Paolo Bua, the Sardinian designer who conquered Paris


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“Look, your boats were the most beautiful here at the Paris Boat Show.”
If the editor of Voile Magazine, one of France’s leading sailing magazines, is telling you this, you can already feel satisfied. Then you find out that as part of the Boat of the Year competition held by the same magazine, you were nominated with as many as four boats in all categories, and-for the first time in the history of the award-they came up with an ad personam award for you as a designer. You really hit the nail on the head.

This is in a nutshell the beautiful story of Paolo Bua, a 37-year-old from Sassari: in France, the home of sailing, he is considered the greatest designer for 2016, for the first time they decided to award a designer and not a boat. “This year I felt it would go well for me. I was awarded on my wife’s birthday, I went to France postponing the celebration: if I hadn’t been awarded she would have held it against me in years to come, Bua jokes. The question is obvious: Dear Paul, when will you delight us with a larger boat? “As soon as they commission it, I’m ready.”

“Lately,” he tells us, “almost all of my colleagues are following the fashion of ‘inflating’ the bow and deadrise volumes a lot, thinking that this promotes glide (while in my opinion it is very counterproductive, it is exactly where I want the least possible volume). This trend is carried to the limit in scow-type hulls but is evident in all new boats with rounded, bulky bows. Mine, on the other hand, are not: the bows are sharp as arrowheads, the boats slender with little wetted surface area, the freeboards low, the stern wide and planing, the center of gravity low and the displacement light. The result is little friction with the water, little grip in the wind, great efficiency and ease of conducting in the water, and an elegant line. By not following fashion, you don’t risk becoming unfashionable…. preferred to develop my own style based on my own theories and experience in the boat, trying to reconcile performance (and the results in racing and on the water in general are excellent) with harmony and elegance of lines.”

Four, we said, of the total 20 boats signed by Paolo Bua attracted the jury’s interest.

About the XO-Racer we have already told you about it HERE (don’t mind the title, Paul cut off his dreads, “I’m more comfortable now, in the boat”). The boat in question was once called Share 640 and at the time of the conceptual phase of the project was called “Mule” by two of the project members. Well, the Mule has won the world’s most famous regatta, the Barcolana, five times in a row since 2012 in its class. Length. 6.45 m; width. 2.5 m; disk. 450 kg; fish. 0,50/2,00 m

From the same yard bears the mark what bus calls a “weekender.” Thin, inverted prow and water lines that flatten toward the stern, following the dictates of the sportiest boats around, albeit with a more “genteel” style. The 50% ballast ratio makes it a rigid boat to canvas. Its minimal wetted surface gives it agility to maneuver even with little wind.

troll-26-768x713TROLL 26
Don’t be fooled by the “fantasy” and somewhat “monstrous” name. Water inputs are more than fine. Breton-based Chantier des Ileaux is famous at home for its “ultrachic” designs, which combine old-fashioned lines with modern materials. The Troll 26 has an open deck where two very long old-style seats stand out, making good use of the space vacated by the very forward mast. The mainsail sheet, so as not to bother the crew, is raised up to the helmsman’s feet. Length. 8 m; width. 2,52 m.

dsc_6242-1024x680SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT

A younger sibling of the Lightweight L8, also edited by Bua and already the winner of several awards in 2012, this 6.70-meter features double rudder blades and a lifting keel. A sporty boat suitable for more “racing” daysailing, which could also be successful between the buoys. Length. 6.7 m; width. 2.40 m; disl. 600 kg; fish. 0,60/1,80 m.



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