The Magnificent Doña Francisca: the world’s largest carbon fiber sailing superyacht

Photo credits: Doña Francisca

Photo credits: Doña Francisca

Doña Francisca, the world’s largest 172 ft. carbon fiber SuperYacht, represents an extraordinary blend of classical design and modern engineering. Construction finished in 2014 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Over a five-year period, the yacht was built by Buquebus, a renowned ferry company. This yacht symbolizes unparalleled craftsmanship and innovation. The project involved global experts to ensure the highest standards, making Doña Francisca an ideal yacht for owners who appreciate both the timeless elegance of an early 20th-century sailing yacht and the cutting-edge technology of modern naval engineering.

Design and construction

Designed by Javier Soto Acebal, with refinements by experts like Miguel Costa and Ruben Gomez, Doña Francisca seamlessly blends classical aesthetics with modern functionality. Her exterior features teak, mahogany, and bronze elements, evoking the golden age of sailing yachts from the 1900s. This classic style is complemented by state-of-the-art technology, making her a standout in any marina worldwide.
The construction of Doña Francisca involved the expertise of Pier Galmon and Ezequiel Cirito, who supervised the carbon fiber infusion process. The carbon fiber, sourced from the United States, was selected for its lightweight resilience and corrosion resistance, crucial for the yacht’s performance and longevity. A substantial budget was allocated for testing in smaller test areas in Valencia and Buenos Aires before executing the largest carbon fiber infusion process ever undertaken. The meticulous planning and execution resulted in a yacht of exceptional quality, sailing performance, and durability.

Versatility and Performance

Doña Francisca’s versatility is evident in her ability to navigate both deep ocean waters and shallow areas, thanks to a draft brought to 3.5 meters. Her maneuverability is enhanced by a large rudder with JP3 rudder bearings, and two Maxpower R600 thrusters, allowing her to access small ports and achieve a crossing speed of over 10 knots under engine power and 17 knots under sail. The yacht’s propulsion system includes a reliable Caterpillar engine with just 1000 running hours, a Hundested gearbox, and Mastervolt batteries, ensuring efficient and smooth operation.
The yacht’s deck is equipped with Harken winches, Bamar and NMS furlers and new Incidence sails (2024) all of which contribute to her exceptional sailing performance. Furthermore, Doña Francisca is outfitted with new Incidence membrane sails, delivered in July 2024, enhancing her sailing capabilities even more.
Designed to be manned by the smallest possible crew, all sailing operations are seamlessly executed using hydraulic power, eliminating the need for significant human strength.

Interior Elegance and Comfort

The interior of Doña Francisca is a testament to sophisticated design and luxurious comfort. Due to the Carbon Infusion technology, the main salon and dining room span the entire beam of the yacht. The interior is featuring an elegant and classical style illuminated by tasteful old classical lamps and natural decklights from special prisms in the main deck. The design pays homage to the yachts of the 18th and 19th centuries, incorporating bronze and wood elements throughout, including faucets in the bathrooms and galley.
The galley is equipped with high-end appliances, including a MIELE stove, three main fridges, and a freezer, ensuring that meals can be prepared with ease and efficiency. Entertainment is provided by multiple TVs and a SONY music system, while a DOMETIC air conditioning system maintains a comfortable atmosphere throughout the vessel.


Doña Francisca offers spacious and luxurious accommodations for up to eight guests and up to six crew members. The full-beam owner’s suite provides a lavish retreat with a private office space, while the twin guest cabins and crew cabins offer ample space and comfort for all on board.

Refits and Maintenance

A comprehensive refit during the 2023-2024 period included aesthetic carpentry, a rigging paint job, and extensive maintenance, ensuring that both the yacht’s form and function remain at the highest standards. This refit highlights the commitment to maintaining Doña Francisca’s pristine condition and enhancing her capabilities for future voyages.

Adventures and Capabilities

Doña Francisca’s successful Atlantic Ocean crossing in 2023 showcased her capabilities for extended ocean journeys. The crossing demonstrated her ability to provide a luxurious and enjoyable experience for both crew and guests, reaffirming her status as a premier vessel for adventurous journeys. Her design allows for both global navigation and access to smaller, shallower ports, making her a versatile option for a variety of sailing experiences.
‘Key features Recap’: Doña Francisca stands as a testament to what can be achieved through the collaboration of global experts and the application of cutting-edge technology. “During the building process organised by Buquebus, for all aspects of the ship, the world’s best specialists, materials, and technical parts were brought together”., with a design that pays homage to the golden age of sailing. With her blend of classical elegance and modern functionality, Doña Francisca is the ideal vessel for those who seek both adventure and luxury on the high seas.

During the Palma International Boat Show in April 2024, the Magnificent Doña Francisca was the most admired Classic Sailing SuperYacht. With the support of the luxury yacht broker ‘Northrop & Johnson Spain’ and the support of ‘Sailing Architect Yacht Marketing’ the Doña Francisca has been available for viewings since the Boat Show in Valencia, Spain.

Doña Francisca represents more than a sailboat; it’s a manifestation of a lifetime marked by passion, hard work, and adventurous spirit. Tailored for individuals with discerning tastes in both classical and modern aesthetics, as well as a deep passion for sailing, high-end quality and adventure, it stands as an extraordinary testament to the owner’s remarkable journey.


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