If you have one of these 6 “vintage” Grand Soleils, you are one lucky owner

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Grand Soleil Vintage - Opening GS_39 Soleil
The Grand Soleil 39, an iconic model by Alain Jezequel. A vintage Grand Soleil par excellence. Photos by Andrea Carloni

Fifty years of history, 38 models produced from 10 to 22 meters from 1973 to the present, 5,000 boats launched. Grand Soleil’s heritage is unique in the world of sailboats. Owning a Grand Soleil is a source of pride, no matter if it is a brand new model or a 1973 Grand Soleil 34.

Cantiere del Pardo, which produces Grand Soleils, knows that this is a great value that must be preserved by pampering its owners. That’s why it has been organizing the Grand Soleil Cup for 20 years, which was held Punta Ala in 2022 with about fifty boats, 700 sailors and a representation of dozens of different Grand Soleil models from various eras.

Grand Soleil Vintage – mythical boats

But this year, following the trend of giving more and more value to classic boats, so-called youngtimers as they are called in cars, he also created a variant of the Grand Soleil Cup, the “Vintage.”

The first edition, aimed at vintage Grand Soleils of the Adriatic, was held Portopiccolo, near Trieste. The rules are clear, only Grand Soleil Vintage Cups designed before 2000 can participate in the Grand Soleil Vintage Cup.

We are talking about as many as 13 Grand Soleil models. Many, almost all, became mythical hulls, designed by the greatest designers of the time. This characteristic of choosing different designers is unique in the global nautical scene. Grand Soleil in its history did not rely on a single designer, but chose, depending on the period, the best designers of the moment.

This is why there is such a diverse range of Grand Soleils, which, while retaining features and designs that make them instantly recognizable, are each different from the other.

Grand Soleil Vintage – an open-air exhibition

Among the 30 or so boats that participated in this first edition of the Grand Soleil Vintage Cup were all of the shipyard’s most representative models, from the legendary Grand Soleil 34 signed Finot to the larger Peterson-designed Grand Soleil 50 and German Frers’ Grand Soleil 52.

And it was like visiting an open-air exhibition where you can see with the naked eye the evolution of sailboats from the 1970s to the early 2000s. I assure you, a beautiful sight and a lesson in naval archiyecture and nautical design.

Grand Soleil Vintage – six iconic models

We asked Stefano Quaggiotti, the one who, more than anyone else in the Cantiere del Pardo, knows the life and miracles of each model, to select for us six Grand Soleils present at the event worthy of mention, models he is particularly fond of.

Grand Soleil Vintage - GS_Vintage_stefano quagiotti
Stefano Quaggiotti started working in Grand Soleil more than 20 years ago. He knows “vintage” models inside out and is the owner of a GS 39. Photos by Andrea Carloni

Here is his very personal ranking of the Grand Soleil Vintage present in Portopiccolo.


Finot’s Grand Soleil 34 – The boat from which “Everything Began”

“The photo refers to GS 34 “Aligusta” from Rimini, participated with an almost all-female crew in the GS Cup in Portopiccolo that came up from Rimini, to whom we presented the prize for the crew that came from the farthest away and the sympathy prize.”

Grand Soleil Vintage - GS 34 Aligusta
Photos by Andrea Carloni

Features Grand Soleil 34 Finot
Year of design: 1973
End of construction: 1983
No. of specimens: 300
Designer: Groupe Finot
Overall length: m. 10,18
Waterline length: m. 8,23
Maximum width: m. 3,44
Displacement: kg. 4.491
Ballast: kg. 1.600
Sail area: sq. m. 61.78


Grand Soleil 343 – A Great Success

“Jezequel’s Grand Soleil 343, born after the Grand Soleil 35, was one of the first great successes for the Pardo. Pictured is the “Cloud,” known in the upper Adriatic, which has always been present on the race courses.”

Grand Soleil Vintage - GS_343 NUVOLA
Photos by Andrea Carloni

Features Grand Soleil 343
Design year: 1985
Designer: Alain Jezequel
Overall length: m. 10,40
Waterline length: m. 8,75
Maximum width: m. 3,42
Displacement: kg. 4.650
Ballast: kg. 1.750
Sail area: sq. m. 62.34


Grand Soleil 39 – An Iconic Model

“Jezequel’s Grand Soleil 39, an iconic model from Cantiere del Pardo that needs no introduction. The photo is of my boat “ISOLARIA” just refitted beautifully (others say so!).”

Grand Soleil Vintage - GS_39 ISOLARIA
Stefano Quaggiotti’s Grand Soleil 39 Isolaria. Photos by Andrea Carloni

Features Grand Soleil 39 Jezequel
Design year: 1983
End of construction: 1990
Designer: Alain Jezequel
Overall length: m. 12,50
Waterline length: m. 9,85
Maximum width: m. 3,76
Displacement: kg. 8,300
Ballast: kg. 3.400
Sail area: sq. m. 61.97


Grand Soleil 42 Frers – Newly Iconic

“Frers’ Grand Soleil 42, one of three models that one of the greatest architects in history designed for the Leopard. A boat still with fascinating lines, one of the best examples of late 1980s design. Pictured is Roberto Cabrini’s ELISIR, also very well maintained and always presented with great pride by her owner.”

Grand Soleil Vintage - GS 42 Elisir
Photos by Andrea Carloni

Features Grand Soleil 42

Year of project: 1989
Designer: German Frers
Overall length: m. 12,65
Waterline length: m. 10,10
Maximum width: m. 4,05
Displacement: kg. 9,000
Ballast: kg. 3.400
Sail area: sqm 90.95


Grand Soleil 50 – The classic gets a makeover

“Peterson’s Grand Soleil 50, one of the models that began to set the pace for the more modern era but still with very classic lines. Pictured is ELCA, the yellow GS (born yellow from its origins) that has performed well for 30 years and continues to perform well on Adriatic race courses. Sole owner, the Naibo family, since its inception (1990s).”

Grand Soleil Vintage - GS 50 Elca
Photos by Andrea Carloni

Features Grand Soleil 50 Peterson
Design year: 1992
Specimens built: 30
Designer: Doug Peterson
Overall length: m. 15,24
Waterline length: m. 12,19
Maximum width: m. 4,30
Displacement: kg. 12.500
Ballast: kg. 4.309
Sail area: sqm 119.84


Grand Soleil 52 – The ultimate spaghetti Swan

“Frers’ GS 52, the “spaghetti swan” par excellence, almost a clone of the Swan 53 to which it really bears a striking resemblance, both in terms of lines and quality, which in those years was really excellent in terms of interior cabinetry in particular.”

Grand Soleil Vintage - GS 52 Maya2

Features Grand Soleil 52 Frers
Design year: 1987
End of construction: 1991
Designer: German Frers
Overall length: m. 16,30
Waterline length: m. 13,89
Maximum width: m. 4,75
Displacement: kg. 18.865
Ballast: kg. 7.602
Sail area: sq. m. 141.77


Edited by Luca Oriani

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