NauticExpo e-Magazine - #3 – A Mini RevolutionNauticExpo e-Magazine

The Online Boating and Maritime Exhibition

Mini Is Big

A Mini Class hot topic ? That was a no-brainer for a magazine dedicated to innovations. In this third issue of NauticExpo e-Magazine, you’ll learn how Mini scow bows are spreading through boat design. You’ll also discover the first fully recyclable Mini vessel.

The Vendee Globe 2016 solo skippers will cross the start line on November 6. We chose to interview the people at Oceanvolt, who will power Conrad Colman’s boat for a spectacular, sustainable first: racing around the world without using any fossil fuel.

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They are also really good upwind because the water plane moves out and the bow doesn’t bury itself.

Speed is of the essence for any competitive sailor, but keeping ahead of the pack in racing also means keeping up with the latest design developments, whether they affect the aesthetics of the boat for the better. This is also true for the Mini Transat 6.50 race, also known as Transat 650, a solo transatlantic yacht...

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This is the first time in the world that a component of this size has been produced using a recyclable acrylic resin.


Among the new innovations in a prototype of the Mini 6.50, Arkema 3 includes a new recyclable manufacturing resin to build the boat, a new rig where a soft wing replaces the conventional mainsail and retractable and tilting foils. Arkema 3 is a new contestant to follow closely during the next Classe Mini races.

Let’s focus on the hidden part of this revolutionary boat, its structure. Arkema 3 is made of carbon fiber infused with a new recyclable resin developed by Arkema: Elium.

Lalou Roucayrol, skipper of Arkema Multi 50 and founder of Team Lalou Multi, the boatyard where Arkema 3 was built, said in a press kit :

“The greatest innovation of this Arkema Mini 6.50 is the Elium resin, which represents the future of offshore sailing boat building.”

Solving Thermoplastic Issues

Most thermoplastic products are made with short discontinuous fibers, such as chopped glass fiber, for reinforcement. If they can be considered as fiber-reinforced composites, their strength is not that high and they cannot be used as structural parts.

Secondly, thermoplastic resins are mostly in a solid state at ambient temperature, and in order to impregnate the fibers, the resin must be heated and the pressure raised.

Arkema’s Elium resin is liquid at ambient temperature, which allows resin transfer molding or vacuum infusion, which are now widespread manufacturing techniques for racing boats. It is therefore possible to produce structural parts with this new resin.

Recyclability Constraints

Pierre Gerard, composite expert of Arkema GRL, explains in a video (in French):

“The idea was to be able to develop a resin that is liquid at ambient temperature, and so that can be processed like a thermoset resin while retaining this thermoplastic character which is highly desirable for recyclability constraints in particular”

“This is the first time in the world that a component of this size has been produced using a recyclable acrylic resin. It was quite a significant step forward”

This is the first time in the world that a component of this size has been produced using a recyclable acrylic resin.

Reducing the Footprint

According to the necessary modifications, the boat can be reshaped by thermoforming without cutting and making new parts. At the end of its life, the resin and the fabric panels can be reused to build new composites.

This is a major step forward in boat building as boats made of thermoset resins such as vinylester, polyester or epoxy can only be dismantled when their owner definitely separate from them at a recycling deposit, where all composites are destroyed and chopped to finish in an incinerator.

Boatbuilding is now on a more sustainable path.


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We spent a lot of time ensuring that Conrad Colman will have power, and backup power.

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  • According to organizers of the Cannes Yachting Festival 2016, over 630 boats, ranging from 2.10 to 52 meters, were on display. This year 191 new models, both sailing and motor yachts, were presented in Cannes, offering significant clues on market’s trends.

    Designers pay great attention to provide generous volume and a close relationship between exterior and interior areas. Backed by sophisticated glass technology systems, large glazings on superstructures and hulls let plenty of natural light in while offering great views on the surrounding environment. A generous use of glazing also has a stylish effect on the exterior.

    3-Meter High Windows

    Courtesy of Custom Line

    Courtesy of Custom Line

    The Custom Line Navetta 37, which debuted in Cannes, is a perfect example of these trends. So is the new model of the Benetti Displacement Class range, the Mediterraneo 116, which features continuous majestic 3-meter-high windows in the main saloon.

    Both the Ferretti Group and Azimut-Benetti arrived at Cannes with a fleet of new models. Ferretti’s presence went from the Ferretti Yachts 450, the range’s captivating entry level, to the 16.51-meter Pershing 5X, with iconic brand Riva displaying the timeless Rivamare and 76′ Bahamas.

    Azimut-Benetti showed off 17 yachts representing the group’s five collections. A noticeable one was the brand new Azimut 66 Flybridge, whose volumes and spaces are exploited to the last centimeter.

    An Imposing Catamaran

    Among hundreds of sailing boats crowding part of Cannes Vieux Port’s quays and pontoons, the imposing catamaran Lagoon Seventy 7 stood out for its amazing dimension and comfort.

    Apart from a complete range of Sunseeker, which presented the new Sunseeker 95, Princess introducing its 30M and other international shipyards, Italian boat builders took the lion’s share, as usual. Baglietto; Cantiere delle Marche with its new yacht in the Nauta Air range, the 108′ Narvalo; Monte Carlo Yachts, the Italian company belonging to the giant French Jeanneau-Beneteau group, which displayed the latest entry in its range, the MCY 80, Arcadia; and Canados, which introduced its first Oceanic 76, used Cannes Yachting Festival as a privileged showcase to show the market their strength and creativity.

