During the 2018 winter refit, the Initiatives-Coeur team made 4 major upgrades to the boat:
1/ A change in the position of the ballast tanks (by adding or removing seawater to control the boat’s stability),
2/ The addition of a foil adjustment system for greater efficiency,
3/ The installation of an innovative and highly effective autopilot,
4/ A change in the configuration and size of the sails.
The above changes all led to a significant increase in the boat’s performance and will be maintained as they are.
2019: Three main upgrades
1. Refurbishment of the hull
The first upgrade concerns refurbishment of the boat’s hull after the structural damage sustained during the Route du Rhum. This doesn’t just mean making repairs, but rebuilding differently, with materials that are more resistant to wave impact, and which cover a larger area than the section damaged during the race, in order to prevent the problem occurring again in different place. As sailboats become faster and more air-borne with the use of foils, they are exposed to new types of stress, especially wave impact under the hull when the foils raise the hull out of the water.
2. A change of foils
This year, the main upgrade will be to change the foils. These lifting surfaces, which can be placed on either side of a boat to increase its power and raise the hull to produce less drag in the water, will be changed to include the latest developments in the field.
Under the supervision of the Initiatives-Coeur team’s design office, the new hydro-foils, designed by naval architect Guillaume Verdier and built by the C3 Composite shipyard in La Rochelle, will be bigger and more efficient. The boat will also need to be modified to accommodate them and the structure reinforced accordingly.
3. Inside hydrogenerators
The third upgrade concerns the installation of hydrogenerators inside the boat, to replace the external hydrogenerators currently used. Hydrogenerators provide essential energy self-sufficiency for round-the-world races and installing them inside the boat makes them more reliable and more usable at high speed.
4. Goal: relaunch in April!
Each year, the engine and the mechanical and hydraulic parts of the boat are dismounted and checked. The mast, boom and other sensitive parts are also checked using ultrasound, while new sails are designed and made.
The relaunch is scheduled for mid-April so we don’t have a moment to lose! Goal: to respect the timeframe! And that is the job of David Sineau, our Team Manager!