TWO FRIENDS… Dan LEVY & Laurent BOURGNON
It all started in 2011 when I (Dan) was talking on Skype with my friend Laurent (goto Wikipedia) who was miles from me in Tahiti ; we were exchanging for hours regarding catamarans, sailing, diving, life… Laurent was multi world champion sail racing, with impressive experience in boat building. For years he was living with his family on a motor catamaran therefore he had clear vision on catamaran to live onboard. We were sharing the same dream to make the best catamaran for a couple to go sabatic. We both knew we had to offer huge space for living onboard to feel like home ; but in the same time we were totally against the Charter oriented catamarans who are a disaster when weather gets strong with huge waves to pass.
The SPINE CONCEPT came naturally as a key. Laurent experienced it on his motor catamaran 28m long and it proved to work perfect for security in strong gales with big waves. We gathered efforts to adapt Spine Concept to sailing catamaran and created a 3D 24m long catamaran named Class 7. Denn CLIFFORD who is not only my friend but much more, a talented designer with mutiple awards, joined the team for Design. We realized a 24m catamaran to start with was a bit too big !!! and we launched the Class 6 project driving for the longest catamaran that a couple could manage without skipper.
From that point we decided to create all the 3D design with Laurent as Consultant, Clifford as Designer and I as Project Manager ; but no naval architect. This might sound strange for many of you but we wanted to create what was for us the best catamaran ; free from traditional naval architecture. The idea was simple, 50cm over water line there is a large flare and all above belongs to us ; below flare and under water line, it will belongs to naval architect.
June 2015, Laurent was lost in diving. More than a partner, I lost a friend.
We finished project with Clifford and 3D designer and then contacted naval architects. Most of them refused as they were not in charge of the ALL project but we eared about ST Yachts who was involved in many Louis Vuitton projects for naval architecture and structure resistance calculation. The meeting with Douglas, was made and we instantly wanted to work together. Douglas was convinced that taking the load on longitudinal works perfect as that was done on several racing multihull ; but not with a “third hull / Spine Concept”. He took upon the project and rebuilt ALL the model respecting the concept and design we did – to make it all make sense. He made strong inputs regarding flare and hull optimization. The biggest challenge for him was to calculate efforts using some FEA tools to put reinforcements (and weight) where needed and still targeting a record breaking 13.5T light displacement. For all the rigging equipment we decided to work with Petitjean Composite. Thierry Petitjean has extensive experience on carbon mast, furling boom and hydraulic furlers. Thierry and Douglas worked together to achieve a sail plan very efficient in short handed situation. Thierry is working with Maxence Valdelievre who created TenderLift. Maxence was working on the Class 6 project to provide hydraulic systems to Thierry ; but Maxence was also looking for a used catamaran to buy. His project was a family project ; change life and live onboard with his wife and kid making the catamaran a living and working boat. The catamaran had to demonstrate all the innovations Maxence had in mind to “sale” the concept to customers. His wife Muriel saw the Class 6 design and was amazed by the volume we offer. Maxence and I found a deal where O Yachts was providing a bare hull. O Yachts made only the composite job then Maxence with his new company installed all the rest : daggerboard, steering system, engines, opening, …. all equipment. May 2018 Class 6 N°1 was launched at Engure shipyard.
Dan LEVY – O Yachts CEO