Ollivier Bordeau : "A new chapter in the story of my career"
A former top-level kayaker who became passionate about sailing when he discovered the Mini-Transat, Ollivier Bordeau, alias "Olibo", joined Multiplast at the end of 2020 as production manager. It is a great time to take stock of his career to date and where he sees himself and the company going.
Can you tell us about your story so far as a boat builder?
Before "real" boats I was into kayaking first! That was my first love, my sport of passion that I have practiced since the age of 7 years near Angers then in Brest. I was a European champion in the early 1980s, but because I didn't have the money to buy myself the best kayaks, because they were very dear, I started to build some with my father. But whilst I was training in Brest, I saw the start of the Mini-Transat. I was amazed I stopped kayaking overnight. I competed in the Mini in 1989 aboard a proto that I bought from Isabelle Autissier, and the year after I did Vannes-Azores-Vannes, I had modified the boat quite a bit. In the early days I ran into Christian Bouroullec, the boss of the Structures yard who asked me what boatyard had done the work for me, I replied proudly that it was me, myself. He said there and then, "I'm hiring you." That was the start. Christian was key to my success because he taught me to adapt all that I had learned before, applying my knowledge and skills to sailing boats.
How did it go from there?
I left Structures when the site began to make production boats as that did not interest me as much and so went to create my own yard in Brest, Latitude 48 ° 24. That adventure lasted eight years, we built a bunch of Minis until May 2004, when the autoclave exploded. I had to stop overnight and so taught for two years at INB as a composites lecturer. In 2006 my friend Ewen Le Clech who had just started at Banque Populaire, came to me and offered me the chance to be responsible for managing the construction of the fabulous Maxi Banque Populaire V. That lasted four years. Then I left for a year to sail around the Atlantic with the family on a Oceanis 430. And when I came back I worked for teams and owners for construction quality management and that took me to England, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and I worked for Banque Populaire on the Maxi IX and XI, also for Charal, DMG Mori and Time for Oceans, the latter two at Multiplast. And then last November, I received a phone call from Yann Penfornis (CEO of Multiplast) who was looking for someone for a four month replacement as workshop manager. I accepted and it turned into a permanent contract which is my first for a long time ! So here I am, finally production manager, it's a logical step but good to be in a new chapter of my career.
What do you plan to bring to Multiplast?
First of all, my experience and my perspective from outside, an external objective view which can help to challenge habits by suggesting other methods or other product references. And my network, in France and abroad: I have met a lot of people in the sailing and maritime world over the last thirty years, I know many suppliers. I have worked with many project managers in many different teams, which allowed me to build good, trusting relationships with them. I also appreciate the knowledge transfer side which is key at Multiplast, and managing teams on a daily basis, between team leaders and our operators. It turns out that being a specialized educator – a teacher - taught me to better understand personal working relations and that helps me when it comes to trying to solve problems, be they big or small, that may arise along the way in this business.
Picture © DR Multiplast
Quentin Delapierre, Manon Audinet and Multiplast share a dream of gold
Selected to represent France alongside Manon Audinet in the Nacra 17 for the Tokyo Olympics (July 23-August 8), Quentin Delapierre was at Multiplast in early March to pick up a new pair of foils which were just painted by Nicolas Taillandier, one of the painters of the yard.
At the beginning of January the duo started into a partnership with Multiplast that takes care of the finishing of appendages of the French Nacra 17 with the surface paint authorized by the class, a transparent Durepox paint, which is also used on other boats especially for Imoca foils.
"In December Quentin asked us to see if we had the time to take care of this for them. The idea of supporting him and Manon in their pursuit of an Olympic medal pleases us. And Quentin is also from Vannes." explains Dominique Dubois the CEO of the Carboman Group. "And of course everyone here in our workforce are delighted to be involved with champions who will represent France at the biggest sports event in the world, this project has a good internal support."
Theirs is a project that means that nothing is left to chance, hence the decision by the double winner of the Tour Voile (2016 and 2018) to rely on Multiplast. "Today we have selected the pair of foils that we think are the most efficient for the Games, but once this choice is made we then need the expertise in the treatment of the surfaces. The more we get into the details the more we realize the importance of the preparation of the appendages is an important thing. So that is why we are so happy to work with Multiplast who are a major, successful player in the top level preparation of boats and so here we are working with the best in the sector."
In fact it was at Multiplast that three years ago Quentin Delapierre was about to launch into the build of a Multi50 before finally making the decision to go down the Olympic route and pursue a medal. The path of the sailor from Vannes and that of Multiplast cross again and the workers at the sites gain another insight into performance at the very top level and the Olympic culture.
