Friday, December 14, 2018


Since we are talking about dream boats, this one is for Pip Hare the “ultimate” cruising boat. Pip Hare is a Yachting World journalist and test sailor and one of the best British solo racers. She will enter the next Vendee globe. I had already posted about this boat:

There you can find the technical characteristics, but this test sail, the great sailing performance of one of the FC3 53 on the last ARC and the boat quality more than justify another post, not to mention that I really like this boat.

Pip Hare says about the FC3 53: “I can’t just tell you what an extraordinary and special sailboat this is: It is built by a design house that has a proven track record in producing offshore race boats in collaboration with a yard that has a vast experience working with carbon and nomex. It is lightweight, it has a great sail area which is easily handled by two people and it is fun to sail. As an all package this is for me the ultimate cruising sailboat.”

The designers (Finot-Conq) say about it: “The project's highlights are : a fast cruising yacht, comfortable, safe, very easy to handle double-handed, and very stylish, both outside and inside.

Inspired by our IMOCA racing monohulls, this is a wide, light yacht, with one ton of water ballast each side, for maximal performance. It is entierly made of carbon fiber sandwich, with Corecell and Nomex cores. The pivoting lifting keel reduces the performance-oriented 3.75m draft to 1.6m for access to all harbours and creeks. It also provides unmatched safety in case of grounding.

The fromt part of the cockpit is comfortable and well-protected, separate from the manoeuvres, which are regrouped in the aft part. All lines are led below the deck. The longitudinal garage opens to the transom and makes the tender's lauch a breeze.

The liferaft door doubles as a bathing platform. The inside is vast and light, with very high-level finishes and equipment. The panoramic coachroof gives a great view towards the sea, even to the front. Large water and gas-oil tanks give peace of mind for even long passages.”

On the ARC, Nica, one of the three FC3 53 built made a fast transat being the 9th boat to arrive (out of 200) ahead of a well sailed explorer 60ft catamaran and not far from the two first multihulls, a Aikane 56 and a Outremer 5X (59ft). The Fc3 53 did not use the engine for propulsion; we will have to wait for the results to see if that was the case with the two bigger cats.

I would chose the previous dream boat, the Agile 42, to do the type of sail that I do, mostly on the med with the possibility of crossing the Atlantic once or twice, but if I was doing a circumnavigation or crossing oceans frequently, for sure I would prefer the FC3 53 and I would not mind much to change the Agile 42 for this one, even for med sailing.

That swing keel (1.80m draft) comes very handy for entering all small ports and find a place out of reach for most sailboats.

But please, not one with a green Kawasaki racing color. I had one and it did not look out of place on the motorcycle, in fact it looked rather well, but on a beautiful 53ft yacht? No way!


  1. What a dream boat this is! I am hopeful they would build a more production version vs the 3 customs they have to date. I wonder how the equation of value vs performance would look if they created them using the Pogo building techniques?
    I asked how much a build like this goes for and was quoted about 2.5 million euros base without sails or electronics...thats not cheap...

  2. In fact I find 2.5 millions expensive. I assume you asked to Knierim yard? Two of then were made there but not the third so I guess you can choice the place of building, if Finot-Conq agrees that they have the knowledge and the means to build it.

    Germany labor is expensive but there are in Slovenia, Portugal or Croatia high-tech shipyards specialized in racing boats that probably can make that boat for considerably less money.

    1. Out of curiosity, could you tell me more aboute the yard in Portugal? Can't seem to find anything about it

    2. They are good and very experienced having worked for years in UK on the building of top yachts before opening their own very specialized yard in Portugal. For what I hear they have lots of work.