From racing to cruising: the innovations which have changed our daily life aboard a catamaran

Published on 24 january 2018 at 0h00

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It’s hard to separate the racing world from the fantastic progress of cruising multihulls since 1960; we could even be tempted to say that the catamaran is completely derived from racing. Everything began in England, where the Prout brothers, after having perfected one of the first sport catamarans, the 'Shearwater', a precursor of the first ocean racing multihulls, built the 'Snowgoose', a 37-foot cruising catamaran, which became the first production multihull with more than 500 examples built in its 40-year career. Then at the beginning of the 80s, while catamaran production was almost non-existent, Jean-François Fountaine, after having built Charente-Maritime with a group of enthusiasts from La Rochelle, used this as a trampoline and in 1983, launched his first production catamaran, the ‘Louisiane 37’. We all know what followed. In 1984, the competition department of Jeanneau JTA (Jeanneau Techniques Avancées), after having built Pierre 1er for Florence Arthaud and the Fleury Michons, created Lagoon. A first range of ocean-going catamarans of from 37 to 67 feet saw the light of day from 1987. Here again, we all know what followed.  At the same time, it was the turn of Philippe Jeantot, who after having tried with the catamaran Crédit Agricole II, won the BOC Challenge twice and had a catamaran built so his family could follow him at the stopovers.  He launched his brand ‘Jeantot Marine’ with a first model, the ‘Privilège’.  This privileged link between racing and ...

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