News Autumn 2004
In the wake of Orange II built in Multiplast's brand new production unit in Vannes, the shipyard remains the favourite for ocean-racing multihulls. Idec, Magic Cat, Geronimo and Foncia follwed one another as other Multiplast teams worked on sites beyond the yard – in Lorient on Orange II or in the south of France for fitting all carbon spheres for helicopter flight simulators.
Check-up for Magic Cat
After having sailed round the world and clocked up more than 60,000 nautical miles charter sailing since being launched in 1996, Magic Cat is taking advantage of her visit to France to drop into the Multiplast yard and will be undergoing a check-up before getting underway for a new season in the Caribbean..
Magic Cat, an 82 foot long cruising catamaran designed by the Gilles Ollier Design Team and built by Multiplast, was in need of a spot of attention here and there after having sailed round the world. Apart from a general check-up, she needed to have her deck paint redone, her hulls polished and a general overhaul of her standing and running rigging. Her halyards dated back to her launch !
Since 1999, upon the request of her owner, Jocelyn Huet has been in charge of monitoring the multihull over a three-year period, be it in the yard or elsewhere, in order to keep a trace of the work done and to ensure precision maintenance.
New central hull for Foncia
Alain Gautier has decided to change the central hull on his trimaran for next season in order to save weight and to increase volume. Multiplast is building and assembling the new elements onto the existing structure.
Alain Gautier : "To start with, I wanted to build Foncia at the Multiplast yard in view of their expertise and the fact that we have always got along well with Gilles Ollier and his team (Foncia's first masts were built there). But unfortunately the yard was busy building another 60 foot project. It was only natural for us to chose Multiplast for this big winter session in the shed. As the architects Van Peteghem and Lauriot Prévost are now on the same business estate, it's very easy to work efficiently."
The new hull is being made in the mould which was used for Groupama II, the series' World Champion. We will be able to save about 350 kilos. She is made of prepreg carbon Nomex sandwich vacuum cured at 120° C. She is due to be launched in March 2005.
After her fantastic single-handed record-breaking jaunt round the world in just 72d 22h 54mn 22s (average speed of 12.42 knots), the 90 foot long Idec trimaran (formerly Olivier de Kersauson's Sport Elec) needed a bit of a clean-up.
Last summer, Francis Joyon asked Multiplast to give Idec a face-lift. After waiting on stand-by for a month on the coast of Spain, the Breton skipper has just chalked up yet another record on the Discovery Route from Cadix (Spain) to San Salvador (Bahamas). The first solo reference time on this transatlantic course is 11d 03h 18' 20". On the return passage, Francis will try to improve on the world 24 hours solo record, currently standing at 540 miles, an average of 22.5 knots...
Géronimo Cap Gemini Ernst & Young spent a total of 4 weeks in the Multiplast yard in October and has now been re-launched. An important winter session in the shed as Olivier de Kersauson's multihull has had hydraulic mast canting systems fitted.
It was decided to make these changes with a view to improving the grey trimaran's performance before setting out for the Persian Gulf and Doha (Qatar) via the Suez Canal to take part in the Oryx Quest race, a crewed non-stop race round the world due to start on 5th February 2005.
Six days a week, a dozen or so "prototypists" form the yard have worked on the biggest racing trimaran in the world. Yann Penfornis : "...the time spent on her was concentrated due to the efficient organisation of the yard and the boat's teams. Operations did never the less require a great amount of attention to detail – making a split in the floats along more than one third of their length to make runners and fixations for the hydraulic cylinders, demands attention to the slightest detail and enormous precision." After spending one month on trials and perfecting the now mobile spar, Géronimo should be leaving France at the start of December.
Orange II – On stand by...
Now back in Lorient (56) after her Mediterranean campaign, Orange II is now preparing for a new attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy and should be on stand-by any day now.
Constantly undergoing development, the maxi-catamaran had tried out a new rudder on her attempt at the Mediterranean record, in order to improve her course-holding ability at high speed. As results proved to be satisfactory, the platform has had new rudders fitted for a her new attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy which Bruno Peyron has already won twice over on Multiplast built boats (Commodore Explorer & Orange I).
With this maxi-multihull, Multiplast has added two new world records to its list of achievements – the greatest distance under sail in 24 hours (706.5 miles) and the trans-Mediterranean record from Marseilles to Carthage (Tunisia) sailed last September in 17h 56' 13" at an average speed of 25.53 knots.
Recently, Multiplast installed all carbon spheres for helicopter flight simulators in the south of France, commissioned by Thalès.
This final phase demands a high degree of precision and just like in the construction of prototype boats, a level of quality which is systematically incorporated into projects undertaken by Multiplast. The yard's savoir-faire in the making of large-scale composite components including their conception, manufacturing process and tooling is increasingly becoming an industrial reference. On the occasion of the annual SAMPE conference (Society for the Advancement of Materials Process Engineering) held in the Airbus premises in Toulouse (France), on 19th November 2004, Gilles Ollier gave a talk on the "design and production of large-scale composite parts".
Plus d'informations : www.sampe-france.org