Chantiers de l'Atlantique presented their project for the construction of a sailing vessel. On this occasion, many yachting companies took part in the project. From the mast to the sail steering system, they enter a new market while funding developments that can be beneficial to yachting
Giant rigging for commercial ships
At a press conference, Chantiers de l'Atlantique presented with great pomp and ceremony the progress of their project to create a sail propulsion system for ocean liners and merchant ships.
The solution, developed by the Saint-Nazaire shipyard, is piloted by engineer and former sailor Nicholas Abiven.
It combines a rigid sail that folds like an accordion when lowered, called Solid Sail, and an 80m mast that can be tilted 70 ° for under-deck passage, called AeolDrive.
Following preliminary tests of the scaled-down sail, in particular on board Jean Le Cam's IMOCA and on a scale model ashore at Saint-Nazaire, the project will take the next step forward.
An initial 25m demonstrator, including the entire rigging and sail system, will be installed on land from the summer of 2021 for testing in the winter of 2022, prior to coastal trials of the 80m version at a 1: 1 scale.
“If the tests of the first demonstrator are convincing, we will start selling ships as early as 2022.
Our partners are already thinking about mass production, ”says Laurent Castaing, Director of Chantiers de l'Atlantique.
Marine Consortium for the production of mast and sails.
To implement their project, Chantiers de l'Atlantique turned to the yachting and ocean racing sector.
The sails will be manufactured by the Multiplast shipyard. It will be combined into a consortium with CDK Technologies, Lorima, Avel Robotics and SMM technologies to produce a mast that will be manufactured in 24-meter hose sections.
Jan Penfornis, head of Multiplast, explains:
“In ocean racing, we have this prowess in composite materials and we are used to working together.
We know less about this, but large trimarans Armel Le Cléach or François Gabart are very often built with a central hull made in one place, floats in another, and weapons in a third.
In the Mod70 trimaran project, we have already created such a consortium to build these boats together. "
"One mast represents 8 Vendée Globe in terms of carbon mass."
If innovation is about development, then existing industrial tools allow parts to be realized.
Multiplast has very large ovens that allow us to bake sail pieces without much investment.
The lower part of the sail will be 20 meters long by 6 meters wide, IMOCA 18.50 meters long and boats about 6 meters wide, ”says Jan Penfornis.
Helpful Reflections on Part Durability
Other project partners include engineering firm Gsea Design, instrument specialist Pixel Sur Mer, electronics specialist Ocean Data System, rope manufacturer Lancelin, rigger Blew Stoub.
Other riggers are working on the project as well.
The Wichard Group, owner of Lorima, also participates with its Profurl and Facnor brand spinning systems.
Its director, Jean-Claude Ibos, underlines his interest in working towards sustainability over the next 30 years, lessons from which can benefit yachting.
It's not so much about mechanical strength, because we know how steel behaves during operation, but about the corrosion that can occur depending on where you go sailing. "
Over time, we must find the right solutions and associated maintenance contracts to be able to service the equipment over time. ”
If the 200m liner may seem far from yachting, then we can see that the two sectors should benefit from a fruitful exchange in the coming years.
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