boat to be constantly monitored and logged on the race course. High speed GPS and gyro stabilised compass inputs provide start line accuracy. Coupled with the clear and fast updating H5000 displays the electronics system delivers a high quality but easy to use instrument package.
Invictus has a complete Diverse optimised Lewmar winch package on board. The specification and commissioning of which were done by Diverse Yacht Services director, Lou Varney. Lou, working closely with Lewmar has used his extensive experience in this area to create a package which is optimised specifically for this size of boat. The package boasts optimised gear ratios designed to get the most of pedestal for spinnaker hoists, gybe and drops. The Diverse/Tropical Engineering dropline wheel together with the Lewmar pedestal has allowed the crew to consistently pull off what the Invictus crew believe to be the best drops in the fleet.
Invictus also features the Diverse/Tropical Engineering innovative Reeler sheet take up system which quickly gets rid of the many metres of spinnaker sheet tail that end up in the cockpit after a gybe. With the boat regularly reaching speeds of over 20 knots and plenty of water over the deck the Reelers ensure that the boat is ready to gybe and the sheets are always snag free within seconds of settling on the new board.
Also on board is Diverse’s new magic wheel system for the backstay deflectors. The system eliminates the need for any hydraulics to be used on the deflectors, offering both weight and cost savings. The advantage of the new system also gets rid of the need for frantic pumping on a hydraulic handle approaching the leeward mark as the deflectors can be both tensioned or eased in seconds simply by pulling a rope. The clever design means the system takes up minimal space and can be mounted close to the base of the rig.
Using their considerable experience and expertise Diverse are proud to have delivered the team a race winning package which has enabled the Invictus team to get the very most out of the boat on the race course.