Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD
Product Feature
Harken NEW 30mm Protexit Double Block - 1201
Harken NEW 30mm Protexit Double Block - 1201

The Multi 50 Arkema 4 taking shape

by Team Arkema 16 Jul 2019 08:09 BST
Lalou Roucayrol oversees the design © Vincent Olivaud / Team Arkema Lalou Multi

The construction of the Multi 50 Arkema 4 announced last year by Arkema and Lalou Multi is well under way. Designed by marine architect Romaric Neyhousser, this innovative trimaran will be skippered by Quentin Vlamynck under the watchful eye of Lalou Roucayrol who manages the project and takes on the role of coach. The three men disclose the rationale of the boat and review the progress of its construction, the boat's launch being scheduled for Spring 2020.

A new rationale

The long design phase of the Multi 50 Arkema 4 is over and the design of the future trimaran has been approved. "Thanks to feedback from the former Arkema 1, Lalou Multi and his sponsor-partner Arkema have laid down a new framework. This first trimaran built by Lalou Multi was based on a short-handed crew at sea. The latest Arkema 4 has less typical features, is more versatile and more efficient for the crew as well as inshore. This has guided the choices regarding the platform, in particular for the "X" crossbeams (not parallel beams) used to optimize the ergonomics in crew sailing", explains marine architect Romaric Neyhousser. "The geometry of the boat has changed compared to the former model as it is being built around the foils. For example, we have reduced the volume of the floats. The central hull too will be very different", comments Lalou Roucayrol.

Much work has gone into the aerodynamics of Arkema 4. "The idea is to reduce the aerodynamic drag as much as possible, even more than on the other Multi 50. The objective is to profile all the shapes that produce drag, in particular for the crossbeams, but also to work on the sheet effect of the sails. The fairing adds weight, but we believe that the resulting gain will offset this additional weight", explains Romaric Neyhousser.

Cockpit with enhanced protection

Although Arkema 4 will be a very high performance boat in major crew races, it will also have to be suited to ocean sailing, in particular with regard to on-board protection and "relative comfort" at high speed. Arkema 4 will offer greater protection for its sailors than its predecessor. "It's vital to keep up the pace more easily sailing as a pair or solo, and to be able to go fast over a sustained period of time, including in challenging conditions", explains Quentin Vlamynck, the future "pilot" of the machine.

Integrating the Arkema Group's materials

Arkema and Lalou Multi share a desire to apply and make the most of their expertise in materials and boat building. "We are using this building project to draw up an inventory of all Arkema materials that can prove beneficial to our boat's performance but also the Class as a whole", Quentin points out. For example, the Elium® thermoplastic resin is used to manufacture a number of components, including the crossbeam mould that will be recycled when construction is over. Other applications include a greater use of the wide range of Bostik adhesives, the production of parts using 3D printing, and work on the batteries.

Daniel Lebouvier, Innovative Technologies Manager at Bostik, comments on the philosophy of this partnership with Lalou Multi: "From the start, integrating our materials into the boats has been a major component of the project. The first trimaran Arkema 1 benefited from our Bostik structural adhesives and Altuglas® glazing. The mini 6.50 Arkema 3 prototype was the first racing sailboat fully built from Elium® composites with a recyclable matrix. In the new Multi50 Arkema 4, we are still using these solutions which have now been tried and tested, while also introducing new ones. The Arkema Group boasts plenty of innovative technologies dedicated to reducing the weight of structures, protecting them in extreme environments, and managing energy. Ocean racing is an exceptional testing ground for us. And we benefit from the expertise of the Lalou Multi team to tweak and fine-tune as required. It's also a matter of great pride for Arkema's team to see their products in action in such a demanding environment."

What's the state of progress of construction?

Apart from the mast (built by Lorima) and the monotype foils, the Lalou Multi team is managing the entire building of Arkema 4, in close collaboration with Arkema's R&D teams. Construction is on schedule. The moulds for the floats, the central hull and the crossbeams are ready. Ancillary parts (like fairings and mainsail traveller) are ready and waiting to be grafted. Meanwhile, the new Lalou Multi construction site is now ready at Verdon-sur-Mer. The site will be fitted in the summer, and it is there that the floats and the central hull will be built, starting in September. All the parts should be assembled in December-January. Then all the systems will be fitted on board, ready for the boat's planned launch in Spring 2020.

In the meantime, while he is heavily involved in the construction of his future boat, skipper Quentin Vlamynck continues to build up knowledge and experience thanks to an intense training program, and is being coached by Lalou Roucayrol. In addition to courses as well as training in false solo mode, both sailors will also be present in the major races of the Multi50 circuit at the helm of the Lalou Multi trimaran, from mid-July. An opportunity for Quentin to further improve his knowledge of the boat, enhance his skills in leadership and automated equipment, and above all clock up experience before the launch of Arkema 4.

Related Articles

Route du Rhum: Managing the skipper on board
Just as important as preparing the boat One month exactly before the start of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe race, Quentin Vlamynck feels he has already jumped in at the deep end! Posted on 6 Oct 2022
Arkema 4 new Multi50 launched
An innovative, versatile and sharp-looking yacht for Quentin Vlamynck The brand new Arkema 4 was launched in the water this morning outside the Lalou Multi Composite shipyard in Port Bloc in the Gironde region, after one year of painstaking work. Posted on 24 Sep 2020
Quentin Vlamynck prepares to take helm of Arkema 4
The youngest skipper in the history of the Multi50 class Quentin is fully aware of this opportunity and of the hopes vested in him, and he also knows that he can count on the expertise of his mentor, Lalou Roucayrol, and on the many skills of the Arkema Group and the Lalou Multi sailing team. Posted on 2 Mar 2020
Arkema 4 Trimaran testing
Driving today's testing towards tomorrow's innovation These are the values shared by Lalou Multi and the Arkema Group over many years, and the future Arkema 4 Multi50, due to be launched next Spring, reflects this continuity. Posted on 12 Dec 2019
Raphaël Lutard on the Mini Transat La Boulangère
Race is at last looming large for the young 23 year old skipper After three successive postponements and a 15-day wait, the start of this solo transatlantic race is at last looming large for the young 23 year old skipper Raphaël Lutard and his innovative prototype, the Mini 6.50 Arkema 3. Posted on 4 Oct 2019
A busy season planned for Team Arkema
Final preparations for Raphaël Lutard Quentin and Lalou will board the Multi50 Lalou Multi to take part in the Trophée des multicoques at Saint-Quay-Portrieux. They are using this boat as a training craft in the run-up to the launch of Arkema 4, scheduled for Spring 2020. Posted on 24 Aug 2019
Lutard to set off on Mini Transat La Boulangère
Young skipper has taken part in virtually every Mini Class event this year In under three months, Raphaël Lutard will set off on the Mini Transat La Boulangère, a solo transatlantic race between La Rochelle and Marin in Martinique, on board the Mini 6.50 Arkema 3. Posted on 24 Jun 2019
2018 season is underway for Team Arkema
Multi50 Arkema has been clocking up nautical miles Two great opportunities to validate the technical choices and gauge themselves to keep on making progress six months away from the Route du Rhum race. As for the Mini 6.50 Arkema 3, Raphaël Lutard has already taken part in two races Posted on 3 May 2018