One of the most challenging tasks for any yacht builder has to be coming up with a new design to replace a successful and much-admired model. It is one thing for a big volume builder in the business of building boats to meet the latest fashions in design, when constant novelty is expected, but if your reputation is synonymous with a particular niche, then things become far more complicated.
In the case of Boréal Yachts, who have spent a little over fifteen years building a range of production high latitude yachts that have won every award imaginable, the challenge is even greater. How do you improve upon such a winning formula without losing touch with the things that originally made your name?
Boréal have built 65 of their most popular models, the 44 and the 47. Both of these yachts share most of their design features with the exception of the stern, the 44 having a flat transom and the 47 having an extended retroussé (sugar scoop) transom. Both are simple, robust boats designed to be safely navigated in the most extreme conditions to the wildest places on earth.
They are a tough act to follow, but now Boréal have come up with a truly ‘new’ design that will replace those two models and will certainly expand their target market.
As with the old 44 and 47, the new boats—designated the 44.2 and the 47.2—will share an identical hull form except that, rather than a sugar scoop, the new 47.2 is extended aft to accommodate the larger cockpit and also has changes to the rig and sail handling.
While writing this first article for English-speaking readers about the new boats, I spoke to Boréal founder and designer Jean-Francois Delvoye, to find out more about the new boats and how they have been developed: