vincent’s voice

vincent’s voice

One of the real treats of our coverage of the 33rd Cup was the volume of information that came from some of the great thinkers in sailing.  One of those is Vincent Lauriot Prevost – principal of VPLP and one of the designers of the BMW/Oracle trimaran.  John Casey and Clean spoke to him for more than twenty minutes on Monday just before he caught his flight home, but he was so engaging they forgot to ask a few questions, which are below Part 1 of the embedded interview.  Part 2 is here and you can find Part 3 right here. Forgive the jumps – a result of high-quality Spanish MiniDV stock…


SA: The trend of late for Open 60s has been a wider platform. However, the two very successful Open 60s your designed (Groupe Bel, Safran) are narrower and lighter. Why did you stray away from the norm?

VPLP: Our credo for boat performance being “light and powerful”  we gain the power of the hull by a low chine and very full sections, reducing the overall beam and in this way the weight of deck and bulkheads.

SA: Groupe Bel has a rotating wing mast. It is known this is a better aero package. Is the wing mast the future for monohulls?

VPLP: At that time, there were no limits in mast height. The trade off was: for a given height of Center of Gravity, bigger sail area with a taller standard mast; versus smaller sail area with a more efficient rotating profiled mast. In 2010 with the limited air draft, the trend should be toward rotating wing mast for the numbers, but the difference in performance is small enough to keep the conventional mast option in the trend for reliability of a pre-constrained mast with spreaders.

SA: You designed both Banque Populaire V and Groupama. What were your emotions when Banque Populaire V passed Groupama in the transatlantic record? Were there any specific reasons why BPV was faster?

VPLP: Very happy that both boats finish!
Would have prefer Groupama beat his ancient record just before being beaten by the bankers. A bit disappointed by the fact that we discovered after the run that the leeward foil compartment on Groupama was full of more than 3 tons of water, a handicap which could have change the result at the finish line.

SA: You designed the yacht that won the America’s Cup. Since you are now designing monohulls, are you going to collaborate with BMW/Oracle on their next project as well?

VPLP: Nobody knows what is going to happen now.
If they propose us to join them, we would be very proud to be able to follow this collaboration with this great Team.

SA: One of them that we forgot to ask Vincent was about the twist (racking) in Dogzilla hulls.   All intended, calculated etc. or something they didn’t expect?  How it changed when loads changed with wing vs rig, etc.

VPLP: The structure behavior was normal, seeking for the best weight to stiffness ratio on such a wide platform with a so narrow main hull section.

Way of improvements which helped to reduce the torsion by changing the stepped deck main hull in the cockpit area with a continuous deck and moving the cap shroud forward on float.

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