The Ideology behind mX700

At the heart of the concept of creating the yacht mX700 was the ambitious task of building a versatile daysailer – a yacht that is lightweight, manoeuvrable, easy to control and, importantly, easy to transport.
The mX700 is intended for sailing enthusiasts of different skill level and is excellently suitable for both club-based activities and private ownership. Nevertheless, it was originally created as a sports vehicle for racing and for yachting training – a vessel accessible to the broadest spectrum of people in any age group.
At the heart of any successful project lies an excellent idea, and even when it seems that a happy accident was the key to success, as a rule, it turns out afterwards that none of the accidents were really accidental. The project of the new Russian sailing yacht mX700 has also seen some major changes along the way.

The root idea was to create a sailing club of a new format for St. Petersburg, the so-called Northern Capital of Russia. A club with its own fleet of yachts, fully-fledged coastal infrastructure, comfortable conditions for engaging in the sport of sailing, and own platform for communication between people interested in sailing – a meeting place for friends. The creation of such a club was suggested by yachtsman Dmitriy Zhaivoronok, Master of Sports. The idea itself, of course, was not new – it had circulated in the local sailing community for a long time, but Dmitriy finally managed to gather around him a team of like-minded people who made practical implementation possible. Whereas the general concept of the club was clear, the circumstances surrounding the main element, the fleet, remained open.

Review of the Russian sailing yacht market led to disappointing results. No vessels compatible with the concept of the new club were available on the Russian territory. Specific parameters were required from the yacht – length 7 metres, width approx. 2.3 metres. Such dimensions emanated from its intended purpose. The yacht had to be easy enough to control, so that a single skipper could handle it if necessary, while offering sufficient passenger capacity to ensure more efficient club operation. Besides this, the yacht had to be reasonably wide for ease of transportation. At that time, no such yachts were produced in Russia.

The unresolved issue with finding a suitable yacht threatened to postpone the establishment of the new club for an indefinite period or render it altogether impossible. All of a sudden, the element of surprise came into play – the happy accident! Dmitriy Zhaivoronok received a call from Alexander Filippov, Director General and owner of the Speed Boats Mobile Group, a company manufacturing boats and RIBs in St. Petersburg. Mr. Filippov produced all the hulls for the centreboard boat "Em-Ka", the most widespread sailing boat in the history of modern Russia. In all, about 100 such vessels have been built. Alexander turned to Dmitriy for advice on his intention to improve the Em-Ka, but Dmitriy said that there was a better idea and offered to meet. Their conversation marked a turning point in the fate of the mX700.
Alexander Filippov has extensive experience in the construction of vessels of varying complexity; he has been in the business since 1985. "It all started with my serious passion for sailing, which transformed into the desire not only to take boats out for a sail, but also to start creating them – says Alexander. – Because of this, I decided to study at the Shipbuilding Institute. For some time after graduation, my colleagues and I only did design work for yachts that were built on order according to our designs by various third-party enterprises. Having started with micro-class yachts, we moved on to designing larger yachts, from 7.5 to 32 metres long. It soon became clear that designs will not put food on our table, and we organised our own production. We rented some workshops and started producing micro-class yachts by ourselves. This happened during Soviet times, we made yachts for the entire USSR, which means that there were plenty of orders, but when the Union collapsed, the yacht manufacturing industry went into depression. We switched to RIB (rigid inflatable boat) production – these vessels are the closest to yachts by their intended purpose, and our production still exists only because we managed to find a niche not far from yachts."
Because of the accumulated design experience and his own high-tech production, Alexander Filippov turned out to be the very person who successfully realised Dmitriy Zhaivoronok's bold if not adventurous dream to create a new boat – a versatile, lightweight, manoeuvrable, easy-to-handle daysailer with a modern aesthetic exterior.

The work on the hull began in November 2018, literally from a clean sheet. Alexander Filippov was inspired by the unlimited potential for creativity: he designed the yacht the way he saw it. Dmitriy Zhaivoronok acted as a professional expert based on his ample experience with sailing races in various classes, complete with yacht building. Together, they spent hours discussing every detail, every element of the future yacht, sometimes even arguing: Dmitriy was a supporter of more fluent forms, while Alexander insisted on bold decisions. Today, it is clear that owing to its slightly rough, modern shape, the yacht looks attractive on the water against the background of other vessels.
The team was faced with the task of launching 8 hulls of the new fleet during the summer of 2019. Despite such a tight deadline, the project went through all the stages of development: several versions of the draft design were worked out, a theoretical model of the hull created, detailed modelling (wettability, heel/trim) carried out, weight loads calculated in detail, stability calculated, and the surfaces finally smoothed.

To ensure high accuracy, the master model of the yacht's hull, rudder and keel fins, and all other components having volumetric curved shapes were made using a large-sized CNC milling machine. Small component moulds were 3D printed.
To ensure high accuracy, the master model of the yacht's hull, rudder and keel fins, and all other components having volumetric curved shapes were made using a large-sized CNC milling machine. Small component moulds were 3D printed.

To create the preconditions for high-volume serial production, a lot of effort was put into the manufacture of rigging and elaboration and detailing of technological processes, from the supply of materials to final assembly. 25 sets of dies for all plastic parts and more than three dozen different machining attachments were manufactured.

Special attention was paid to the building technology. The hull of the mX700 consists of fiberglass sandwich structure based on epoxy vinyl ester resin, multiaxial fabric, and foam plastic as the filler. The project was originally developed with application of the vacuum infusion process technology in mind. This method, combined with the use of carbonaceous materials in critical areas, has enabled significant improvement of the quality and technical characteristics of the hull. Mobile Group has mastered this technology and is actively using it in the construction of hulls for some models of their boats. The method is widely used by foreign manufacturers, but in Russia, sailing yachts have not been built using this technology. In this sense, the mX700 project is revolutionary for the Russian yacht building.
The first hull was presented to the public at the opening of the new St. Petersburg club ZIGZAG on April 19, 2019. The club received the first serial mX700 yachts in May 2019, and by the end of August, their fleet already consisted of eight vessels.

The first season of operation in the ZIGZAG club demonstrated a high level of reliability of the hull and spars, as well as full compliance of the yacht with the declared characteristics of use. The yacht is simple and stable in handling, not demanding on the level of training of the crew, easy to sail in light winds and confidently behaving in fresh winds – and, above all, safe.

The central event of the summer for the project was the mX700 Cup competition – the first ever all-Russian competition for the class. Top professional racers from different regions of the country arrived to test the new yacht under actual racing conditions. Sailing functionaries and patrons also participated in the competition. The event took place with the support of the Russian Yachting Federation. For us, the event was exciting indeed. How will the yacht respond to the merciless pushing of the limits by the racers? But the hardware stood up to the challenge!

The designer talent and experience of the manufacturer Alexander Filippov, fuelled by the fresh ideas of Dmitriy Zhaivoronok, made it possible to build not just a regular yacht for a single club, but to grasp the trend and create a new class of keel yachts, which could not go unnoticed by the sailing community.

On 2 December 2019, at the "Yachtsman of Russia 2019" award ceremony, the manufacturer of the mX700, the company Speed Boards Mobile Group, won the "Russian Manufacturer of the Year" award. Alexander Filippov, the head designer of the project and the Director of the company, deservedly accepted the award.

The mX700 is an excellent example of a dream come true. In only a year, an immaterial idea was developed into an excellent yacht, which became part of the fleets of sailing clubs in different regions of Russia: St. Petersburg, Sevastopol, Krasnodar, Abrau-Durso, Moscow, Novosibirsk. A club in Samara will be next. By the end of 2020, there will be more than 50 yachts in operation.