VPLP Design, a team of French-based naval architects and designers, revealed two new yacht concepts at the Monaco Yacht Show 2016.
The first of these, Ampersand, takes its name from the “&” symbol to reflect the fusion of two worlds: the somewhat raw, competitive environment of sailing performance and the softer, more homely attribute of comfortable mooring. The essence of the Ampersand 100′ is to reconcile these seemingly opposing specifications to forge an identity of classic elegance while incorporating features from VPLP’s competition boats.
“Our starting point was the work we did for Comanche, the 100 footer which seems to have won everything since her launch,” explains Marc Van Peteghem. “For instance, she features a mast set further aft to inject more drive into the sail plan, a towering mainsail and a powerful fore-triangle, as well as a chined hull worthy of our Imocas. This power was then ‘softened’ by a deck layout designed to facilitate sail manoeuvres, and timeless aesthetics reminiscent of classic regatta boats.”
Concept number two is an updated version of Komorebi, the 282ft trimaran VPLP Design unveiled last year. Reduced in length to 200ft, and without the swimming pool but retaining the same roominess, this explorer trimaran exploits her hybridity to the full with propulsion by engine and rigid reefable wingsails. Another interesting aspect is that the vessel can carry a seaplane and a large tender.
VPLP Design has been closely following developments in rigid wingsail design since collaborating with Oracle-USA17 for the America’s Cup back in the 2000s. Reefable wingsails possess numerous advantages, not least in terms of increased power, automatic trimming, and easier handling which allows for smaller crews. And that’s why VPLP Design is investing so much time and energy in the technology. “In the coming weeks we’ll be starting trials of our 8 metre-high prototype,” reveals Van Peteghem.