Orma 60

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by catsketcher, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    Hello people

    I was very lucky to be help bring the ORMA 60 Banque Populaire from the Gold Coast to Sydney with new owner Shawn Langman - of Loyal and Xena monohull fame. It was an amazing experience and lets me cross one thing of my own bucket list. A few thoughts.

    The boat was incredibly well set up - the blocks are all roped on with super cord and nothing squeaks. It means that you don't get all that worried about the massive loads that the boat must be under. I know because I had to grind the main on. Even the cap shrouds are tied to the hydraulic rams which cant the mast. If you think grinding the main on is hard then try grinding the mast to windward. No turnbuckles anywhere.

    She goes - out of the breakwater and turn on warp speed. I was in a bit of awe for the first 40 miles - about 2 hours. She felt very stable and fine then you looked at the speedo and then back at the wake and go "S--- we are flying"

    This boat could easily break any Aussie offshore record. We did not have great weather and we averaged more than 10 knots for the 380 miles over the chart (our track would have been well over 500. We ended up motoring (she doesn't like motoring) when becalmed but we did the first half of the trip in just over 10 hours and we were delivering - definitely not racing. If we had had any breeze from any side we could have easily gotten back in a day. we took 35 hours.

    These things are windward machines. The build quality is amazing. You put this amazingly deep centreboard down (which should just break - it must be under such stress) and then you wind everything on (no creaks everything is tied on) and then you look up (the sails are 4D or whatever absolutely beautiful sculptures of perfection and these are the delivery ones ) and she just flies along. 15 knots to windward in 15 true. The leeward fore beam flexes a lot and she starts flying a hull. You have to use the instruments in variable winds or you chase apparent.

    All this speed comes at a cost. I was pretty buggered before the trip - I was excited on Thursday night, Friday night I checked my watch repeatedly to meet my 3.00am wake up but you should get lots of beauty sleep beforehand. Let's say she is not the most easy boat to sleep in. Not much in the winching and calling out department but more in the slapping and "Why is there no noise now - its because I'm flying" realm. Then some big slaps on the bum and you can sleep for a bit again.

    We are hard on the wind after a night of going fast out to sea and back in again when we miss two persistent shifts. Sean is at the helm and the wind starts to pick up to 18 and then to 20. He is an ex skiff and maxi mono skiff sailor and drives the thing hard to windward for 6 hours. We are all on deck and holding on. Andrew has the sheet and Josh is talking to Shawn and I am holding on thinking - "What balls!" if he stuffed up and didn't round up to every little increase in the breeze we could have been heading to the dark side. I had the sheet for a while too and for those long hours till we tucked in a reef we had to stay on the ball. How the French do this across an ocean - on their own - I will never know. Even just holding on and looking into the huge apparent wind was hard.

    Coming into Sydney the breeze lifts (hooray a lift) then dies and we put the gennaker up - it was huge and boat speed went up to about 8 knots in 4 knots of breeze. Then the breeze died even more and the motor went on again.

    We were lucky enough to get the breeze back just outside the heads and went through doing 20s and easing sheet. Breeze must have been all of 12-15 knots. What a boat!

    They are seriously campaigning this new boat and these guys know what they are doing. They want to do the Gladstone - watch out record! I reckon this boat could do the Gladstone in ten hours - about 19 knot average.

    cheers

    Phil Thompson
     
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  2. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Great stuff Catsketcher Phil. And to think these ORMA designs have been around for decades, refining and tuning by ... "The French Suck" ... (when it comes to multihulls??) Marvelous that at last examples are here in the Southern Antipodes.
     
  3. Corley
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: Melbourne, Australia

    Corley epoxy coated

    Wow! What an experience, I'm jealous! Thanks for the insights on sailing the boat. Great to see one of these amazing flying machines in Australia.
     
  4. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Banque

    Thanks for that Phil-inspirational and exciting as hell. Appreciate it!
     
  5. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    Yeah Doug - I was thinking of you with the curved foils. We did trim them. Putting them down on the leeward side for more lift when the boat was pressed. Interestingly they seemed to really help on a reach when the leeward ama would not be pushed down much at all if the foil was down.

    The workmanship of the foils and cases must be amazing and I would love to pull one apart. We could wind the main board down at full tilt and the thing is about 4 metres deep under the hull. I couldn't see the bearing on the main dagger but the floats daggers had beautifully machined UHMW plastic bearings that fitted up really tight onto the very strange shaped foil. Certainly not straight on the underside. Again you could wind it up or down with full load on. I can't even get the board up and down on my 38footer with any load on. I would love to work with a builder one day to learn a heap more.

