Newsletter de 12-2022
Primonial, a new Ocean Fifty takes shape
Back home in Brittany after, his third place in the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe, Sébastien Rogues has been able to return his primary focus to the building of his next Ocean Fifty, the construction of which has been entrusted to Multiplast.
Being built in the moulds of Arkema, the new Primonial will be launched next spring with the first major race being the Transat Jacques Vabre 2023, on which Rogues is the title holder. Here we talk with the skipper and Yann Penfornis, general manager of Multiplast.
© Muriel Vandenbempt.
After three seasons racing on Primonial, a Verdier design which was launched in 2009 (formerly Actual and Réauté Chocolat), in 2023 Sébastien Rogues will change up to a brand new Ocean Fifty. “Before the Transat Jacques Vabre 2021 discussions were already quite advanced. Winning the race with Matthieu (Souben) convinced my partners to move on this project for a new boat.”
After choosing to use moulds from Arkema 4, Quentin Vlamynck's Romaric Neyhousser design, Rogues immediately opted for Multiplast: "It's more than ten years since Dominique Dubois and Yann Penfornis had me visit Multiplast, since then I had hoped we would build a boat together. At the time of my Class40 Engie, I had asked them for quotes, in the end it did not work out. Now the opportunity has come up and so it was only right that I approached them as soon as I had the green light from my partners” said Rogues
It has gone ahead even though in June when the go ahead was given the Vannes site was busy. “The challenge here with Primonial was to set a tight schedule” confirms Yann Penfornis. “When Sébastien placed the order we still had Boris Herrmann's Imoca being finished, Yoann Richomme’s boat in full build, as well as the last Class40s coming out. But we really did want to work together, because as well as being a good sailor, Sébastien is a good guy who works with a solid team, and it is a very direct contact. So we found a solution that was satisfying everyone.”
Race against time
To meet the deadlines to be ready for the Transat Jacques Vabre 2023, Multiplast has subcontracted the building of the central hull and the floats to Fiber Mechanics in Lymington (England). Multiplast have maintained links with them since building the VO65s for the Volvo Ocean Race in 2013. “But trust is one thing, controls and checks are another, so Romain Bigot, in charge of the Primonial project at Multiplast, assisted by Ollivier Bordeau, our production manager, bought a season ticket on the Caen-Portsmouth ferry to follow the major stages of construction step by step!” chuckles Yann Penfornis.
At the same time, the construction of the beams was entrusted to Magma Composites by Sébastien Rogues and now the pieces arrive at Multiplast in Vannes. All the parts have been checked by ultrasound before the assembly of the platform gets under way. After the central hull, the rear and front beams, the floats will be grafted on followed by the mainsheet beam. This is an assembly process which will take approximately 18,000 hours by a dozen boatbuilders as well as three people from the design office to interpret the plans of Romaric Neyhousser and draw up the custom pieces.
And so what does Rogues expect from his new Ocean Fifty which is due to be finished next spring? "I don't think I will go much faster than Arkema," he says, “but on the other hand, I think the improved ergonomics are a source of performance even if that is not quantifiable by the VPPs. Now with the experience of three seasons in Ocean Fifty, I now know exactly how and where I want to be positioned when I am on standby, how far I want to be from my winches and displays.... I really want to develop a comfort strategy to enhance overall performance.”
Sun Fast 30 OD: Multiplast and Jeanneau workinh hand in hand
In early November Multiplast and Jeanneau announced that they are joining forces for the production and marketing of the Sun Fast 30 One Design (formerly Carboman 30), a 30-foot one-design, the first examples of which are due to launch at end of spring 2023. We talked to Yann Penfornis and Paul Blanc, Managing Director of Jeanneau, in the Paris Boat Show.
Can you tell us how this came together?
Paul Blanc : From the beginning, this project interested us, even if we had not originally decided to go for it ourselves. We started to discuss it all internally in the middle of the year really with idea that we could industrialize the production of what was still called the Carboman 30. As leader of the Jeanneau brand, I put my hand up and said that I thought this project made sense, but it should be within the Sun Fast range as it really fits the philosophy of the range, that of offering amateurs the authentic sensations of offshore racing at a relatively affordable price. We started talking seriously with Multiplast at the Grand Pavois in September. And then it went fast as we finally signed our agreement on November 8, the day before the start of the Route du Rhum!
Yann Penfornis : : What we liked is that from the start, you were very transparent with us by clearly stating the two points on which you did not want to let go. The first was that you wanted the Carboman 30 to be a Sun Fast, the second was the use of Elium resin which is developed by Arkema. This was a key-point for us, allowing us to tick one of the boxes on which we did not fully meet the specifications until now, namely the sustainability aspect. Making the boat with a recyclable resin was a real plus, especially since at the same time, at the Cannes Boat Show, the Beneteau group presented First 44e built with this resin. And so it is very reassuring for us is that we are no longer at the discussion stage on this topic.
© Multiplast / Jeanneau.
So, in reality how will the project work out between you?
Yann Penfornis : We are finishing the tools to deliver them at the start of the year. At the same time, we are communicating to them all the work we have been able to do on the identification of suppliers, we are in the process of passing the baton. Now it's the turn of Marc Vaillier (who was notably responsible for the production of the Figaro Beneteau 3) and his team in Cheviré, near Nantes, to start work.
