Dec 21,2016

Beneteau FigureJust in time for holiday giving, meet the Figaro Bénéteau 3 - the world’s first production foiling monohull.

Here’s what the Benetau press release tells us:

Modernity, reliability and performance. By combining its expertise and the competence of naval architects Van Peteghem - Lauriot-Prévost, the Bénéteau Group is offering the Figaro class the first one-design production foiling monohull ever devised. 

This Figaro Bénéteau 3 is the fruit of a stellar collaboration formed by the Bénéteau Group, with the Class Figaro, OC Sport, the organizer of the Solitaire URGO- Le Figaro and Le Figaro group. Penned by naval architects Van Peteghem – Lauriot-Prévost, whose designs won the last two Vendée Globes and are likely to be on the podium for the 8th edition, the latest of the Class Figaro one-designs is in safe hands.

The rst prototype is entering the build phase and will be ready to be launched and trialed over the course of the summer 2017. It has been established that the Figaro Bénéteau 3 will come under design category A under ISO/World Sailing.

She will wear the insignia of modernity: foils, yes, but also a more high-performance hull below the waterline that is free of ballast tanks, with a narrower and lighter keel, a mast stepped further aft and a more generous sail plan. Finally, the brief for the Figaro Bénéteau 3 was naturally to be as reliable as her predecessor. If a foil were to break in a collision, it wouldn’t damage the boat’s structure.

In contrast to the foils on the Imoca60, the latter will have an inward-facing pro le as Vincent Lau- riot-Prévost explains. «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.»
Made of foam sandwich, glass bre and polyester resin, it is in line with current designs. The most signicant change is the disappearance of the ballast tanks.

Deeper, with a narrower keel n, it will generate less drag. This will be accompanied by the reduction in leeway created by the foils.

As is the case on the Imoca60, the mast is stepped further aft, which enables the incorporation of more high-performance sails and a bowsprit is attached. The solo sailors will sail with a fathead mainsail, a genoa and of course a jib, as well as a masthead spinnaker (measuring 105m2) and, to seek out speed in the light airs, a small gennaker.