(Source: Southern Spars)
Following months of design and development, the first Archambault M34 was launched and sailed last week in the seaside port of La Rochelle, France.
This innovative Joubert-Nivelt-Mercier design was selected as the new class for yachting’s famous Tour De France a la Voile, starting in 2011, replacing the Farr 30 after 12 years on the circuit. A full regatta schedule and a transatlantic race are planned for this developing international class.
The design brief for the M34 was for a yacht rugged enough to cope with offshore sailing, a hull shape which lends itself towards easy road transportation and a draft shallow enough to enter tidal ports.
After a rigorous selection process, Archambault Bateux appointed Southern Spars as the official mast supplier for the M34 One Design class. Accordingly Southern Spars designed and produced the carbon fibre masts for the M34 in two sections using state-of-the-art Carbon Nanotube Technology (CNT). Unlike standard filament wound products, this high-tech process allows for carbon fibre wound tubes to be manufactured with the equivalent amount of zero degree fibre as its pre-preg counterparts, guaranteeing higher strength properties.
Through the use of Carbon Nanotube enhanced resin, Southern with the help of its technology partner Compotech, has been able to improve the strength properties of these one design masts. This has resulted in the manufacture of stronger and more durable masts that are lighter and smaller in section.
Over the past 15 months, Southern Spars has been incorporating CNT Technology into the manufacture of its latest One Design class masts. Classes such as the Elliott 6 Olympic women’s match race class, as well as the Audi Melges 20 which was named ‘2009 One Design Boat of the Year’ by the prestigious Sailing World publication can be seen sporting this breakthrough technology.