The crew of the Sunbeam dealer Mittelmann in Kappeln has been extremely busy these days. Because the current order for the delivery of five new yachts of the Sunbeam 36.2 type involves a number of logistical tasks that do not normally arise in private customer business. But the customer is dependent on special approvals, because the ships are to become part of the German Navy fleet. This is because it is in the process of expanding the sailing fleet of the Mürwik Naval School. The previous training yachts of the type Hanseat 70B and Nadine 24 are still in use, the number of berths increases with the five Sunbeams by around 25.
"It is purely a supplementary procurement, because we have received a significant increase in the number of officer candidates," said Captain Nils Brandt, who, as the commander of the "Gorch Fock" and a die-hard sailor, was part of the navy team that was responsible for the selection. Brandt told YACHT online that it began with an intensive market survey. "For this purpose, we have drawn up a specification of services in cooperation with the procurement authority with the requirements for a training ship for the Navy." Formal criteria were important here, such as the CE seaworthiness classification in the Alpha category, safety standards for the equipment, flame resistance of the expansion, but also very practical things: "For example, we didn't want any taxiing systems."
After the invitation to tender, four shipyards took part in the competition, two were then left, Sunbeam then submitted the best offer. "We have of course set certain hurdles with our quality requirements. And we have requested construction supervision by Germanischer Lloyd," says Brandt. But that is justified by the tasks ahead. The Hanseatic people have been in training for 40 years.
Sailing as a school subject
Sailing has a long tradition in officer training in almost all navies. Those responsible appreciate that the understanding of their nautical craft and the necessity of team building on board a sailing ship can also be made plausible to newcomers.
When the German Navy was founded in 1955, the desire for training yachts quickly arose. As early as 1958 and 1959, the twelve "Sphinx" and "Inga" built before the war were acquired and used as "Ostwind" and "Westwind". In 1959, the "Gorch Fock II" was also put into service for basic seamanship training for officer cadets, which is also part of the school fleet. Today in the harbor of the Naval School there are rowing and sailing cutters, pirate dinghies, the aforementioned Nadine 24 and Hanseat 70B, and three yachts over 15 meters in size. Since the sailing training ship has been in the shipyard for basic repairs since the end of 2015, these smaller units of the school fleet are of great importance in officer training.
"In the first six months at the Naval School, basic nautical and nautical training takes place. Exercise on board is a very important part of the transition from theory to practice: map work in the lecture hall, implementation on the water," says Captain Brandt. "We also use sailing to train supervisors. A sailboat is an excellent choice because it can only be moved in a team."
From the Alpine republic to the Flensburg Fjord
Sunbeam's co-boss Gerhard Schöchl is particularly pleased about the "supplementary procurement of service sailboats for nautical and seafaring training at the Mürwik Navy School", who was able to assert himself against several other manufacturers: "Sunbeam Yachts was chosen because the shipyard and yachts meet the high requirements We are proud to have been selected by such an experienced customer. " After all, the useful life was set at 30 years and, in addition to the many high requirements of the Navy, an accompanied and certified quality assurance system was binding, according to the managing director.
Modified winner type
The eleven meter long Sunbeam 36.2 is a Georg-Nissen construction from 2010, which goes back to the Sunbeam 34 from 2007. The Sunbeam 34 won the title of Europe's Yacht of the Year in 2008. The moderately wide boat is equipped with a single wheel, has chines and drives a conventional rig with briefly overlapping genoa. Some modifications are made for the Navy. The boat will not have a furling genoa, but rather individual headsails, there is no teak deck, nor an anchor windlass, cockpit table or a lazy bag. In addition to the complete equipment according to the specifications of the See-Berufsgenossenschaft, the order also includes the port trailers.
The boats stationed in the Naval School Mürwik in the Flensburg Fjord are to be delivered by the sales partner Mittelmann's Werft by autumn 2020 and then become an integral part of the sailing scene in the northern German ports.
The shipyard's youngest yacht, Europe's yacht of the year 2019:
Photo gallery: Sunbeam 46.1