developed and seo specialist Franco Danese

Vitalia II, the legendary catamaran to sail around the world

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Vitalia II

50 days and three years. Very different times for the same travel on the same boat. This is the story of a boat owner, passionate of multihulls and catamarans, who marked the history of ocean sailing. The owner is François Bich, the son of the same Marcel Bich who managed to managed to open the America’s Cup to a greater number of challengers. It was 1970 and François was sailing on the 12-meter SI France, the first challenger of Marcel Bich (he was defeated by the Australian Gretel II). The experience was repeated in 1974.

François BichBut the curriculum of the current CEO of Groupe Bic also includes a lot of ocean. It all started in 1970, with Eric Tabarly on the Pen Duick III. Later, it was the turn of Shenandoah, the 52-meter gaff schooner owned by the family from 1972 to 1986. But François loved multihulls. So, he bought the trimaran with which Steve Ravussin won the Route du Rhum in 1998. He also sailed a lot on board the 24-meter Magic Cat (project by Gilles Ollier), where he met Yann Penformis, Director of Multiplast, the shipyard which built the boat.

Lastly, the decision to make his dream come true: a world tour on a very fast boat. He visited Multiplast headquarters in Vannes and talked Mr. Penfornis about possible projects. Going out the offices, however, François’ eyes are captured by a catamaran in the yard. It’s large, dusty but loaded with history and record.

 

DISCOVER OTHER SEA AND STYLE STORIES IN THE NEW ISSUE OF TOP YACHT DESIGN

A CATAMARAN THAT MADE HISTORY

50 days, 16 hours, 20 minutes and 04 seconds made it the fastest boat in the world in 2005. The boat was the Orange II, launched in 2003 and skippered by Bruno Peyron. François decided it was the right boat for his world tour. The name was changed in Vitalia II, as the sum of his children’s initials. The challenge begun: to convert a 38.60 x 16.90 meter catamaran into a cruising super-cat.

Orange II during the winning world tour in 2005

Orange II during the winning world tour in 2005

THE BIRTH OF VITALIA II

Vitalia's first outing

Jack Michal, Franck Martin and Yann Penfornis, the three architects that designed the first Orange Ii are together again with a new responsibility. ” The goal – explains Mr. Penfornis – was to combine, in the most elegant way possible, a central and fully-equipped unit with a large lounge, a galley, a master cabin and an outdoor living zone”.

The left hull house two VIP cabins, while the right one accommodate the crew quarters and heads. Everything without increasing weight and therefore modifying the righting torque of the cat with possible disastrous consequences on the structure and equipment. For this reason, load cells have been applied to the rigging of the forty-eight meter mast, which also carries 1000 square meters of sails. The crew thus knows first-hand the efforts acting on the boat and can navigate safely, even at high speeds. Those that François Bich is preparing to test after the old Orange II, now Vitalia II, returned to the water last April 17th. To transform the catamaran that belonged to Bruno Peyron into Vitalia II for the workers of Multiplast, with Daniel Domergue of Narrative for the exterior design and Stéphane Lauro of Domicile Fixe for the interior design, thirty thousand hours of work must be added to which the ninety thousand thousand of the construction of Orange II. But the DNA of a unique cat in the world has remained intact.

THE REBIRTH OF VITALIA II – VIDEO

A WORLD TOUR IS ON THE HORIZON
Vitalia II is ready to sail around the world, thus making François Bich’s dream come true. Departure is scheduled for next November, from France to the Canaries; then, Panama, Tahiti, Cape Horn, Bermuda, Cape Town, New Zealand, Panama again and finally return to the Mediterranean, in May 2018. It will be three years, but three years flying from one port to another as just a super record-breaking catamaran, now a great cruiser, is capable of doing. Fair wind Vitalia II!

Partenza il prossimo novembre dalla Francia per le Canarie; poi Panama, Tahiti, Capo Horn, Bermuda, Città del Capo, Nuova Zelanda, di nuovo Panama e infine ritorno in Mediterraneo, nel maggio 2018. Saranno passati sì tre anni, ma tre anni volando da un porto all’altro come solo un super-catamarano da record, oggi diventato da gran crociera, è in grado di fare. Buon vento Vitalia II!

DISCOVER OTHER SEA AND STYLE STORIES IN THE NEW ISSUE OF TOP YACHT DESIGN

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