Next People's Boat? O'pen BIC - 400 Foilers - 0

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Chris Ostlind, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Next People's Boat? The O'pen BIC

    The folks at BIC have been busy since the intro of their new boat, the O'pen BIC, one year ago. The sub USD$3K boat, designed for kids, has rapidly swept the youth boating market with a very high fun quotient, extremely affordable pricing and a virtually unbreakable toughness guaranteed to win the hearts and wallets of the parents involved.

    This summer, they are knocking out class regattas all over the place with several taking place in Europe with large turnouts of sailors and their families. There's a lot of info about the boats, the events being held and the excitement surrounding these fun little dudes on the O'pen BIC Class Association site here:

    A recent report from the just completed US O'pen Cup is here:

    A simple, straight-forward, boat with logical controls that are easy to master and maintain is the way to go for this market segment. The boat must be affordable and even capable of being written off as a loss if the owner decides to move in another direction and it has to be sold.

    Just look at the photos and videos available at the various associated O'pen BIC sites showing the boat and the organized regattas around the globe and what you will see is enthusiasm, friendly and fun competition and a burgeoning class of young sailors, learning about boats while injecting new life into the worldwide small craft marketplace.

    The first regatta for the class in the US had 44 boats after just one year in the marketplace. One year. Geez, even New Caledonia, out in the middle of the Pacific has 20 boats already with plans to add more.

    Some have suggested a revolution, some have even suggested that it's only a matter of time. Well, folks... here it is. A beautiful example of a what could be called the next People's Boat.

    Attached Files:

  2. water addict
    Joined: Jun 2004
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    water addict Naval Architect

    where's the foils?
  3. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Yowser! Thats the question all right....
  4. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Foil Dilemma

    Joyon has snapped-up the only foil extruding machine (curved, or otherwise) in France so he can have the exclusive supply whenever his break off unexpectedly.

    BIC is currently building a new one, but it will take several years due to UN embargoing actions.
  5. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
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    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT 249 Senior Member

    From the little I know, this is very similar to the Bic but better; similar construction but lighter, much cheaper, not as fine in the bow (I believe fine bows are not efficient in slower, smaller boats and the Bic pics and vid shows it very bow-down), sharper chines, better rig, and part of a larger group of boats. Tera

    The next boat up (the Feva, a simple two-kid assy sloop also on PE) is already an International class.....I wish we could get them out here at the right price.

    But you're right, this sort of boat has huge potential. I still race a polyethelyne board circa 1984 and it's still very quick in its class, so the material lasts well too.
  6. PI Design
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Location: England

    PI Design Senior Member

    The Tera is very cheap (less than £1000 I think, well that's vheap for the UK!)), and I guess the Bic is too. I suppose both are modern day Oppies, and look how well they've done.
    Interestingly the Tera wasn't the brainchild of RS. It was independently designed and made, and quickly snapped up by RS when they recognised its potential.

    And the Feva is really a modern day Mirror I suppose. They are a very nice boat indeed, they really meet the needs of those that own them (parents) and sail them (kids).
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2007
  7. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Truth be told, while I like the design motif and general execution of form with regards to the O'pen BIC product and the entry level boats from RS, I'd much rather see this same boat built from something closer to sustainable, bio-based materials than the existing, almost completely petro-chemically based product that it is.

    Chemists are rapidly moving towards a wide array of adhesives and plastics which are derived from soy and lignin based resources right now. The production of a totally bio-based youth racing and rec boat would make me very happy. A boat like that could set a new standard for marine product production and put far less emphasis on the use of petro-chemicals for adhesives as well as petro-chemical based fibers.

    If one (or many) of the smart guys on this forum want to make a place for themselves in boating history, they'll redirect their attention away from the current rage for carbon and epoxy and vinylester and start producing a stream of products that can help take us to a place where we aren't going to war for oil and related resources.

    Yesh, sure, the boating industry is but a drop in the bucket of the vast sea of oil that we, in the modernized world, make use of... but it's a start.
  8. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    GREAT idea Chris.

    I guess I've been away from this entry level market too long...i only today was made aware of the craft and posted another thread before discovering yours.

  9. rapscallion
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Location: Wisconsin

    rapscallion Senior Member

    Chemurgy has been around longer than the petrochem craze.... Ford built a car completely out of soy based products in the 1930s. using oil was preferred at the time because it was cheap... the market has changed a bit since then.
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