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The next Volvo Ocean Race boat design

This week, the first mock up of the Guillaume Verdier-designed new Volvo offshore monohull was revealed at the Boatyard in Lisbon – and it looks incredible.

Guillaume Verdier recently came to prominence as a designer for the foiling 2016 Vendée Globe boats, and for the 36th America’s Cup winners, Emirates Team New Zealand.

Verdier has now gathered his team around him, and they have been working hard on the hull lines.

The design has developed in a way that will enable IMOCA 60 compatibility, making it convertible, relatively quickly and inexpensively, to a short-handed rules-compliant IMOCA boat for events like the solo Vendée Globe and two-up Barcelona World Race.

“We don’t think there is any compromise to making a stand-alone Volvo Ocean Race boat comply with the IMOCA 60 rules. Although in Volvo mode, we will have another keel, we will have different rudders, foils, we will have a different rig on it,” said Nick Bice, VOR Director of Boats and Maintenance.

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The critical path target is to have the eighth new boat launched by June 2019.

Working back from that, they will start machining the moulds in September 2017. Then start laminating the first boat at the end of February, early March 2018.

Persico will be the lead contractor, with about 40,000 hours per boat and they will definitely do the hull and deck, and put the composite shell together.

Then it gets delivered to The Boatyard in Lisbon for the painting and the fit out.

The first boat will arrive at The Boatyard facility in September 2018, two months after the next Volvo race ends, and then every four weeks.

It needs to be finished by the end of November 2018, with the whole fleet ready by the middle of 2019. The process takes roughly three months, painting, fit-out and then branding of the boat.

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The tender period closed for the inshore foiling multihull on the 31 July and 16 proposals were received – a remarkable response from the marine industry.

Nick Bice and his team must now sift through them and make a decision on which proposal to take forward.

“We want to announce the result during the prerace festivities, in Alicante in mid-October,” Bice explained.

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