Monday, March 21, 2016


No, it is not this one, this is just an ante-vision (François Chevalier) of what could be the future boat but an interesting design nevertheless. So, what we do know about the characteristics demanded for the new boat?:

"The new one-design racing boat will have a racing program of  mainly offshore solo and duo races. It will integrate technologies that will provide a substancial improvement in performance, without diminishing the seaworthiness and allowing easy access. It  will fulfill the requisites for  ISO Category A and Category 1 ISAF. Its size, from 30 to 32 feet, will allow to maintain a low price and a controlled cost. The one design will be strict and  an integral part of the design and building."

We know also that only major designers with experience in designing this type of racing boats (on the last 5 years) will be accepted on the contest for the new boat and we know that the 3 finalists have already been chosen (24/2), that the 3 preliminar projects have already been delivered and that the official project will be chosen before the end of this month.

The two previous Figaros, the I in 1990 and the II, in 2003, were two amazingly advanced designs for their time, to the point that the Figaro II, designed 13 years ago still look contemporary. They were designed by two of the best French designers, Finot and Marc Lombard.

 We know already the 3 chosen finalists, VPLP (Verdier?), Finot/Conq/Manuard, Mer Forte (Michel Desjoyeaux). It seems a bit odd Mere fort being there, I don't see how their curriculum fits on the demanded competences.

Regarding François Chevalier ante-vision I am not convinced about the bow. Probably it will be rounded but not so much. That bow would be great on a Transat but on the med upwind on nasty conditions would prove to be an ineffective one, that would make miserable the life of any sailor, including a racing one. In fact even if Transats are on the boat racing program they are not the main part of it.

Not also sure about beam. probably we will have a beamier boat with finer entries or maybe not because the use of lateral foils imply a big buoyancy on the bow, specially on a small boat and I am not sure how that will be solved. I hope there will be better ways than with a bow like that.


  1. I don't know that the scow design would be bad upwind in a breeze and chop. Pedote dominated in the aborted first leg of the 2013 MT in extremely rough upwind conditions - the scow was faster than any other boat in those conditions. If the Figaro is ultimately about the Transats, then the scow shape should be looked at seriously. Having said that VPLP has pushed the limits in their IMOCA 60 designs, rounding out the front sections to the limits of the rule, before going to foils to provide additional lift and righting moment. So they may have some tricks up their sleeve for a new Figaro 3. Can't wait to see the designs, but wish Manuard was involved.

  2. Isnt Manuard involved with FinotCong ?
    And this drawing is just an idea.

    First race of the calendar just finished last weekend, solo concarneau.

    1. No, Sam Manuard has an independent NA cabinet and very interesting designs, not only winning minis but winning Class 40 and the very successful Seascape series among other designs.
      That drawing was made by Franços Chevalier that is a NA by formation but that chose to make a living out of comments, articles and drawings published on sailing magazines. He has a very interesting blog about sailboat design:

  3. Paulo, I know Sam from a distance for years. Gossip goes he is in the office of Finot talking a lot with Pascal Conq.
    Actually I just found it on the Finot facebook.{%22tn%22%3A%22R%22}

  4. Thanks for the information. I had no idea and it is really a great new:

    "L'équipe finot-conq et Sam Manuard se sont associés pour être candidats au renouvellement du monotype Figaro."

    I hope that this association goes further than this project. Sam Manuard deserves to be integrated in a big NA cabinet an now since Finot is retired, or close to it, Sam and Conq would make a great association. Only a big cabinet as asses to very expensive VPP and CFD programs that are fundamental to fine tune designs and also are able to attract major commands.

    By the way, if you don't mind, get out of anonymity, there are a lot of anonymous guys here and it is much nicer if we know each other ;-). Thanks again!

  5. I had a chat with Sam Manuard last year and he meant that the scow is an no brainer for races like the Mini Transat. Perhaps that goes for the Figaro circuit as well. When it came to foils he did not want to say to much but his thinking was quite different from the Imoca or DSS foils we have seen so far. He wanted to go deeper.

  6. Hi Sam!

    I do hope so. In fact a scow bow makes a lot of sense on a boat on foils where one of the biggest problems is nose dive at speed. That type of bow offers a bigger buoyancy and therefore is a better option in that case.

    It remains to be seen if it is really a good option upwind where the actual type of foils are not also a help.

    I would hope to see some day an evolution of that bow with a kind of inversion on the top to prevent spray to come to the boat, also to create even more lift and a kind of small inverted part till to the water line to allow for less wave drag and a better wave penetration. I believe some day we will see a crossover between a bath tube bow and an inverted bow.

    Thanks for posting. Keep us informed ;-)

    1. Thank you Paolo for a great site! I just discovered it and will follow it closely.