Second-hand test

Corneel 26 A cat for pure pleasure!

Published on 01 june 2015 at 0h00

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Corneel. The name has a nice ring to it, but where does it come from? It’s a combination of Bruneel - yes, Eric Bruneel of Neel trimarans fame - and Cornic. In the early 1980s, the two men launched a sports cat, the Corneel 18. This first boat went well. They approached Fountaine Pajot to build the boat. They would finance the tooling themselves. Back then, the yard was building dinghies, racing monohulls and was just starting out in multihulls, with the Louisiane. It was an immediate success: a hundred 18s were sold. It came at a particularly good time for Eric, who had had the idea in the back of his mind for a long time: “I wanted to build a day-boat catamaran which was lively and fun. With Jean-François Fountaine and Michel Joubert, we had focused on a very rounded look with rocket-shaped coachroofs, and mast sections for the beams holding the hulls together”. Launched at the La Rochelle Boat Show in 1985, at a price of 160,000 French Francs, including tax (around €42,000 in today’s money), the Corneel 26 was rewarded the following year with the title “Boat of the Year”. “We were building one a week!” laughs Eric. This was a catamaran which charmed its crew right from the word go: to start with, it was very basic - all the fittings were at the foot of the mast, and there was no boom. No daggerboards either: “Certainly not!” exclaimed the designer, “The top of the skegs, which formed the floors, was stratified while the internal volume was in foam. ...

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