June 19 2017
The development schedule of the Figaro Bénéteau III, revolutionary racing sailboat monotype is running its course at the French shipyards Bénéteau, more particularly so within the Bénéteau Racing Division.
"We are almost on time" says on Yachting Art Magazine Marc Vaillier, the responsible person for the program within the Bénéteau Group. "We are barely two weeks late. There are always additional developments that require a little more time, but we basically keep our schedule".
Indeed, everything goes well for the hull of the first prototype of the Figaro Bénéteau III whose first tests of navigation and balancing will be carried out before the launch of the mass production of this monotype with foils. The hull, after infusion, has just been fully partitioned, the engine shaft line installed, the keel reinforcement partitions set up.
The bridge, also infused, is finished and was unmoulded at the beginning of the week.
The deck fittings will be installed in the course of next week. On the same dates, a mock decking will be carried out to check the conformity of the components and all the additional parts in polyester (engine case, descent) will also be readied.
Assembly of Figaro Bénéteau III in June and Launching in July.
The pieces of the puzzle are gradually assembled in the laboratories of the Bénéteau Group.
"The month of June will be the month of assembly, but we already have started", says Marc Vaillier. "The objective remains the final decking between June 19 and June 24, knowing that we are supposed to receive all that relates to the device of the foils the week before. The monohull of 10.85m overall will be ballasted in early July. The foils will be installed the following week, but the guidance system and the ball joints will be already in place. As far as the sails are concerned, they are drawn. We only need to define the finishing points between the sail boat North Sails and Yoann Richomme, winner of the Solitaire Bompard le Figaro in 2016 and skipper on the prototype as the person in charge of the Assessment and Safety Committee of the Figaro Class. The mast should be installed during the 3rd week of July and, if everything goes well, it will be delivered directly to the Port that has not yet been chosen, but which will inevitably be in Vendée where the Figaro Bénéteau 3 will have been launched".
Two months of tests in August and September
The first sailings of the first monotype foiler drawn by the Architects Firm VPLP (Van Peteghem-Lauriot Prévost) are planned for the end of July and will last for two months.
"The objective is to test everything, in particular the position of the keel with respect to the mast, in order to confirm the structure of the hull. Another crucial point to validate and that requires a long testing time is the position of the deck fittings that must be done with a precision to the centimeter. These decisions will depend on the positioning of the reinforcements placed in the foam of the bridge. Finally, we will have to make the right choices for the position of the keel in order to determine once and for all the exact configuration of the keel shaft..."
Adjustments to the millimeter are therefore mandatory to guarantee performance, robustness, and security!
Launch of the Production of Le Figaro Bénéteau III Begins in Early October
The production of the first monohull series with foils in the history of navigation should start in Nantes early October according to Marc Vaillier: "We intend to be in working order to feed the production from the first days of October. "We are going to come with one or two hulls ahead of production: manufacture these large pieces of composite polyester requires time and method and this will be the key rhythm if we want to release a monotype a week".
At the beginning of October, the Figaro Bénéteau 2 - signed Marc Lombard - will engage in its last offshore racing season before a good and deserved retirement.
First technical features of the Figaro Bénéteau III:
Overall length: 10.85m - Length of hull: 9.75m - Maximum width of hull: 3.47m - Light weight: 2900kg - Certification: A ISO/World sailing