New Virbac-Paprec underway

After 70 iterations of the VPLP-Verdier design, work begins at Cooksons

Wednesday August 26th 2009, Author: Laurent Simon, Location: United Kingdom
This week in Auckland sees the start of the build of Jean-Pierre Dick’s third IMOCA 60. Technical director, Nicolas Abiven, arrived in New Zealand this weekend to supervise its construction at the Cookson yard. Cookson built Virbac-Paprec 1 and is one of the world’s most experienced builders of race boats, including the Cup boat for Emirates Team New Zealand.

So what is the philosophy behind Jean-Pierre Dick’s new IMOCA 60? "The third will be different from the first two designs by Farr Yacht Design. Jean-Pierre, who has considerable ocean-racing experience, had a precise idea of what he wanted," says Abiven. "The design team has a very simple, light and efficient boat in mind. Like its big brothers, it too will be innovative in the domain of safety and ergonomics among other things."

The design team comprises seven people Dick, Guillaume Verdier (hulls and structure), Vincent Lauriot Prévost (piloting of the project and design of the appendages), Mike Kermarec (performance), David Barnaby (Southern Spars mast), Laurent Delage (sails from North Sails) and Abiven. "Together we have put in around 4,000 hours work to get where we are with this new IMOCA," continues Abiven. "It’s passionate and meticulous work where you constantly have to take a good look at yourself, discuss everything and finally come to a decision. By way of example, the final hull was the 70th we drew up!

Abiven reckons the build of the new boat will take around 30,000 man hours, thus a launch in May 2010.

Build schedule
- 25th August 2009: opening of the plan at the Cookson yard
- August/ September: hull mould
- October/ December: creation of the hull and deck
- January: Assembly of the hull/ deck. Construction of the mast
- February/ April: assembly of the various pieces of equipment
- May: launch and test

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