Dark Star was designed and built for Jonathan and Libby McKee of Seattle. The design brief was for a high performance racer/cruiser capable of blistering speed on the race course (Jonathan is an Olympic gold medalist in the FD class and a silver medalist in the 49er class). Dark Star is also a comfortable family cruiser with hot and cold pressure water, refrigeration, a large galley, and two private cabins. She is capable of being sailed to a large percentage of her potential with a crew of two or three persons.

Construction Details

Built by Franklin Yachts in Christchurch NZ.

All laminates are vacuum bagged epoxy wet laminate. Cores are cross-linked PVC.

Hull and deck have e-glass/carbon outside skins for additional impact resistance and carbon inside skins for minimum weight. Kevlar is introduced into the hull forward to increase damage tolerance.

All interior panels are built from lightweight composite panels cut out to accurate computer patterns for minimum weight and minimum waste.

The spar is a rescued Farr 40 mast second with modified spreaders. Standing rigging is Future Fibres PBO. The keel structure is a highly innovative continuous strut design fabricated from high strength steel (hollow) and incorporating a trim tab.


LOA13.41 m (44.0’)
LWL12.35 m (40.5’)
Beam3.87 m (12.7’)
Draft2.90 m (9.5’)
Displ, racing trim4682 kg (10,300#)
Fixed Ballast1955 kg (4300#)
Water Ballast (per side)1000 kg (2200#)
Displ/length ratio69
Mast Height above DWL19.8 m (64.8’)
Jib Area42 sqm (450 sq ft)
Main Area61 sqm (655 sq ft)
Spin area (approx)181 sqm (1950 sq ft)