When Dick met up with legendary shipbuilder Mike Kelsey Sr. and yacht owner Gary Comer, it was to be the start of a conversation that would result in the creating of one of the world’s most remarkable expedition yachts. Comer had been dreaming since the late eighties of becoming the first to sail a yacht through the treacherous Northwest Passage as part of his ultimate global research voyage. Vripack responded to the challenge with a design for a no-nonsense yacht that would place Turmoil in the history books.
Being strong proponents of aluminium construction, and maters at creating long-range cruisers, Turmoil was the perfect embodiment of the studio’s philosophy. While the yachts that emerge from the studio vary in style, the basic principles of their naval architecture remain the same. Turmoil’s high, flared bow, narrow waterlines and wineglass transom made for a dry ship and optimum course stability. Meanwhile, her 162,000-litre fuel capacity and 12-knot cruising speed meant this globetrotter could sail from Amsterdam to Auckland via Hawaii – some 10,000 Nm – without refuelling.
Designed specifically for experienced and adventurous yachtsmen to sail around the world and operate in the most extreme conditions is precisely what Turmoil did. In 2001, she indeed became the first yacht to navigate the Northwest Passage, and in 2010 the first to do it twice. Having circumnavigated the world not just once or twice, but a staggering twenty-tree times, she snows no signs of stopping anytime soon.