Paul Blanc : All in all we have a highly motivated team working together, the Cheviré plant is going to restart with this project. This of course is the historic factory of Jeanneau Techniques Avancées, which, in the 1980s and 1990s, developed many prototypes. It was then used to make a few Sun Fasts and the Figaro Bénéteau 3. Today we want to direct it towards small series racing boats, but also everything that is eco-design, so it makes a lot of sense to integrate this project in Cheviré with some exceptional guys, real old sea dogs! We are also going to bring on board our whole global distributor network, 200 dealers around the world, getting involced with the marketing, including the support of Louis Vaquier, at Multiplast, who is 100% dedicated to this project.
What exactly are your ambitions in terms of marketing?
Paul Blanc : Today we have 25 firm orders (Note: 35 firm orders were finally signed at the end of the Paris Boat Show), which corresponds to what we are going to be able to produce by the end of 2023. The next objective is to follow a production rhythm that we will make it possible to make about fifty boats per year, and we will be able to speed up if necessary. The longer-term ambition is to make at least 200 to 300 boats of this series, this will see a class very much come alive and fleets will develop.
Yann Penfornis : IThere are so many good aspects to this Sun Fast 30 OD. Having yacht clubs like UNCL, RORC and the Storm Trysail Club at the origin of the project, which organize races, helps us a lot. Besides that, we are working on the class rules with the aim of controlling the costs of this boat which, in its one design version, will be sold for 142,500 euros, around 100,000 euros for the club version.
- SOLIDSAIL/AEOLDRIVE. On December 9, Chantiers de l'Atlantique presented the entire 66-meter mast (for 2 meters wide) of the SolidSail/AeolDrive, on which a consortium of Breton companies is working, made up of Multiplast, CDK Technologies, Lorima, SMM and Avel Robotics. Multiplast is also responsible for the manufacture of the 1,000 m2 100% composite sail that will equip this first mast intended for the shipping company Néoline. The overall aim is to decarbonize maritime transport.
- ROUTE DU RHUM.Another great edition for the boats built at Multiplast! In Ultim, there is a great satisfaction as the first three were made in whole or in part in the Vannes facility: Maxi Edmond de Rothschild (Charles Caudrelier), SVR Lazartigue (François Gabart, central hull) and Sodebo Ultim 3 (Thomas Coville). In Imoca note the strong performance on his first transatlantic with the new V and B-Monbana-Mayenne (hull and deck) finishing fifth with Maxime Sorel at the controls.
- IMOCA. It is the home stretch for Yoann Richomme's new Imoca Paprec Arkéa, designed by Antoine Koch with the Finot-Conq studio, is now assembled and in the painting phase at Multiplast. It will be launched in early February 2023 for the skipper who took a second victory in a row on the Route du Rhum in Class40!
- GUNBOAT 80. As the first Gunboat 80, is being finished in La Grande Motte, the Multiplast teams are working on the second boat: the bulkheads were delivered to the Mediterranean yard in the Autumn and the construction of the coachroof has just started and it will be completed at the end of winter.
IN THE CARBOMAN GROUP
Opticarb program: focus on recycling carbon composites
Giving a second life to carbon fibers is the challenge of the Opticarb program, one which Multiplast is investing into along with the Toulouse-based company Alpha Recyclage Composites. Maeg Lehoux, composite materials engineer at Multiplast, explains this R&D project, which is a key part of the circular economy ethos.
What was the start of the Opticarb program?
Producing carbon fiber parts is expensive and energy intensive. Destroying and burying this material without recovering or recycling anything, as we still do today, is a nonsense from the ecological and economic points of view. We are very aware of the environmental problems associated with the use of composites and the efforts to be made to reduce their impact, in particular through the development of recycled materials. We had already engaged with this problem during the building of the moulds for the AC75 from Ineos, the British challenge for the America's Cup. The rules of the Cup required to use 10% of recycled products as per what Ben Ainslie’s team had specified to us. We quickly noticed that the product was very resin-absorbing and we wanted to continue more R&D in this direction.
What is this project about?
After this first experience, Alpha Recyclage Composites contacted us in October 2020 to join the recycling sector they were setting up around vapo thermolysis, in South of France. This process does not use solvents or chemicals. By the combined action of heat and steam it allows to decompose the composite material so that the carbon fiber can be recovered, well separated from the resin, while retaining its mechanical properties. All the interest lies in the use of parts already manufactured that are recycled to return to carbon fiber in the state of short fibers, which therefore makes it possible to close the loop.
What is the role of Multiplast in the emergence of this recycling sector?
The yard joined this project as an end user. We are at the real interface with this consortium set up around this Opticarb project. We provided an Imoca mould, that of the former Arkéa Paprec launched in July 2019, to Alpha Recyclage Composites. On its brand new site in Castelsarrasin, near Toulouse, this specialist in recycling re-manufactures non-woven fibers, from which at Multiplast, as part of this experimental research program, we infuse this new material with our tooling resins. These examples are then sent to IMT Mines in Albi (engineering school), which measures the fiber content and analyses their mechanical properties.
What future prospects do you see?
By the end of the year, we aim to manufacture a real tool of a few square meters from these recycled fibers, just as a small piece of demonstratable value which will shows the way ahead for the recycling of moulds on a larger scale. According to forecasts by Alpha Recyclages Composites, these tools made from recycled fabrics would be 20% cheaper, for equal performance, than new fiber, for three to eight times less CO2 equivalent ton emissions (*). This would be a big step in gaining economic and environmental consistency!
(*) The CO2 equivalent ton is an index created by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) which makes it possible to compare and cumulate the impacts of greenhouse gases (GHGs) on the environment.
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