Posts Tagged ‘beneteau’
With the Solitaire Du Figaro (née Course L’Aurore) getting close to it’s half-centennial birthday, the brilliant illustrators at Chevalier Taglang have put together a beautiful pictorial history of the of the world’s most prestigious solo coastal race. The post itself (with thanks to Donan Raven for the translation) includes line drawings and more on every winning Figaro design since the beginning way back in 1970, while above you’ll find drawings of the three one-designs that have made up the competition since 1989.
Most top sailors we’ve spoken to have expressed reservations about the effectiveness of the brand new VPLP Figaro design that we’ve coined the “Figaro FF” (for Fishhook Foil), but you can’t say it doesn’t look like a goddamned weapon. Here’s an excerpt, and we encourage you to head over to Raven for the smart, comprehensive look at the history-making race.
Class rules often prevent more than they allow innovation. They are continuously created and adjusted to avoid rulebeaters that would obsolete the existing yachts in a racing fleet. Those yacht designers that would have established themselves in a given fleet but had least success in establishing their latest ideas are sometimes the first to limit the rise of new trends in the class where they have achieved popularity. History gives us plenty of ideas which seem new, whilst they are in fact more often the result of a greater freedom allowed by the class rules that have the fewest limitations.
The race was first named Course de l’Aurore, after the French newspaper for which the founders of the race, Jean-Michel Barrault and Jean-Louis Guillemard, worked. The guidelines of the competition were very simple and achieved immediate success in her first edition in 1970. It was an offshore race, raced in single-handed 9 metre yachts on elapsed time only. On August 6th of that year, twelve series production yachts took the start in Brest (France), and eight completed all three legs, with Joan de Kat winning the overall event on a Super Challenger, ahead of runner-up Michel Malinovsky.
From 1977 onwards, the race used either Half Ton cup yachts, series production yachts, or custom International Offshore Rule (IOR 21.7 raters) with an overall length of about 9 metres. Gilles Gahinet won the event on Rally, designed by New Zealander Ron Holland. In 1980, French newspaper Le Figaro became the title sponsor of the event, when Jean-Michel Barrault was a news correspondent for the company. That year, Gilles Gahinet won the race on Port de Pornic, his own design. Young French yacht designers won all the races from from 1978 to 1990: one victory each for Jean Berret, Jean-Marie Finot, Gilles Gahinet and Jacques Fauroux, five victories for Michel Joubert and his partner Bernard Nivelt, and three victories for Daniel Andrieu. However, the sophistication of Half-Ton Cuppers had become a real problem, with team budgets skyrocketing and the IOR rule coming to an end.
For the 1990 event, the race organisers submitted a call for tenders to shipyards to enter a design competition: the race would now be a strict one-design. The winners of the competition, French shipyard Bénéteau, the World’s largest builder of sailing yachts, made two proposals: The overall design of Jean-Marie Finot, which included water ballast tanks, was retained, whilst the jury gave special mention to Jean Berret for the elegance of his design’s sail plan. Subsequently the jury asked both designers to team up to design the future Figaro Solo.
January 30th, 2017 by admin
Farr Yacht Design President Patrick Shaughnessy took to the SA forums to respond to the MAIB report on the loss of the crew of the Farr-designed Beneteau 40.7 Cheeki Rafiki. The discussion continues here.
I just wanted to say to the group here, that we assisted in the MAIB investigation, but were unable to review a draft of the document before it was published. I think there a few inconsistencies in the report, but on the whole it is a well written document.
The report does indicate that prior groundings were repaired in an unknown way. Just to be 100% clear, at FYD we have no knowledge of the Beneteau dealer recommended repair procedure. That by itself is a pretty worrying. Even if that was followed, we don’t necessarily know that it would be sufficient.
We take safety very seriously and will issue an announcement/addendum to the MAIB report with some other considerations. The biggest thing I want to emphasize is, please contact your yacht designer if you have any questions. If you have an incident that potentially caused structural damage, contact your yacht designer. If you have an impending repair contact your yacht designer.
In this particular instance the hull liner laminate (do not call it a matrix), is not a trivial simple laminate. Replacing it with some unknown laminate to similar thickness would not necessarily be adequate. Please ask first. It almost incomprehensible that a repair could be made in a critical area like this without guidance. Please let us help you.
We will be back with more, after we’ve had a chance to fully digest the report. Stand by.
April 30th, 2015 by admin
Just a year ago, the charter-racing Beneteau 40.7 Cheeki Rafiki was enroute the UK with four souls aboard after a long and fun 2014 Caribbean racing season. It was a typical delivery until a personal EIPRB signal – and no further contact – was received. After extensive searches the hull was found, but the crew was never seen again.
Today, the UK Marine Accident Investigation Bureau released their full report on the loss, and as usual, there’s plenty of good information in it for all of us, and in an age where keels are less and less reliable, it behooves us all to pay attention to things that make them fall off. Read the report here, and below is a statement from Chief Inspector.
This has been a challenging investigation. Cheeki Rafiki capsized and inverted, almost certainly as a consequence of its keel becoming detached in adverse weather, in a remote part of the North Atlantic Ocean. Despite two extensive searches, its four crew remain missing and, as the yacht’s hull was not recovered, the causes of this tragic accident will inevitably remain a matter of some speculation.
Nevertheless, a thorough investigation has been conducted, that has identified a number of important safety issues, which if addressed, should reduce the likelihood of a similar accident in the future.
The investigation has identified that in GRP yachts that are constructed by bonding an internal matrix of stiffeners into the hull, it is possible for the bonding to fail, thereby weakening the structure. In some yachts, including the Beneteau First 40.7, the design makes it harder to detect when the bonding is starting to fail. The report therefore highlights the need for regular inspections of such yachts’ structures by a competent person, and for the marine industry to agree on the most appropriate means of repair when matrix detachment has occurred.
