Newsletter de 10-2022
Multiplast and the Route du Rhum, what a story!
With 17 boats (including 14 complete builds, see the list below), Multiplast will be one of the best represented yards at the start of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe,le 6 novembre prochain. L’occasion de revenir avec son directeur général Yann Penfornis sur l’importance de l’épreuve pour le chantier Vannetais.
Multiplast have been present on the Route du Rhum since 1986. What is your greatest memory?
Certainly it is the victory of Groupama 3 in 2010. Franck Cammas had just won the Jules Verne Trophy with the crew, we were preparing Groupama 4, which was the Volvo 70 with which he went on to win the Volvo Ocean Race 18 months later. And between these two, he took on the Route du Rhum on a boat which was not in any way designed for solo racing. And winning showed the trimaran was decidedly well designed and well founded. Four years later, Loïck Peyron won (by then the trimaran was then called Banque Populaire VII). I remember a morning call from Loick when he was off the Azores. He had spotted cracks in the front beam fairing and was asking us if it was reasonable to continue. In a few minutes, you have to find the design elements, analyze the problem calmly and give an answer and that fully engages you. Four years later, in 2018, when I went to bed, François Gabart was still leading the race ahead of Francis Joyon. But then we all know the rest with the boat’s third consecutive victory. That was a short night!
But it is a double-edged sword when things go wrong isn’t it?
Yes, when the boat wins it is the skipper who in the spotlight. When the boat breaks we look at builders and architects, that is just the way of it. That is why reliability is so important! I'm ignoring the idea of abandoning, capsizing, which is another problem. But equally now we need to speak of the probability of collisions with a UFO (unidentified floating object). Today that is a major problem. It is a bit like when the merits of an officer were put to Napoleon, he replied: “Yes, very well, but is he lucky?“ The question unfortunately applies to skippers. Consider that Orange 2 circled the planet leaving two wakes a few centimeters wide. Between the foils, rudders and centerboard wing, an Ultim develops 8 meters of foils underwater which scythe though the sea horizontally. That said I do have some confidence in the progress made by the Ultims. And I have to say I am also very happy to see them all set to line up at the start following the conflict that really has marred this year 2022 and it would be logical this time for a foiler to win.
Multiplast is present in three of the four classes with major sporting credentials (Ultim, Imoca, Class40). Are there any boats or classes that you will watch more than others?
Yes, we do not have an Ocean Fifty in the race but the good news is that we are starting the build of the new Primonial for Sébastien Rogues, so we will soon fill this gap! Apart from the UFO problems for the appendages that I mentioned just now, I really don't believe that some boats are more exposed than others. You have to believe in what you are doing. All the pre-impregnated carbon parts are ultrasonically checked, we double up on the checks, otherwise, we wouldn't let them go racing. Our four Class40s have sailed in strong winds, now most recently with the qualification of William Mathelin-Moreaux. Maybe the boat we might be most apprehensive about is Malizia Seaexplorer. Boris Herrmann wanted a particularly solid boat with a very tight structure, but his timing does not allow him to benefit from the same fine-tuning as the older IMOCA 60s. We are always watching our newest boats more than the older ones and so without doubt Boris' Imoca, which we built a solid rapport with, a good, friendly relationship, will be our favorite boat in this IMOCA class.
Multiplast boats in the 2022 edition of the Route du Rhum:
- Ultim : Idec Sport, Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, Sodebo Ultim 3, Mieux, Maxi Banque Populaire XI (two floats), SVR Lazartigue (central hull), Actual (central hull).
- Imoca : Malizia Seaexplorer, Prysmian Group, Fortinet-Best Western, DMG Mori, V and B-Monbana-Mayenne (hull and deck), China Dream-Haikou, Lazare.
- Class40 : Dékuple, In Fluence, Fondation Stargardt, Happyvore-Café Joyeux.
© Antoine Sézérat
A new 60 footer on the books is..... a day boat!
