L'Occitane, le 60 pieds Imoca d'Armel Tripon

Vendée Globe: The market for Imoca is active

Although the ninth Vendée Globe is not yet finished many teams and skippers are already busy preparing for the next edition. Between new build projects and the already active second-hand market, Tip & Shaft takes stock.

The success of the 2020 Vendée Globe breaking records in terms of participation, audience and sporting intensity has an immediate knock on effect, straight away boosting the demand for boats with a view towards the tenth edition in 2024.

“Before we used to see the post-Vendee Globe year come with a bit of trepidation but no longer is that the case today,” confirms Yann Dollo, deputy general manager of the CDK shipyard. “The period is clearly more active than four years ago, we already had requests for quotes before the finish and we feel that these are serious projects”.
At Multiplast, Yann Penfornis agrees: “Four months ago, the prospects for 2021 frightened me a lot, today the signs are much more positive.”

As for new boats, according to Antoine Mermod, president of the Imoca class, there are “three declarations for construction“. These are the two Verdier designs being built for The Ocean Race, 11th Hour Racing (to be launched in July) and Switchback, whose construction at Carrington Boats was interrupted due to a lack of sponsor, but which is about to resume: “We are currently under negotiation but the boat is not yet sold. We also have the carbon female moulds available so hoping to build a sistership,” comments Jason Carrington, indicating that that he also hopes to build a sistership from the same moulds.

The third build already in progress is a L’Occitane sistership, which Michel de Franssu, owner of the Black Pepper shipyard who built Armel Tripon’s boat, confirmed: “We’re going to put the first carbon layers in the moulds within a fortnight for a launch at the end of 2021. She is for sale and the buyer will not be able to take part in the Transat Jacques Vabre, but they will have a year to optimise and prep for The Ocean Race or the Route du Rhum. The price is between 5.5 and 6.5 million euros excluding tax, depending on the equipment.”

Well Advanced Projects

Another project in the pipeline is a Manuard plan for Jérémie Beyou. But neither Beyou, the designer nor the team with  formally confirm anything: “We’re waiting for Jeremie to come home to talk about all this in person with him and Charal. What is certain is that he will race the Transat Jacques Vabre and, normally, the Route du Rhum with the current boat, which is, for the moment, not for sale,” we were told by the team.

Among the designers we spoke with Vincent Lauriot-Prévost and Guillaume Verdier both mentioned “information gathering”, without any concrete orders for the moment. Philippe Oulhen, manager as Juan Yacht Design, says they have “a contract almost signed for an Imoca from new moulds, an atypical Vendée Globe project for a foreigner who wants to start very early and the construction would start next summer. »

Other skippers are also considering a new build, this is the case for Boris Herrmann, who confirmed his intention to us in a message and Kevin Escoffier, who specifies that “today, depending on the budget [PRB is looking for a co-partner, editor’s note], the project is either to buy a second-hand boat, or to build a new boat from an existing mould.”

Among the other competitors who are well on their way to a next campaign, many are in full swing. Team manager of Maître CoQ, Anne Combier says of the winner Yannick Bestaven: “For sure the certainty is that he wants to do it again; the idea is to have an even faster boat and we are looking at the different scenarios.”

It is a reviewing options phase too for Louis Burton: “We have three options: build, but that’s not obvious, because the development implies a large operating budget; buy a recent boat, like L’Occitane, which is desirable (see below); and the third, which I like, would be to full update the current boat.”

Charlie Dalin and Thomas Ruyant must continue until the Route du Rhum with their Verdier designs  for 2019, are also thinking about what to do next. At TR Racing a new pair of foils is announced. As for Apivia, Charle Dalin makes no secret of his desires: “My opinion hasn’t changed, after this Vendée Globe to claim victory, a new boat will be needed“.

Sébastien Simon has the same desire although he has not yet discussed it with his partners – his contract with Arkéa and Paprec expires at the end of 2021, nevertheless he says: “If I am offered a new boat I would jump at the opportunity.”

L’Occitane arouses considerable interest

On the used boat front the market is heating up fast. Among the latest generation Imocas, Hugo Boss will certainly be for sale (Alex Thomson’s team did not respond to our requests), while waiting to see no doubt where Charal go as also it is will be of interest to many teams and skippers.

Another recent boat is already on sale, L’Occitane, as was confirmed to us by the cosmetics brand: “Our commitment was not a strategic long term decision, but really something for Armel to allow him to realise his dream of racing in the Vendée Globe. It was always planned that the boat would then be sold, Armel was aware of this, and he had confirmation of this when he finished.”

The Manuard plan has a lot of interest, particularly from Maxime Sorel, who says “It’s a simple boat that interests us. Sam (Manuard) also built my Class40, which gives me confidence.” Expected price: 4.4 million euros excluding tax.

As for the Imocas of the previous generations, Seaexplorer-Yacht de Monaco, priced at 2.7 million euros with its large foils, is the target of several racers especially those who after a good 2020 Vendée Globe, want to do it again in four years time on a more efficient boat. Damien Seguin has is making enquiries as is Giancarlo Pedote also interested. Benjamin Dutreux, Alan Roura and Arnaud Boissières have all already expressed their desire to go again with higher ambitions on this type of boat.

Another 2016 generation boat soon to be on the market, the current 11th Hour Racing (ex Hugo Boss) will be for sale or rent after the Transat Jacques Vabre 2021. This will also the be case for Maître CoQ, if Yannick Bestaven changes boats. The ex Safran 2 will be for sale for 2.6 million euros excluding tax, according to Anne Combier. Fabrice Amedeo meantime is starting out on a campaign with the same VPLP-Verdier plan and a co-partner who will succeed Newrest.

Several Imoca daggerboards transformed with foils will also arrive on the market, such as La Mie Câline-Artisans ArtipôleLa Fabrique, as well as Time for Oceans, with Stéphane Le Diraison looking to launch the build of a new eco-designed boat. Costs are about 1 million euros to acquire one of these Imoca. As for MACSF, it is not for the moment for sale: a decision on the post-2021 period will be taken “within two months”, according to Eric Mollard, director of communication. Same thing at Initiatives Coeur, where partners and the team are waiting for Sam Davies’s return to discuss the future.

Sought after daggerboard boats

The market for daggerboard boats, boosted by their good results in the 2020 Vendée Globe, also promises to be active: Banque Populaire which is owned by Mer Agitée is for sale for 1.5 million euros – Banque Populaire do not wish to communicate their intentions, whereas Clarisse Crémer has not rule out the idea of starting a new campaign.

Also for sale are Apicil (1.2 million), V&B-Mayenne (950,000), Omia-Water Family (775,000), Campagne de France (450,000). Pure-Best Western, Romain Attanasio’s Farr design will be available after the Transat Jacques Vabre 2021. Finally, EyeSea, Nandor Fa’s previous boat, is also available on the market for 850,000 euros,

In this category, some projects are already launched for 2024. Before this Vendée Globe, the former Spirit of Canada was bought by Antoine Cornic, who is looking to set up a project around La Rochelle and the Ile de Ré – it will be at the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre. As for Louis Duc, he has acquired Clément Giraud’s former Fortil (damaged in a fire before the 2019 Jacques Vabre), which he will launch next summer.

And What about Yes We Cam? “She will do the next Vendée Globe, with or without Jean. If it’s without him, we’ll accompany the project technically,” replies Anne Le Cam, the team manager and wife of the fourth placed Vendée Globe skipper. “In any case, it’s not for sale, it’s a bit like our house.”

Photo: Pierre Bouras / L’Occitane

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