During the investigation it became clear that opinions were divided as to whether or not Cheeki Rafiki’s return passage across the Atlantic Ocean was a commercial activity. I have therefore made a recommendation to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to improve the guidance on when small vessels are, or are not required to have commercial certification. This should help resolve what has, for too long, been a grey area.
Finally, I hope that this report will serve as a reminder to all yacht operators, skippers and crews of the particular dangers associated with conducting ocean passages, and the need for comprehensive planning and preparation before undertaking such ventures. On long offshore passages, search and rescue support cannot be relied upon in the same way as it is when operating closer to the coast, and yachts’ crews need a much higher degree of self-sufficiency in the event of an emergency. Thus the selection and stowage of safety and survival equipment needs to be very carefully considered before embarking, together with options for contingency planning and self-help in anticipation of problems that could occur during the passage.
April 29th, 2015 by admin
The Hit and Run story generated plenty of responses, and amazingly (for this place), most of them weren’t far off. But to our eye, longtime Anarchist Maggie40738 got it in one. Before the pitchforks get too deep, does anyone know what the skipper of the offending Beneteau actually did when they got to the dock? If so, send us an anonymous note or, if you’ve got your big boy pants on, post it in the thread.
It’s hard to imagine that rule 15 applies here as I can’t imagine that the Cal had just established a right-of-way position. Unless the Cal has just broken the overlap from a weather position or has just completed a gybe the Cal has had the right-of-way for some time.
If the Cal has been clear ahead for some time, which is likely, the only restriction she has in maneuvering until an overlap is established are rules 14 and 16. Since it was a bow-stern collision I struggle to see how the Cal’s move was a violation of rule 14, but, as others have written, there is much we don’t know because we don’t have footage from earlier in the incident. A case might be made that the Cal violated rule 16 by making a sharp move to weather, from the footage I think the Bene could have avoided the Cal’s luff by luffing hard to weather, which she chose not to do. To avoid violating rule 16 the Cal needed to manuever in a manner that gave the Bene an out (which I think she did, the out being a luff to weather); the Cal does not need to maneuver in a manner to give the Bene her preferred out (a sudden duck). From the video it seems like the Bene made two wrong calls, (1) attempting to pass way to close to a boat clear ahead, which placed her in a vulnerable position and (2) attempting to duck when her only out was to luff hard to avoid the Cal. If you are an overtaking boat on the same tack you need to maintain sufficient distance (both fore-aft and port-stbd) to assure that you can safely respond to any and all maneuvers the boat ahead might make. The boat ahead is not required to restrict her maneuvers in anticipation of your overlap.
In a related rant, I take issue with the notion that “It’s a PHRF race, defending your air from a faster boat is a dick move”. Unless there’s a an active Cal40 One design fleet I’m unaware of, PHRF racing is the best racing the Cal owner can get; and getting rolled close aboard by a faster boat will assuredly cost the Cal owner time and diminish (albeit slightly) his chances of winning the race. The Cal owner has every right to defend his air from the Bene and doing so is decidedly NOT a dick move, it’s sailboat racing. If you’re in a faster boat and you don’t want the slower boat to luff you, then either duck them or pass them well to windward.
August 8th, 2014 by admin
Gary Green’s Bennie 44.7 Green Dragon 2 takes a bite out of Jerry Finnegan’s Cal 40 Celebrity during the Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race. Grab some popcorn and enjoy. Then talk shit. Thanks to ‘Par Avion’ for the find.
August 6th, 2014 by admin
With Cheeki Rafiki’s crew being well known to many Anarchists, the continuing tragedy of their loss and the resulting discussion has been a painful one, but with yesterday’s discovery by a USCG rescue swimmer that the life raft was still aboard the capsized Beneteau 40.7, the mourning can properly begin, and with it, the speculation. It sounds very much like another Beneteau 40.7 incident from 2007, when the Great Lakes based Barracuda capsized after losing her keel with less sad results – read more about that one here. With so many thousands of miles sailed by the 40.7 and so few incidents, it’s hard to say there is a real design flaw in the boat, though some would say that a keel bolted to nothing more than resin and glass is an accident waiting to happen. What’s more likely in this case is human error compounded by an unforgiving keel attachment design – either a grounding or improperly torqued keelboats may have compromised the end bolts, and when they let go in big seas, the keel began tearing itself out of the boa by the middle ones. This would explain Rafiki’s crew searching for a water leak that they never found, and may have still been searching for when the keel let go and the boat capsized, and the photos bear it out. Combine that with an oversize life raft located in a spot that may have been unreachable for the crew, and you have a recipe for the loss of four souls.
Our deepest condolences go out to the friends and family of the lost, and we encourage you to look in on the Rafiki Capsized thread to start digging in to the important lessons we can all learn from this sad accident. It’s early days and there will be plenty more to come, but we can start here:
1) At least one EPIRB should be attached to the deck of the boat with a hydrostatic release.
2) Always carry the proper life raft for your crew size.
3) A life raft stowed in an inaccessible spot might be worse than no life raft at all.
4) Immersion suits should be required equipment for high latitudes.
Photo courtesy of the US Navy.
May 24th, 2014 by admin
The most interesting part of this video isn’t the fact that it’s a new Beneteau Sense 43 powered by a factory OEM wing. Nope: The amazing part of this one comes from the incredible hand-eye coordination of the Voiles et Voilers review staff. We won’t spoil the video for you; watch it for yourself to see what we mean.
January 10th, 2014 by admin