After three 60-foot Imoca, part builds (hull and deck for V and B-Monbana-Mayenne) or full builds (Malizia Seaxplorer and Paprec Arkéa which will be delivered next January), the Multiplast yard will have a new 18-metre monohull by the end of the year. But the boat will not be for a solo round the world race but will be for completely different type of sailing. It is actually a day boat, commissioned by an owner, Jacky Setton, a Franco-American businessman – a former president of Pioneer France in particular - who has been loyal to the yard for nearly 15 years.
“We are always honored to have him come back to us, this is the fifth boat he has ordered from us,” enthuses the general manager of Multiplast, Yann Penfornis. “In particular, we transformed the former Innovation Explorer, which took part in The Race, into a (very) fast cruiser, under the name of Swift; we have also built a 36ft Roll Jack, a 30ft Paja and a 60ft first day boat, Ciao Gianni (photo). The next one, based on a Rolf Vrolijk design, is like Ciao Gianni, it is intended for the same program: day trips, but it is a boat with a slightly different design.”
In charge of the project after having worked on Boris Herrmann's Imoca, Samuel Napoleoni explains: “Compared to an Imoca, it is very different: this 60 footer has four times less structure and is much narrower, with a high mast, 24 meters, it is a quite high aspect rig. And it is extremely simple for a boat of this size, very refined, no frills, with a very flat deck and just enough space to sit in the the T-shaped cockpit. Inside it is almost empty, there are only the captive winches, the systems, the thrusters, the engine. The owner wants an efficient boat that is easy to operate and maintain.”
Built in carbon/epoxy sandwich, the hull is infusion laid, the deck and the structures in pre-preg/honeycomb and is equipped with a fixed steel keel. This eye catching "one off" is indeed intended to go fast solo going between the islands of northern Sardinia, where the owner lives. Having owned a large number of boats, Jacky Setton knows exactly what he wants. “Projects of this type can be counted on the fingers of one hand for us, but it is interesting because it is a different exercise from racing boats,” adds Yann Penfornis. “And working with an owner with his strong convictions, both demanding and aesthetically, who is not looking for fashionable boats, but boats that are to his liking, pushes us to our limits. For example on Paja, Jack had asked us if it was possible for the benches where the winches were mounted to not be connected to the base of the cockpit, so to look as if this structure was ‘flying’, that had us scratching our heads a little."
The build of the hull mould for this future 60-footer has just started. It will be delivered in mid-November to Vannes, where the actual boat build will begin for a turnkey delivery scheduled for the end of June in Sardinia, that will be after initial trials in Brittany.
- ALICE. The Alice electric plane, developed by Eviation Aircraft, whose carbon/Nomex sandwich fuselage was made by Multiplast, made its very first flight from Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake (Washington State) on Tuesday, September 27.
- SEABUBBLES. The SeaBubbles team presented at the Cannes Yachting Festival (September 6-11) the prototype of its new hydrogen foiler, , "zero wave, zero noise, zero emissions", dedicated to passenger transport. Multiplast has built the hull, the cockpit and the coachroof.
- CLASS40. Two months before the start of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe, Martin Le Pape showed great promise during the Malouine 40' Lamotte race mid-September from Saint-Malo. After a seventh place in the 24 hours solo race his Class40 Fondation Stargardt, built by Multiplast, finished second in the Lodigroup Trophy which was raced with a crew.
- IMOCA. Paprec Arkéa is taking shape. Yoann Richomme's new Imoca, the construction of which began in January 2022 at Multiplast, will go through a major two-step process in mid-October: the hull will come out the molds then will be assembled to the deck. It will then be left to the on site teams, under Team Paprec Arkéa, to finalize the coachroof and cockpit, to install the systems (fittings, electricity, electronics) and to paint the boat in the colors of the two partners. Delivery is still expected next January.
