In Search of Epicure (design commentary is also welcome)

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Hell_Bent, Sep 22, 2021.

  1. Hell_Bent
    Joined: Sep 2021
    Posts: 23
    Likes: 9, Points: 3
    Location: Vancouver BC, Canada

    Hell_Bent Junior Member

    Greetings all,

    Although I fear it to be a lost cause, I am searching for any more recent concrete reports on the fate of the cruising proa Epicure. I have done a lot of fishing around in the last couple of years and still have yet to find anything on what happened after she ran aground for the second time. Things I already know:
    The brainchild of Daniel Charles, she was launched in 2010
    Aluminium hulls with a stayed (main only?) rig
    Charles was unhappy with her performance, specifically with regards to her rudder/board arrangement
    He eventually ran out of money and had placed the boat on a mooring on the Blavet river with the mast down (presumably for bridge clearance) sometime in 2012?
    He attempted to sell it (for a very small sum if I remember correctly) for a while but could not find a buyer
    During that time, it broke its moorings twice and drifted downstream to rest on the rocky banks
    Due to a lack of funds, Charles let the insurance lapse and as such had no way of recovering the stricken proa. I heard from a friend that she was pretty badly vandalized during her time on the river bank
    I gather from another forum post that the builder had tried to gather funding to put the boat on the hard again in 2013, but I was unable to find any proof of this occurring nor any proof of its success
    Since then, there have been one or two more posts about this boat, but nobody has had any other reliable information to offer. However, since it’s been a few years, I thought I would reach out on a variety of different forums to see if anyone has heard anything since then. Epicure is one of the few modern proas that was professionally built and one of the only ones made from aluminium. Presumably she is not still sitting on the river bank (recent satellite views show no sign of her where she was spotted previously nor further downstream) so what happened to her?
    Was she towed and then cut up for scrap (a fate facing too many metal boats when their owners are unable to support them) or is she sitting in a field somewhere growing moss like that one Newick atlantic proa?
    Anyways, if anyone knows anything other than what I have provided above, that would be greatly appreciated. It would be a shame if such an iconic vessel ended its life under a grinder, but given the amount of time it’s been since anyone has heard anything, I’m not hopeful.

    Cheers

    Epicure Sailing.jpg Epicure Beached.jpg
     
  2. oldmulti
    Joined: May 2019
    Posts: 2,592
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    Location: australia

    oldmulti Senior Member

    Hellbent, Page 134 multihull structure thoughts. "Daniel Charles designed and built over 7 years Epicure an “Indian Proa” which is an Atlantic proa which he launched in 2010. Epicure is 47 x 23.5 foot with a 47 foot long lee hull and a 38.7 foot windward hull that contains the accommodation. The weight complete’ without crew, food or diesel, is 11900 lbs. The rig is a mainsail of 1050 square foot, to avoid the jib problems when shunting, an electric winch does make sail handling easier. A flying jib can be rigged in light air. The lee hull has a length to beam ratio of 18.5 to 1. The windward hull is about 8 to 1 at the waterline. The draft is 3.8 foot over the retractable rudder daggerboards. The Bruce number ranges from 1.46 to 1.99. This indicates a fast boat. ..... Daniel had to sell the proa a short time after the launch due to the cost involved in the build. He stated it sailed very well but deserved an owner who would use it as a true fast cruiser. The jpegs give the idea of a very interesting boat."

    But what you are looking for is some of the source info. Some of the info came from an advertisement of Epicure for sale in about 2017/18 for minimum money. It will take some searching to find that add as I tripped across it looking for something else. Either contact Daniel or check his web site as well.
     
    skyking1 likes this.
  3. Hell_Bent
    Joined: Sep 2021
    Posts: 23
    Likes: 9, Points: 3
    Location: Vancouver BC, Canada

    Hell_Bent Junior Member

    oldmulti,

    I appreciate your response. Given your recollection, seems as though she was put up for sale twice. One Proafile article from April 4th, 2011 states that the owner intended to put her up for sale then, before she was wrecked. I imagine, given that I also vaguely recall seeing her advertised again somewhere more recently (within the last 5 or so years), that you are correct. I cannot seem to find Daniel's website anymore, although I could have sworn I found it previously. Maybe my memory has thrown in the towel already.

    Cheers
     
  4. oldmulti
    Joined: May 2019
    Posts: 2,592
    Likes: 1,678, Points: 113
    Location: australia

    oldmulti Senior Member

  5. Hell_Bent
    Joined: Sep 2021
    Posts: 23
    Likes: 9, Points: 3
    Location: Vancouver BC, Canada

    Hell_Bent Junior Member

    In all of my years of looking into proas I never found that. The good people of the SA forums managed to locate Epciure in a tidal drying area just a short distance from the mouth of the Blavet where she seems to have been laying since at least 2017. She also appears to be in one piece, although probably with catasrophic damage to her interior. Since all of the photos of her are from when the tide is out, I cannot attest at this time as to whether or not she floats. The area is also a park, which is probably why no recovery attempt has been made as there would be a ton of red tape to hack through. Believing that is better than believing that everyone with a stake in the project has completely given up.
     
  6. skyking1
    Joined: Aug 2011
    Posts: 72
    Likes: 1, Points: 6, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Tacoma

    skyking1 Junior Member

    if it's a park the red tape is in leaving the boat there and not getting it out of there. That's truly a shame for a relatively recent project.
     
  7. Dolfiman
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 1,523
    Likes: 667, Points: 113
    Location: France

    Dolfiman Senior Member

    From an article of May 2013, it was planed to towed it back to its building yard CNA yachting at Quimperle, but no news since. CNA yachting itself stopped its activity in 2018 but his owner/CEO Claude Philippe still continue to build sailboats in alu alloys with a smaller structure named Laita Sailing :
    Accueil - Laïta Sailing https://laita-sailing.bzh/
    So, you can have more info on Epicure by contacting him at :
    Contact - Laïta Sailing https://laita-sailing.bzh/contact/

    The 2013 news :
    https://www.ouest-france.fr/bretagn...rao-epicure-na-pas-dit-son-dernier-mot-935816

    PS : proa in french is prao, so use "prao" in case of search with google about the french scene.
     
    fallguy likes this.

  8. Hell_Bent
    Joined: Sep 2021
    Posts: 23
    Likes: 9, Points: 3
    Location: Vancouver BC, Canada

    Hell_Bent Junior Member

    I'm ashamed to admit that it took me quite a while to figure out that, considering the boat was French, that I should use the French search term. I did this about five days ago and did indeed find quite a bit more info. I am also glad that someone else also traced the builder from CNA back to Laita Sailing as I was questioning whether or not I had that right. I have been in contact with Daniel Charles and he has been kind enough to provide a good deal of information and technical documents that have shed a bit more light on the dimensions of the vessel and the construction of the rig, which would need to be rebuilt as it seems to be long gone. I could make an entire topic on the rig alone which was custom built of folded aluminium in a few sections connected at the spreaders. The boom was also folded aluminium and was apparently lighter than a similar one built out of carbon fiber according to Charles.
     
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