The Class30 One Design, a new challenge for Multiplast
At the beginning of September, VPLP Design and Multiplast won the architectural competition which was launched by UNCL, RORC and the Storm Trysail Club for the design and build of le futur Class 30 One Design, an entry level one-design intended to make offshore racing accessible to a much greatest number of sailors. And so it is a great challenge in mass production for the Vannes yard.
This Class 30 One Design project was born for l’UNCL, at the beginning of the year, as Yves Ginoux, the vice-president, explains: "When A.S.O. announced that there would be no Tour Voile in 2021 we contacted them to offer a different solution closer to the original spirit. In the end they chose to work with Normandie Evénement, but we continued to think about the ideal boat for getting into offshore racing. Talking with our friends from Rorc, we realized that at the very same time they were thinking about exactly the same subject, so we worked together to launch a call for projects in April."
The initiative had resonance elsewhere as these two yacht clubs were immediately contacted by the Storm Trysail Club (STC) from across the Atlantic. They have twelve training stations in the United States and could also see great synergies with their needs and ideas and so wanted to join the project. The duo became a trio, the jury to select the best project consisting of four members of the UNCL, three of the RORC and the commodore of the STC.
AN AFFORDABLE ONE DESIGN BOAT
The specifications for the Class30 One Design are simple: a 30-foot one-design monohull, capable of accommodating 5 to 6 crew members. It is to be affordable, advertised for less than €100,000 with a regatta version, equipped with a carbon mast, a galley and a chart table, as well as ballasts.
Following the call for projects the three clubs received 25 applications, eight were shortlisted before being cut down to three. Finally the partnership of VPLP-Multiplast emerged victorious after extended conversations. What made the difference?
Ginoux reveals "First of all there is a real basic architectural strength. But there is a level of detail in, for example VPLP were the only one to take into account post-Covid elements, in particular by incorporating a moulding in the cockpit for six water-bottles of the crew, so as not to mix them up. Secondly because there was very clearly a real reflection on the industrial dimension with Multiplast."
After a pre-production run of 3 to 5 boats which should be launched at the beginning of 2023 the objective is to move quickly to the production of one boat per week.
FOR MULTIPLAST, THE CHALLENGE IMMEDIATELY APPEALED
Yves Ginoux predicts….. "hundreds of boats around the world", adding: “There is interest also from sailors who are going to do the Mini Transat and believe that the Class30 OD can to be a very good intermediate step before moving on to the Figaro or the Class40. It is a target that I had not identified and given the dynamism of the Mini class, it is very interesting." And there is the promise of attractive financing solutions there already being "advanced discussions" with potential partners to finance the class and / or the racing circuit to the set up.
As for Multiplast, the challenge immediately appealed and the yard quickly accepted VPLP Design’s proposal. "It's something different from what we usually do, we are generally more developing and building prototypes,” explains Yann Penfornis, the managing director. "But we still have experience in series production - we have manufactured 95 pairs of Figaro Beneteau 3 foils - and we know how to manage ambitious projects. All this, in addition to the mutual respect which we share with our friend and neighbours at VPLP who encouraged us to embark on this adventure together."
The imminent schedule promises to be busy: "We still have to move forward in defining and specification of the boat with VPLP, then we will have to select the yard with which we will work with because though the construction will be supervised by Multiplast, the Class30 OD will not be manufactured only by us, we will outsource to meet the requirements for mass production and the economies of scale" continues Yann Penfornis, adding: "We have found the person who will be in charge of the project; it requires a lot of follow-up work with many trips to ensure that the project runs smoothly."
© Anne Beaugé / Ilsaimentlamer.com
The Clak40, a new vision for a Class40
Class40 is going from strength to strength. Between the 2018 and 2022 editions of the Route du Rhum, a total of around 20 new boats should be built and launched. Among them the new Clak40, designed and built by the VPLP Design / Multiplast partnership is a real eye-catcher.
The first boat was launched in early September for the Italian skipper Andrea Fornaro. Then just one month on it is Nicolas d´Estais’s turn to launch his new boat. The former Mini sailor says of his new boat: "It has clearly been designed to be as competitive as possible on the Route du Rhum. Everything has been done to make it unbeatable downwind VMG, between 12 and 25 knots of wind."
At VPLP, Daniele Capua was in charge of the project: "The search for power is different from what we know in other classes, like the Imoca, in particular because of the absence of foils. So we really focused on reducing drag, minimising the wetted surface of the boat while maximising the effective waterline. We wanted to have more power up front than aft, so that it would be good in rough seas. In addition, the hull lines are more balanced to work better with the fixed keel, at equal beam."
"By limiting the wetted surface, there is no longer any need to heel the boat to make it go well", adds owner d´Estais. "The Clak40 may be less powerful than its rivals, but by limiting the drag, it gains more at high speeds."
FIRST RACE: THE TRANSAT JACQUES VABRE
Yann Penfornis, Managing Director of Multiplast, and Antoine Lauriot Prévost, architect at VPLP, were able to observe the good balance during the delivery of Fornaro's Clak40 between La Trinité-sur-Mer and Lorient: "When a gust comes normally you heel and the boat tends to luff”"explains Penfornis "Here on the Clak it continues to track straight, remains very balanced and accelerates. It really is surprising!" Lauriot Prevost adds: "Thanks to its very flat bow, you have the impression of sliding along especially downwind, which is very pleasant when you are at the helm."