"When he talks about their appendages we can see that Quentin really knows the small details of the subject, he knows how to identify which foils are the best, which rudders are good, he has a very precise idea of what sanding finish it will need depending on the specificities of the waters where they are racing. It is interesting to step into the world that we are maybe less familiar with" confirms Dominique Dubois.
This new partnership has just seen Quentin Delapierre / Manon Audinet got a good third place in the first international competition of the season, the Lanzarote International Regatta, which ended on March 26, all good with five months to Tokyo!
- After building foils for MACSF and for Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco for the Vendée Globe 2020, Multiplast are building new Imoca 60-footer foils. The yard is on course to deliver the new starboard foil of Boris Herrmann's boat, the previous one was of course broken just before Herrmann's finish into Les Sables d'Olonne after a collision with a Spanish fishing boat. A new pair of foils will then be built for 11th Hour Racing to designs by Guillaume Verdier.
- Spindrift 2 will be released from Multiplast in early April. On the winter work programme that is finishing was a modification of the main bow and a new look for the maxi-trimaran which has a crew led by Yann Guichard that is still aiming for the Jules Verne Trophy.
- One month after the announcement by Chantiers de l'Atlantique of the installation in two stages (summer 2021 then 2022) of a full scale demonstrator of the Solid Sail project at the Saint-Nazaire site (intended to equip cruise ships), the first two composite panels of 100 m2 for the sail were removed from the mould. Multiplast continues the production at the rate of one panel per week so that they will be in July for the first 38-meter mast section. The Vannes yard is also involved in construction of this mast.
- An account manager at Multiplast for five years Romain Bigot, 27, will line up in September for the start of his first Mini-Transat on 802 La Vie est Belt, an Etienne Bertrand plan from 2011, which has just undergone a big winter refit in the workshop (painting, structural reinforcements, fittings, ergonomic optimizations, etc.). Bigot is still looking for partners.
- Announced in our last newsletter, the first Clak40, the Class40 designed by VPLP and being built at Multiplast is progressing well. The first hull has just been removed from the mould, the deck is in production, the keel has been ordered from England. The hull-deck assembly will take place in May for delivery of this first boat in July to Andrea Fornaro. The second will follow in August for Nicolas d´Estais.
- The composer / visual artist Ernest De Jouy has been given carte blanche to follow the build of Nicolas d´Estais's Class40 in his own inimitable way. The artist has imagined a musical timelapse, every Friday he comes and plays the trumpet at the build site. A final mix of 5 minutes of these sessions will be played when the boat goes in the water.
Photos © DR Multiplast
IN THE CARBOMAN GROUP
Decision S.A. is innovationg in the field of aeronautics
On March 8th Decision S.A. unveiled a new manufacturing process for developing moulds for the aeronautics industry, a method which reduces construction time and costs. Here is an explanation with Grégoire Metz, CEO of the Swiss yard.
Can you tell us about this new manufacturing process?
Today in the aerospace industry, more and more parts are made in composite materials. When we make such a part, we generally have a mould that serves as a structure to make the shape of the part built in two sequences: the machining of a male mould then laying up over the surface of the mould on this machined face. We then get what is called a female mould. Often the demand is for the serial production, so for several hundred parts. That is fine but if the series is a short run, the cost of the mould negatively impacts on the price of each part. And since we have the model to make before making the mould, this is more cost and doubles the timing. So the sequence we have developed is to make the master model directly as the female mould: we will make a framework on which we will first directly drape a quantity of composite, carbon or glass and then depending on the parts to be manufactured, then our five axes machine mills the surface of the mould which was laid up beforehand. So you don't need to make the initial model upstream and go straight to the build of the mould, which inevitably has an advantage in terms of time and cost.
What parts can you build with this shorter sequence?
Many parts in the world of aeronautics. Our only constraint is that as these are high temperature materials we need to bake at least at 180 degrees under pressure, so we need an autoclave oven, so we are limited by dimensions of the autoclave (2.2 x6m) And as we directly machine the face of the mould, we are also limited by the machining capacity. So mainly now it is pieces of 2 metres by 2 meters by 600 millimeters high is what corresponds to our machining capacity. We could imagine subcontracting this machining elsewhere, but that would require transport and subcontracting costs which is not so attractive in terms of costs.
Can this technology evolution get you into new markets?
We delivered this mould system to a first customer following their needs for a part, and we understood that if it worked there would be other parts to manufacture, this is also what prompted us to go down this route. We believe very strongly in this type of mould, because it is a solution to problems that can be more urgent in aeronautics where build times are compressed more and more. So we do hope that this first unit will be followed by many more!
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"