The Multi50 Arkema 4 trimaran
The construction of the new trimaran Multi50 Arkema 4 got underway in September 2018, and its launch is scheduled for spring 2020.
Read on to find out all about the boat and the progress of the project run jointly by Arkema and Lalou Multi.
A new philosophy in boat design
Designed by marine architect Romaric Neyhousser, Arkema 4 is the result of a new rationale, which will transpire in the boat’s design.
Versatility, the watchword for Arkema 4
Lalou Roucayrol sums up this versatility perfectly: “Our aim was to build a more versatile boat than the previous one, in other words just as effective in in-shore crew events as in solo ocean racing. We have put much thought into the masses and improved the aerodynamic brakes. It’s going to be a powerful boat!”
Romaric Neyhousser, the boat’s architect, details the work that has gone into aerodynamics to enhance this versatility: “The idea is to reduce the aerodynamic drag as much as possible, even more than on the other Multi 50. The objective is to profile all the shapes that produce drag, in particular for the crossbeams, but also to work on the sheet effect of the sails. The fairing adds weight, but we believe that the resulting gain will offset this additional weight.”
Here too, there are many differences with the previous Arkema 1. The boat’s design makes it more versatile, but it must also enable the sailors to keep up the pace in all types of events, whether in crew sailing, solo sailing, in-shore or on the ocean. The cockpit will offer greater protection in particular.
As Quentin Vlamynck, the future skipper of Arkema 4, explains, “It’s vital to keep up the pace more easily sailing as a pair or solo, and to be able to go fast over a sustained period of time, including in challenging conditions.”
The future Arkema 4 will offer greater protection for sailors than its predecessor (above is the previous Arkema 1 at a crew Grand Prix).
Lalou Roucayrol and Quentin Vlamynck heavily involved in the progress of construction
Both Lalou Roucayrol and Quentin Vlamynck are naturally heavily involved in the construction of Arkema 4, the former being in charge of running the project and an expert in Arkema materials, and the latter as the future skipper of the boat.
Where does the construction of Arkema 4 currently stand?
Some twenty people are engaged in the construction of the new trimaran. Fabienne Roucayrol, in charge of the Lalou Multi stable, details the work so far: “Every item of equipment is ready. Every mold has been manufactured: floats, central hull, boom, main sail track, and we’re now busy manufacturing various other components. We now have an oven that’s large enough, in our new workshop, to build all components in situ. By the end of 2019, all the parts of the boat will be ready and we’ll be able to start putting them together.”
The Multi50 Arkema 4 under construction.
Arkema materials will have pride of place
Already present on the previous trimaran, and even more so on the Mini 6.50 Arkema 3 with its hull made of the Elium® resin, Arkema materials will have pride of place on the new Multi50 Arkema 4.
The Elium® thermoplastic resin, for example, is used to manufacture a number of components, including the crossbeam mold that will be recycled when construction is over. Other applications include an even greater use of the wide range of Bostik adhesives, the production of parts using 3D printing, and work on the batteries.
Bostik structural adhesives used on the Multi50 Arkema 4 make a major contribution in terms of lightweighting, toughness and durability.
Gilles Galinier, Communication Vice President for the Arkema Group, sheds light on the Group’s materials on the Arkema 4: “The work undertaken with the Elium® resin has been extensive and complements developments in other markets such as wind power. And the construction of Arkema 4 will be an opportunity for us to demonstrate the recyclability of composites made from this thermoplastic resin. This latest trimaran is also a superb showcase for other products from our Group, including Bostik’s structural glues that make a major contribution in terms of lightweighting, toughness and durability. We have R&D teams dedicated to this construction project to identify materials already applicable and others potentially so in the longer term. A racing boat like this new trimaran is a tremendous driver of brand image, but above all it’s a full scale laboratory that enables us to show and test the performance of our materials in real-life sailing conditions. A “materials demonstrator” that can be transferred to other application sectors.”