Another feature of the Clak40 is the rig position: "To make the boat is as balanced as possible, the mast is further back than on the other Class40s", explains Antoine Lauriot Prévost. The geometry of the deck has also been optimized, with a notable coachroof volume. "It is a typical boat for Transatlantics, for downwind speed and rough seas, even if we tried not to lose performance on flat water," adds the designer.
With Andrea Fornaro having decided not to take part in the Transat Jacques Vabre so it will be the duo Nicolas d'Estais-Erwan Le Draoulec (Emile Henry x Happyvore) who will debut the Clak40 in the race. Two more boats which are under construction are expected in spring 2022: one for William Mathelin, the other for an owner who does not yet wish to announce it publicly. And it is probably not over: VPLP and Multiplast hope that this new Class40, built for the open oceans, will convince future owners.
- DISNEYLAND. Multiplast in Mickey's world! Disneyland Paris has called on Multiplast’s expertise to renovate the roofs of the Sleeping Beauty castle. A team of four specialist composite experts were sent there for two and a half months to finish at the end of September
- SEA BUBBLES. The two prototypes of the Sea Bubbles Limousine, water taxis that can transport up to 8 people (see our previous neswletter), the construction of which was entrusted to Multiplast, are underway. After the moulds have been made they are now currently producing the hull, cockpit and coachroof which will be delivered at the end of the year.
- SOLIDSAIL. The 38-meter-high SolidSail demonstrator, a balestron rig fitted with a 550 m2 rigid composite sail, was installed on the Chantiers de l'Atlantique site in Saint-Nazaire on August 26. This demonstrator represents the upper part of one of the three rigs, intended to be fitted to cruise ships by 2025.
- RESULTS. For the second time in a row, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, built by Multiplast, took line honours (and won the Ultime category), on the Fastnet, in a time of 1 day 9 hours 15 minutes and 54 seconds. The co-skippers Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier will be among the favorites of the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie-Le Havre which starts on November 7. It is a race on which Multiplast will be well represented: three other Ultimes - SVR Lazartigue (central hull), Sodebo Ultim 3, Actual Ultim 3 (central hull) - and three Imoca - Fortinet-Best Western, Groupe Apicil and Prysmian Group -, were built in part or in full in Vannes, while three Imoca are equipped with foils made at Multiplast : Fortinet-Best Western, MACSF and 11th Hour Racing Team Alaka'i.
© Flying Whales
IN THE CARBOMAN GROUP
The Carboman Group lift off in the aerospace industry
With major projects underway, the Carboman Group is moving up a gear in the aerospace industry. Interview with its Chairman, Dominique Dubois, a member of the Gifas (French Aeronautical and Space Industries Association).
The Carboman Group is currently working on a major space project, can you tell us what it is?
Multiplast supplies structural parts of a satellite launcher for companies in the European space industry. We delivered the first ones a few days ago and will deliver a second in mid 2022. We are very happy to be associated with this project because it is our first significant order in the space sector and our first parts to go into space. The new space market is currently in full swing with intense competition between Europeans and Americans who are launching hundreds of satellites which will at some point have to be renewed. New space requires small satellites capable of reducing the price per kg deposited in orbit by a factor of 30. For Multiplast, this is an industrial project with a five-year term.
On the aeronautical side, you have worked in the past on the Solar Impulse project - with Décision SA - and the Alice electric aircraft - with Multiplast -, but you have been contacted for projects on an industrial scale, again …
Yes, a major player in French civil aviation has ordered from Multiplast to supply composite parts for a new aircraft, which can open up very interesting industrial prospects for us and become a new business strand adding to our turnover. Talking of Alice,we made the fuselage of the first prototypes for our client Eviation which will make its first flight before the end of the year. The business plan is based on 100 planes per year. We hope to continue working with them, which would mean a major step up to achieve this level of production. At the same time, we were selected to study a load-bearing platform (25 by 25 meters) of an enormous airship 200 meters long and 60 in diameter, Flying Whales, which will be built in the years to come. This, once again, is ambitious.
Can we say that the Carboman Group has now become a players in the sector?
Today, aviation and aerospace activities represent 30% of our business, we are starting to be recognized by key players in this world who call on us about real projects and order parts from us. Now, this foundation work that we're doing is not just for the prototype or demonstrator stage, as has been the case so far, but really to go into mass production.
You are a member of Gifas, why?
Gifas actually approached us to suggest that we join the aero-SME committee, in which I represent SMEs that make a different, specialist composites and have a strong R&D activity. We are trying to convey messages to the major clients such as Airbus, Dassault, Safran, Thalès… The small guys need to have insurance to guarantee their investments, so I try to understand the expectations of the big players and see what we have to do to work with them. It’s very strong in terms of exchanges.
Yann Penfornis : +33 2 97 40 98 44 / +33 6 12 05 86 97
"If your dreams don't scare you, they are not big enough"