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Gunboat 60 sailing in Annapolis, MD.

Posts Tagged ‘VPLP’

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Sodebo Ultime Trimaran (ex Geronimo)

At 111 feet long and 72 feet wide, the old VPLP Gerononimo was a groundbreaking racer in many ways. When Olivier De Kersauson launched her back in 2001, record breakers like Fossett and Peyron and Lewis were positive that giant catamarans were just better, and they’d proven it so clearly that many thought De Kersauson a nutter for risking so much on a boat that clearly couldn’t accomplish anything.  But 100,000 mostly trouble-free miles and a Jules Verne (and several other) major records later, the boat’s clear advantages – safety, ability to be driven hard, motion, upwindedness – emphatically ended the era of the maxi-catamaran.  Geronimo would become the basis for the most dominant record runners ever, as well as the boat that took the America’s Cup back from Alinghi: Franck Cammas’ (and now Armel Le Cle’ach’s) monstrous Groupama 2/BP6, Pascal Bidegorry’s (and then Loick Peyron, and now Yann and Dona’s) BP5/Spindrift 2, and the BMW Oracle Racing 90 all came out of VPLP’s computers and all owe their heritage heavily and directly to Geronimo.

This history lesson may bore some, but to us, ocean racing is all about history and legend, and that’s why we share it with you.  And with 2014/15 seeing Thomas Coville rebuilding, refitting, repowering, and restoring Geronimo for his own Route Du Rhum, record aspirations, and Ultime solo 100+ footer class racing, we can’t wait to see history come roaring to life again on the starting line.  Coville was just a kid when he first began racing with De Kersauson, and the brilliant Frenchman has now been part of most of the last decade’s Jules Verne Trophy runs as well as a Volvo Ocean Race victory.  His narrow Nigel Irens Sodebo trimaran came tantalizingly close to claiming the Solo RTW record, but it’s clear that Coville has given up on that concept in favor of the heavier and far more powerful Geronimo.  Above is an Yvan Zedda shot of the boat as her refit moves ahead quickly at Multiplast’s yard; go here for a full gallery, here for a thread about the boat, and here for discussion on November’s Route Du Rhum.

 

 

 

March 17th, 2014 by admin

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New Supermaxi Jim Clark VPLP

Software billionaire Jim Clark famously said last year that he was ‘over’ the whole Caribbean and Mediterranean thing, selling his J/Class Hanuman and super-schooner Athena for North of 100 million bucks.  And very quietly, he’s been putting together a boat that finally brings all the design advances we’ve seen in the Open 60 and Mini-maxi world to a supermaxi.  It’s the first new racer we’ve seen of this size in years, and the fact that it’s for an American is great news for the industry as well as for lovers of boat porn, and for anyone who wants to see the Speedboats and the Wild Oatses of the worlds get beaten – easily – by a guy with ‘fuck you’ money who is often happy to speak his mind.

 As usual, we’re here to bring you the world’s first look at it.  Ripped from the projector screen of Ken Read’s keynote speech at the US Sailing Leadership Forum is this new VPLP-designed 100 foot monster.  We’ll have much, much more to report this Saturday.

February 6th, 2014 by admin

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Photo Emailing 2
We promised you Ryan Breymaier’s look at the newest racing trimaran on the market, and here it is; it’s the Diam 24, a ‘mini MOD-70′ from the desk of the guys who gave you some of the biggest big boat racing successes of the past decade.  Be sure to check out what Breymaier’s up to lately over here.

Imagine a Melges 24-sized boat that sails 14 knots upwind instead of 7, and 30 downwind instead of 18.  And all without any nerve-damaging hiking at all!

Meet the Diam 24; a beautifully built, impressively simple trimaran designed by multihull masters VPLP and built in Port La Foret, France, about 10 minutes from my house.

Vianney Ancelin is the man behind the project; I met him about 5 years ago while looking for a place to keep my newly acquired beach cat. Turns out that my Diam F-18 was built by him, and his factory is right next to a beautiful launch ramp, while his parking lot is full of small multihulls, Tornados, F-18s, A-Cats, Multi 23s, whatever you can imagine, all within minutes of my front door.

Anyway, Vianney’s trapezing days at the helm of an F-18 are over, and he had always dreamed of building an easily launched, easily sailed trimaran; something to race, to raid, or just to island hop through the Glenans.

IMG_1971The Diam 24 OD is the result, and it doesn’t disappoint.  Carbon beams and mast, glass/pvc sandwich hulls, 3 sails, and a beach dolly, and with the minimum of extra equipment and the maximum of design know-how from VPLP. In looks and performance, this boat is a baby brother of the MOD.   Overall dimensions: 24 feet x 18.5 feet, with a 37-foot mast. It weighs 1000 pounds, with 515 square feet of sail downwind.

The amas and beams are demountable for trailering and storage; set up is quick and easy, and the two-piece mast completes the easy-to-move package.

The foil package is simple; kick-up, transom hung float rudders and a central dagger board. The boat deliberately does not have lifting foils in an attempt to keep it simple while sailing, as well as to keep the price down to a bare minimum.

Sail handling is easy as well, the jib and gennaker on Karver KF2  furlers, and the mainsail on a conventional halyard with clutch at the mastbase.

Jibsheet is 4:1 self tacking, mainsheet is a 7:1 gross tune on the traveller car connected to a 3:1 fine tune under the boom for a total of 21:1, all while keeping the block sizes and prices to a minimum. There are two winches, one on each floater, used only for the gennaker sheets.

As this is a one-design race boat, there has been no attempt to create usable interior, simply a storage space under the foredeck, and a trench cockpit from the mastbase to the aft beam.  Again – think of it as the triple hulled version of a Melges 24.

IMG_1972One thing that annoys me about many dinghies and small race boats is the time it takes to set them up and break them down; it often seems like you spend as much time building and dismantling as you do sailing!  Designers of the Diam 24 have taken extra care to keep that time to an absolute minimum. Each beam bolts into place with 4 bolts, with a locating pin to keep them in place.  The floater/beam connection is a highly engineered double cone to keep it stiff, but uses just one fastener to keep it in place. The trampolines have loops at 2 corners, along with track on the central hull so that they can be done up without any knot tying.

All in all, I am confident that the whole boat can be fully rigged in the same or a bit less time than an F-18 or other beach cat, and this is quite a bit more boat.

The Diam is sold with everything one needs, right down to the Kevlar/membrane sail package, for 49,900 euros.  For 5400 euros extra, you can pick up the custom trailer with ramps that allow you to load the beach dolly directly onto it.

If I was looking for a great boat to race in the light airs of my native Chesapeake, or I wanted speed with the occasional high-speed family picnic, I would be seriously considering this one.

DIAM and Vianney can be contacted at avianney@adhinotec.com, or check out the builder’s website here.

December 23rd, 2013 by admin

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Gunboat 60 sailing in Annapolis, MD.

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