Design industry quality follows suit down to the details, where small but important deck fittings, like padeyes, Don’t jump to conclusions are machined from high-grade titanium. On the water, the remarkable stiffness of the 68’s platform translates directly into a very noticeable improvement in both performance and seakeeping. ‘The transfer of energy from the sails through the daggerboards is impressive,’ says Spike Abram, former captain of the first-generation Gunboat Tribe and now the shipyard’s brokerage manager. ‘ on 6801 Condor, the more we pushed the more the boat loved it. Other boats get a bit tender and jumpy when you push, she just performed.’ Much of the credit for this MATTHIEU ROUGEVIN-BAVILLE engineering triumph is due to VPLP, the bridgedeck (which already has says Gunboat’s head of engineering, very good ventilation) and not Stéphane Renard. The 68’s structure installing a dishwasher. is unusually intricate with many small Another smart decision by the bulkheads and ribs rather than a few owner of 6803 was to make the big ones – and it’s a lot stiffer as a huge expanse of trampolines result. ‘This translates when you’re Just because an extremely quick sailor decides to spend configurable as an open-air lounge sailing offshore passages,’ Abram area with lightweight fold-away says. ‘Stiff, safe, secure, bulletproof some time checking out the cruising lifestyle does not mean for a furniture and an awning above, – it’s just a really great boat to sail. which dramatically increases the VPLP’s way of transitioning from the moment that they have any intention of slowing down... (already very large) amount of usable V on the reverse bows into the flat living space when the is in port Top: the third person to assess the Gunboat facility part of the hull means that the boat or at anchor. generation of and team. ‘We’d just had everything moves through the waves really What sort of boat does a high- series of tightly interwoven design Most multihull builders find that Gunboats are NDTed and Bertrand was impressed easily. It doesn’t seem to decelerate performance sailing connoisseur loops involving its own build team, their typical buyers are unwilling to made in a new, with the quality,’ Jelbert recalls. and allows enough buoyancy that the purpose-built choose when it’s time to go cruising? naval architects VPLP, designers spend more than €100 to save one shipyard at La ‘Naturally we were thrilled to have bows don’t bury, and it just gives the Gunboat’s mission is to fill that Patrick Le Quément and Christophe kilogram of weight, but Gunboat Grande Motte these legends of the industry come boat a beautiful motion.’ particular niche; it drove the luxury Chedal Anglay, and key external owners understand its impact on on the south over – I was pretty nervous to say the Professional sailor Scotty Bradford performance segment of the suppliers. Rather than designing performance and are often willing coast of least. Getting their stamp of approval – another ex-Gunboat captain who France. All multihull market and has raised the in the usual broad strokes, the GILLES MARTIN-RAGET to spend €500 per kilo – or even meant as much to us as it did to the helped deliver Condor and was back bar significantly with its latest model, designers were asked to work more to save a kilo in the rig where Gunboats are owner,’ he says. on board for the boat’s first race, the semi-custom the Gunboat 68. with far greater attention to detail, it matters most. And it’s worth noting builds, fully Gunboat’s approach is to boost NYYC 175th Anniversary Regatta – is The owner of the third 68 launched creating exact 3D models of that the interior of a Gunboat is engineered to its own in-house capabilities and equally impressed. ‘I love the way it is an international businessman with everything. All equipment and already engineered to weigh a ton standard expertise by forging strong goes through a chop, both upwind a wealth of offshore and inshore systems were ideally positioned GILLES MARTIN-RAGET and a half less than a typical cruising designs but partnerships with other top-of-the- and down,’ he said. ‘And the way the racing experience including the Mini- and fully integrated, all cable runs Vast expanses , built and fitted out with a cat’s accommodation without any with great industry companies – the world’s luff tension is maintained on the Transat and Solitaire du Figaro, six were optimally routed and two fully of luxurious greater focus on weight saving than compromise on comfort. potential for leading naval architects, designers, flying jibs as the wind increases living space owners to Bol d’Or wins and two M2 Speed Tour engineered rig packages were the previous two. Gunboat’s chief In this case the weight savings customise composite engineers, sailmakers, makes those sails way more effective victories on Lake Geneva, plus recent created before the build of the first with perfect operating officer William Jelbert keep 6803 on the highest- spar builders, riggers, equipment and is a real performance benefit.’ ergonomics their yacht. forays into foiling multihull racing in boat began. and sightlines manages this process with a focus performance side of the spectrum Above: in suppliers and so on – to deliver the A third ex-Gunboat captain, pro the Flying Phantom Ultimate and The hull structure is designed to throughout, on weight savings and build quality while still accommodating an port and at best possible quality, performance, sailor Anthony Kotoun, was also A-Cat classes. He also runs and handle the differently distributed grand prix that’s on par with the best grand prix elaborate watersports element to anchor, the safety and luxury. As one of the aboard for the NYYC regatta and manages Team Tilt, a Swiss sailing tack and halyard loads of both rig performance race builds. their cruising programme - including vast expanse shipyard’s key suppliers commented: describes the 68 as ‘the best example potential of trampolines squad with current Olympic and GC32 packages, using either cabled or ‘Whenever we discussed an option a dive compressor and six bottles, forward of the ‘They do procurement properly, like yet of a turn-key grand prix yacht. It campaigns. For a sailor of this calibre, cable-less sails to give owners a lot and a safe, with the owner of 6803, he wanted surfboards and kiteboards. the top racing teams.’ was fast, reliable and did what we smooth ride mast becomes even in long-distance cruising mode, of flexibility. And so on, with unusual in rough to know how much it would weigh,’ Having a client with grand prix an open-air For example 6803's high-modulus asked of it. It can take years to get a a full carbon rocket is required. attention to every detail. The result seas. Thatʼs Jelbert says. ‘We avoided the weight sailing credentials is a great lounge with prepreg carbon spars are built by boat sorted enough to compete at the It’s easy to gauge the success of a is a remarkably versatile platform cruising, of a genset by using maximum solar motivator for a team building a lightweight Lorima, which also supplies many top level and the Gunboat 68 did it straight-up racing : it’s all that allows buyers to place the cursor Gunboat and regeneration instead, feeding high-performance yacht. However, fold-away of the world record-holding multihull out of the package.’ furniture about boatspeed and regatta results. precisely where they want it in terms style. One of the latest generation of batteries.’ Jelbert is accustomed to prospective and monohull ocean racers. The two With the cruising and racing It’s more complex for a semi-custom of performance, complexity, comfort the most Gunboat has created a tool to help buyers sending their agents, who are rig package options are optimised by potential of the Gunboat 68 fully remarkable cruiser-racer. Speed and wins are and luxury while retaining the things about owners evaluate various features of usually boatbuilders or professional Projects, whose custom validated and a fourth boat launching obviously important but there’s a reliability and efficiency of a semi- the 68 is the the boat, their impact on energy sailors or both, to check out his hardware solutions on grand prix early in 2021, the Gunboat shipyard wide range of other considerations, custom build. stiffness of requirements in different scenarios shipyard and ask difficult questions. racers and superyachts have earned has an even more ambitious project in one of which is the versatility of the The first three owners took this the platform (sailing, at anchor and so on), and The owner of 6803 sent two industry a stellar reputation: for 6803 a the pipeline: it’s time to start work on platform. That’s why Gunboat puts so versatility in different directions: make educated decisions on titans, Bertrand Cardis of Décision groundbreaking, genuinely failsafe a larger, spectacular third-generation much emphasis on getting the key 6801 is the ultimate grand tourer amenities, systems design and and Groupe Carboman – builder of new main halyard lock was designed model. The new Gunboat 80 was still design and engineering decisions with all performance, equipment and redundancy. More weight was Alinghi America’s Cup challengers, and fitted. 6803’s sails were project fully under wraps as this issue of absolutely right at the start of the luxury options ticked; 6802 is a pure saved through smart decisions by Volvo 65s and more – and Edouard managed by Pierre-Yves Jorand, the Seahorse went to press but all will be development process for a new model. performance cruiser; and 6803 is a the owner, such as fitting air Kessi – inventor of 3Di sail team director of Alinghi and head of revealed soon – watch this space. For the 68, Gunboat created a racing sailor’s idea of the ideal conditioning in the hulls but not in technology – who both turned up in North Sails Switzerland. Top-of-the- www.gunboat.com q 76 SEAHORSE SEAHORSE 77