The French boat building giant has announced it is producing hulls and decks for the Figaro 3 foiling monohull
26 September 2017
Production has started on the hulls and decks of the first Bénéteau Figaro 3 foiling monohulls.
It follows successful sea trials of the boat yard’s prototype at Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie on France’s Atlantic coast between July and mid September.
However, owners will have to wait until the end of 2018 to get their hands on the first one-design production foiling monohulls.
“We’re beginning to produce hulls and decks from mid-September,” confirmed the head of the Figaro 3 programme at Bénéteau, Eric Ingouf.
“All the boats, which are manufactured between September 2017 and December 2018 will only be delivered to their owners at the end of 2018 in the name of sporting equity with a view to participation in La Solitaire-URGO Le Figaro,” he added.
The 50th edition of the famous La Solitaire-URGO Le Figaro singlehanded race in the summer of 2019 will be the first race to feature the 9.75-metre VPLP design Figaro 3.
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Ingouf said the sea trials of the prototype have been successful and the feedback “is very positive”.
“The results are in line with what the naval architect envisaged: the foils provide both additional stability and a phenomenon of lift, which makes the boat very balanced,” he explained.
“The gentleness and precision of the helm took everyone by surprise and it’s a very important element with a view to not overloading the autopilots,” noted Ingouf.
Bénéteau is now building a second Figaro 3 which, once tested, will be used as the ‘yardstick’ for the production boat ahead of the start of mass production at Bénéteau’s Cheviré site.
2 August 2017
Bénéteau sails new Figaro 3 foiling monohull
Having announced late last year that it was building a foiling monohull, the Figaro 3, to replace the Figaro 2, Bénéteau has now launched the prototype and is trialling her off the West coast of France. These are the first photos of her sailing. Enjoy!
Bénéteau announces production foiling monohull
Bénéteau has announced that, from 2019, Le Figaro, the French singlehanded coastal and offshore series, will celebrate its 50th anniversary by racing a new fleet of foiling monohulls built by the French giant. The announcement concludes much speculation about the replacement for the Figaro 2 that was introduced in 2003. There seemed little doubt that, whatever the Figaro 3 was, it would be a foiler, but many expected the replacement to follow the vogue for foiling multihulls.
The Figaro 3 is the result of collaboration between the Bénéteau Racing Division Group, the Class Figaro, OC Sport, organiser of the Solitaire URGO-Le Figaro, Le Figaro group and foiling design experts Van Peteghem-Lauriot-Prévost (VPLP). VPLP has designed the IMOCA 60s leading the current Vendee Globe fleet and the last two winners of the solo, non-stop round the world race.
The prototype is already in production and will undergo sea trials in 2017. Construction is reasonably conventional, foam-cored GRP, but compared to the Figaro 2, it marks a step-change in design. The ‘horseshoe’ foils will emerge a deck level, like an upside-down version of the ‘Dali’ foils seen on the current crop of IMOCA 60s, and the righting moment generated means water ballast is no longer needed. The fixed keel has a narrower chord, reducing drag, as the foils will reduce leeway. The mast is stepped further aft to allow for bigger foresails, including a gennaker flown from a fixed bowsprit rather than the conventional spinnaker pole on the Figaro 2, and will feature a flathead mainsail.
Vincent Lauriot-Prévost explained ‘The challenge of the brief we were given was to create a boat that performs well and is as reliable as the Figaro Bénéteau 2. We worked extensively with the specialists from Bénéteau Group to design a hi-tech boat in terms of both manufacturing materials and processes.’
‘The versatile foil we’ve created provides more than just the dynamic power and vertical lift that is sought after in IMOCA. We’ve designed it in such a way that it creates as little resistance as possible in the light airs and reduces leeway at full speed.’