EXPLORING THE BERCKEMEYER BM49 PILOT HOUSE

Berckemeyer Yachts’ BM49 Pilot House, GORRE, was launched and took its inaugural sail this past July, swiftly becoming a sensation and capturing attention with its exceptional sailplan crafted by UK Sailmakers Germany. Aligning with the Berckemeyer Yacht Design ethos of blending tradition with modernity, the BM49 PH emerges as a striking and high-performance cruising yacht design, offering an enticing prospect for owner-builders.

Berckemeyer LA28 with a full suit of UK Sailmakers sails. Photo credit: Berckemeyer Yacht Design.
Berckemeyer LA28 with a full suit of UK Sailmakers sails. Photo credit: Berckemeyer Yacht Design.

UK Sailmakers Germany has a long history of crafting sails for a variety of Berckemeyer Yacht Design models. Several other Berckemeyer designs including the BM53, BM42, LA28 and the BM31 Classic have been featured in a variety of publications sporting UK Sailmakers sails.

The BM49 PH’s distinctive aesthetics earned it a spot in the centerfold of the Challenge Sailcloth materials catalog, highlighting the UK Sailmakers X-Drive Carbon upwind sails crafted with a custom Challenge Sailcloth base material containing recycled components.

Berckemeyer BM49 with a UK Sailmakers Code Zero and an X-Drive Carbon mainsail. Photo credit: Irk Boockhoff.
Berckemeyer BM49 with a UK Sailmakers Code Zero and an X-Drive Carbon mainsail. Photo credit: Irk Boockhoff.

UK Sailmakers’ X-Drive sails stand out as the preferred choice for sailors seeking the performance of continuous yarn sails while ensuring durability and affordability. These sails, known for excelling in club racing and performance cruising, utilize a construction process involving laying down continuous Carbon yarns following a computer-designed map of the sail’s primary load paths. Carbon fiber is the strongest and least stretchy fiber used in sailmaking. You can read more about UK sailmakers X-Drive Carbon taffeta sails here.

Contributing to the sail design of the BM49 PH, Pat Considine of UK Sailmakers Chicago employed Fluid–Structure Interaction (FSI) analysis to optimize the sailplan’s performance.

Berckemeyer BM49 (Photo credit: Irk Boockhoff) side-by-side with a Fluid–Structure Interaction (FSI) pressure-map of the designed X-Drive Carbon sails sailing in upwind in 12kts true wind speed.
Berckemeyer BM49 (Photo credit: Irk Boockhoff) side-by-side with a Fluid–Structure Interaction (FSI) pressure-map of the designed X-Drive Carbon sails sailing in upwind in 12kts true wind speed.

Constructed from aluminum, the BM49 Pilot House is an express cruiser designed for durability, speed, and exceptional beating performance. With options for a lifting or fixed keel, the hull incorporates ample beam for stability and interior space, complemented by a wide, powerful transom facilitating speed and easy steering off-the-wind. The sailplan features a roached, square-top mainsail paired with smaller upwind foresails, optimizing efficiency and minimizing weather helm.

A standout feature of the design is the option for a variable keel, allowing the BM49 to adjust its draft from 3.30 meters to a shallow 1.30 meters. This versatility enables the yacht to navigate shallow areas for safe anchorage, a feat unattainable by fixed-keel counterparts. Simplicity defines the cockpit, featuring a tiller steering system that establishes a direct connection to the sailing experience. The tiller also allows the skipper to sit forward in the cockpit, finding shelter from the pilot house during challenging weather conditions.

DIMENSIONS

  • L (Hull): 15.00 m
  • LWL: 14.30 m
  • Beam: 4.30 m
  • Draft: 1.30/3.20 m
  • Displacement: 14 t

SAILS

  • Main: 80 m2
  • Jib: 60 m2
  • Storm Jib: 28 m2
  • Gennaker: 180 m2
  • Code Zero: 110 m2
BM49 PH Scematicjpg

Yacht schematic (above) from Berckemeyer Yacht Design. To delve deeper into the BM49 Pilot House’s features, you can read more here.

Heather Mahady
Heather Mahady

Heather Mahady is the General Manager of UK Sailmakers International. She is based on Vancouver Island in the Pacific Northwest, and is a passionate sailboat racer, sailmaker, and sustainability advocate.

Articles: 28

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