    Gary - you should hang around Vodaphone when she comes home - she is pretty similar. Maybe you can help deliver her back to NZ from the Whitsundays!

    cheers

    Phil
     
  6. Ilan Voyager
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    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    Catsketcher... lucky man...Thanks for your thread and sharing your experience.
    You have seen French quality after 40 years of experience of racing multihulls (the first one was Pen Duick IV (Manureva after) made on 1968 for Tabarly at the shipyard Chantiers de la Perriere...).

    In France we have had the luck that the races are very popular and drain a lot of money since 1980 so we are now at the second generation of NA, NE, aero-hydro dynamicians, sailmakers, technicians and builders highly qualified in advanced composites, sails and exotic metals. Add a big bunch of skippers and crewmen, able to get the best from these formidable wind machines. It's a whole industry.

    The plastic ball bearings initiated from helicopter material. The very special plastics have nothing in common with the plastics, except the name plastic, you can find on the market. There is a strong link between the aerospace industries and the multihulls design and building. A group of aerospace mechanical engineers work in the two fields. A number of shipyards like Multiplast make also composite pieces for aerospace and car racing, so you can imagine the quality attained. Multiplast has a 50 meters (more than 160 feet) oven and can "cook" an entire mast or hull. Or a plane fuselage...

    Anecdotal; we measured in 1987 on Fujicolor the stress on the mainsail sheet blocks: 14 metric tons, and the max dynamic compression under the mast: 72 metric tons. Lancelin designed all a special line of ropes able to cope with the sheet loads. I have always as "souvenir" on my office to press my papers a titanium block with double plastic auto-cleaning 45 degrees ball bearings weighting 432 grams complete and able to take a 3.2 metric tons load without any squeak or blocking. The price was....stratopheric. "Hand" made by a aeronautic shop making hardware for Dassault's fighters.
     
  7. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    ================
    Thanks, Phil. It's fascinating that they can adjust the foils under load. Were they moved hydraulically ? Sure would like to know more about the bearings..
     
  8. Ilan Voyager
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    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    Catsketcher: Is it the BANQUE POPULAIRE IV, designed by Nigens and Cabaret, and made in 2002 under the name Bayer Cropscience? A friend told me in June that the boat was sold to an Australian.
     
  9. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    Yeah Ilan it was an Irens Cabaret boat - I am not sure of the build date. I do know that Irens said that no more ORMAs had been built after 2002 so this may be the last of the line.

    Doug - the foils were moved by lines led to winches. Only the mast canting was hydraulic. Easy enough to move considering the size of the boat

    Phil
     
  10. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Thanks, Phil!
     
  11. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Catsketcher Phil, Groupama 11 was the last ORMA 60 built (2004) and she was, as expected, immediately jumped to the top of the fleet - and that is the one some wealthy Aussie/Kiwi should obtain.
     
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  12. Ilan Voyager
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    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    Thanks Catsketcher. It's the Banque Populaire IV, built in 2002 as Bayer Cropscience. Bought at the end of 2004 by Banque Populaire and modified in 2005 . Raced from 2005 to 2007 skipped by Pascal BIDEGORRY. Rented in 2008 by Oracle-BMW for learning the multis in match racing and rented later by Alinghi for the same goal. Sold on the end of May 2011 to an Australian. Surely Mr Shawn Langman. A very good machine for the victory. Very few multis in Australia are able to follow it.

    Groupama II is also a beast, and the last Orma 60, building ended by the shipyard CDK in 2004 after a very long time of design by Van Pétéghem-Lauriot Prévost, and building. That would be also a good buy.

    Generally these boats are not very "expensive" when sold used and have the great advantage of being very well tuned. All that broke was fixed, so reliability becomes pretty good. Maintaining them for racing is another costly problem...

    Sometimes, there are good occasions. A friend of mine bought in 1989 a Formula 40 (design Irens, built by Jeanneau Composites) complete with 2 masts, 1 set of sails in terylene for convoying, 2 sets of racing sails, and one small truck of spares parts for 50000 dollars!!! In 1989 the F40 was dead, killed by the costs and the rivalries inside the French sailing federation...nobody to buy a F40...
    It was slightly modified for -very- fast coastal cruising and local races.
     
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