    Almost an outsider among powerful British, French and Italian groups, Dutch yard Moonen presented in Cannes its newest yacht in the semi-custom Caribbean series, the delightful 30-meter Bijoux.

    A new area in the market is starting to appear for sailing yachts, and Oyster Yachts‘ latest designs aim to broach it. Both the yachting and shipping markets...


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    Hydrofoil, which lifts the hull out of the water, was popular in the ’60s and ’70s, mostly with successful military and commercial passenger boats. Although hydrofoil can reduce both the effect of waves and the drag at high speed, hydrofoils are vulnerable to objects in the water and expensive to build.

    Foilborne operations are limited as wave height exceeds the hydrofoil’s strut length. These have caused a steady decline in interest and popularity, though in the past several years, the boating industry has seen new hydrofoil projects.


    A hydrofoil boat uses lifting elements (foils) to create an upward force, which raises the hull out of the water (takeoff). The lifting force is a result of a pressure difference in the flow field above and beneath the foils. This principle is comparable to wings (aerofoils) of an aircraft.

    Yet hydrofoils only generate lift when they move through water—in order to take off and overcome the total drag, extra power and an efficient hull is needed. With the hull out of the water and the foils submerged, the hydrofoil boat is “foilborne.” From then, the foils only need to keep the boat in a good seakeeping and steerable condition.

    Foils are most commonly in a T- or L-shape, and the most common system is the fully submerged type, which is more stable and less a subject to the effects of sea waves.

    Up to 65 knots

    The French sailing hydrofoil Hydroptère is a state-of-the-art vessel that combines leading technology from both the aeronautic and marine industries. The project started with a childhood dream from Alain Thébault.

    In 2009 Hydroptère broke the outright sailboat speed world record of more than 51 knots in just 30 knots of wind. Today this record stands at 65 knots by the VSR2 Sailrocket.

    In the America’s Cup, hydrofoil is the established standard, where catamarans like an AC72 powered by a tall wing sail are able to hydrofoil at speeds of almost three times the wind speed.

    These hydrofoils also exist in smaller sizes, with hydrofoil boards to surf, kite or wake.

    On large power boats

    Courtesy of Sunreef

    Courtesy of Sunreef

    In the motor yacht business, some new projects are also focused on hydrofoil. The Sunreef Yachts naval architects team decided to develop a system of retractable hydrofoils that will enable their luxury vessels to attain a maximum speed of 70 knots and fly over the surface of the water.

    A retractable hydrofoil system makes all sorts of weather conditions possible, from smaller waves to rough seas. Their first model fitted with hydrofoils will be the 40 Sunreef Hydrofoil, a 40-foot luxury motor catamaran—the first hydrofoil in the luxury catamaran industry.

    Foil-based PWC

    Perhaps the most eye-catching, futuristic hydrofoil is the Quadrofoil. The Q2 is a small PWC two-seater that’s electric powered and designed to have an overall low cost of ownership. When the watercraft is airborne, the focus is on its acceleration and power steering, making for a smooth ride on the water. The batteries offer a range of almost 54 nautical miles.

    We interviewed Simon Pivec, director of R&D, who believes that hydrofoil technology represents the future of boating.

    NauticExpo e-Magazine: Why did you choose foils?

    Simon Pivec: Quadrofoil wanted to design the next generation of watercrafts that would follow five basic guidelines: eco-friendliness, high energy efficiency, state-of-the art design, advanced performance and driving dynamics and low total cost of ownership. Hydrofoils were the optimum choice that would deliver just that.

    NauticExpo e-Magazine: You developed a specific steering technology for your Quadrofoil.

    Simon Pivec: In the past, hydrofoils had a big disadvantage. When they are fixed/rigid they are only suitable for driving straight forward. So their maneuverability was limited due to the hydrodynamics of fixed foils. We designed a patented steering system that turns all four hydrofoils and follows the turning radius without reducing speed or stability. Thanks to this technology, you can drive/fly in almost all conditions.

    NauticExpo e-Magazine: What did you learn from hydrofoil’s history?

    Simon Pivec: Science applied in the Quadrofoil project is a result of experience and knowledge gained through our projects from the past. We have also studied literature and past research, mostly learning from mistakes that have been made by other inventors and figuring out why hydrofoils have not evolved in past 100 years. But at the end, we rely and focus also on testing each and every part of the vessel.

    More on hydrofoils in NauticExpo e-Magazine issue#2



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    Wim Vercauter

    Wim Vercauter is a freelance boating editor and a fire safety expert.

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    Maria Roberta Morso

    Maria Roberta Morso is a freelance yachting journalist based in Italy.

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    Samantha Fisk

    Samantha Fisk worked at RINA for 7 years and has now gone into freelance for European magazines.

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    Kristina Müller

    Kristina Müller is a freelance journalist writing mainly about nautical and medical issues.

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    Ludovic Nachury

    Journalist and innovation enthusiast for more than 10 years, Ludovic Nachury is VirtualExpo e-magazine’s editor-in-chief.

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    Pascal Braud

    Pascal Braud is one of our content experts at NauticExpo.

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