- IMOCA Victim of keel damage last May during the Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race, the first race of the Imoca Globe Series season, Corum L'Épargne was relaunched on 29 September after three months with the Multiplast teams. They have grafted in the new elements of the keel interior structure and the new bottom of the hull as provided by Nicolas Troussel’s team. He will now be able to take the start of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe.
- GUNBOAT. The first two units of the Gunboat 80, the latest addition to the La Grande Motte shipyard, are gradually seeing the light of day: No. 1, for which Multiplast delivered the nacelle on September 23, is being assembled in the south of France, while the construction of the nacelle of n°2 has just started in Vannes, where the beam bulkheads were also manufactured and were also delivered in September.
The Alice electric plane, one of Multiplast's aeronautical projects (© Eviation)
IN THE CARBOMAN GROUP
With GIE Albatros, innovation and collaboration
Le GIE Albatros (*), of which Multiplast are one of the founding members, brings together industrial SMEs together in a collaborative innovation of processes and materials. And so on 17 and 18 November in Lorient, it will host theTechnical Days of SAMPE France (Society for the Advancement of Material Process Engineering). And so this is a good opportunity to talk with Régis Binet, the general secretary.
Can you tell us about GIE Albatros?
In essence it is a cluster of industrial SMEs formed by SMEs. The objective is to create synergies in order to work on collaborative innovation projects relating to materials, processes and products. Originally there were ten companies which joined together to listen to projects being set up at the Jules Verne Institute for Technological Research based in Nantes, of which the GIE is a founding member. We initiate innovation projects in the aeronautics, naval, energy and land mobility sectors. Now we are a group of 16 French SMEs and ETIs, mainly based in the west of France, representing more than one billion (Euros) in turnover and 7,500 employees. Together, we have contributed to more than 70 projects emerging, bringing together companies from different sectors and backgrounds.
Multiplast is one of its founding members. Which projects have benefited the Morbihan area more specifically?
We first worked for Multiplast on the development of a composite tidal turbine blade with a consortium of seven companies (Socomore, Hydrocean, Meca, Omega Systèmes, Loiretech, Europe Technologie and Pinette Emidecau). Another initiative, called Project Success, aimed to develop methods for calculating and simulating submerged composites subjected to wave impact and underwater exposure. This has enabled Multiplast to optimize composite thicknesses in order to meet customers needs in the nautical and defense sectors. At the same time, the company worked on the SolidSail project, led by Chantiers de l'Atlantique, to build a rigid sail. The overall objective is to share skills and bring out innovations between several structures in order to provide the appropriate response to our customers.
GIE Albatros is also the host sponsor of the SAMPE France technical days, an event which brings together materials and process engineering professionals each year. And for the first time, it will take place in Lorient, on November 17 and 18…
SAMPE France is a meeting that is traditionally focused on aeronautics. But it was important to us to go to Brittany to promote the naval sector. It also seemed important to us to underline the attractiveness and vitality of the region in terms of composites. The know-how is there, on this subject as well as in the technical ability to fly the boats. After a first day on Thursday, November 17 dedicated to technical conferences, Multiplast will organize the following day some much-awaited company visits, including one of its workshops in Vannes (**)
(*) Economic interest group business alliance for the benefit of thematic research actions with a scientific purpose
(**) Managing Director of Multiplast, Yann Penfornis will present two “business cases” on this occasion, SolidSail and the construction of the Imoca Paprec Arkéa
Managing partner of the Carboman group since its takeover announced last June, Jean-Denis Bargibant stresses the importance for the group of being associated with the SAMPE and the Technical Days of November 17 and 18: “Our historical profession of boat building being punctuated peaks and troughs depending on the offshore racing calendar, it is essential for the group to diversify into stable and growing markets, outside of the boating industry. Aerospace is a major one, of which we are still only an outsider, our participation in SAMPE and our membership in GIE Albatros are in this respect essential to help us communicate, push a few doors and confirm our presence on a very long market to penetrate.”
To register for the SAMPE France Technical Days, , apply here
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