BOAT TEST // Solenn 42, Franck Roy's tallest sailboat

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The Solenn 42 built by Franck Roy shipyards has the same endless arch as its 23, 27 and 32 foot little brothers. We had the opportunity to try it at sea before its delivery.

Back on the manufacturer's largest sailboat, the Solenn 42. A unit that owes a lot to the loyalty that Franck's customers have for it. Jacques, owner of this first unit in the series, has taken delivery of his fourth sailboat, stamped Franck Roy:

"Jacques is my second client", explains Franck "Almost 20 years ago, he ordered a Joli Morgann from me, then a Solenn 23 before a Solenn 32 ... When we delivered his third boat to him, he told us that in six years, we would make him a bigger one… Suddenly I presented him the first sketches of the 42. Jacques asked me for an estimate, validated the estimate. The construction took two years. "

A strip planking construction

In order to avoid investment in a mold, which is difficult to amortize as part of a very limited series, Franck opted for a strip planking construction. An achievement much more greedy in working hours than polyester, but which requires minimum tools. The Solenn 42 is therefore a wooden sailboat! But without the worry of maintenance thanks to the impregnation and the protection by an epoxy resin.

The construction starts the hull upside down, from an oak-veneered marine plywood frame. The bottoms - anchoring area of ​​the keel - and the top of the planking - the upturns of the chainplates - are reinforced with carbon / epoxy fabric. The wooden slats (red cedar) are then pointed at the pairs. The interstices are putty and then the entire shell is protected by glass cloth impregnated with epoxy. The construction is then returned; the hull is entitled to an interior stratification before the fitting of the fittings and the fitting of the engine. The time comes for bridging in epoxy laminated marine plywood before the essential teak lathing. The Solenn 42 is then keeled, transported to La Rochelle and finally masted.

Very healthy behavior under sail

On the water, the Solenn 42 is very faithful to the neo-classical lines of its little brothers. Straight bow with very fine water inlets, load-bearing rear forms and relatively wide waterline, that is for the contemporary characteristics… The traditional atmosphere is not to be outdone with this famous long vault of more than two meters of pitch, sheer of marked bridge and a rounded table of the most beautiful effect. The materials are noble: on the deck, profusion of varnished mahogany, teak and stainless steel.

Light and served by a generous sail area, the Solenn 42 displays beautiful arrangements in light weather. Thanks to the genoa furler integrated under the bridge, maneuvers are facilitated and the surface of the front sail optimized. In a nice breeze - from 15/16 knots of real wind - the speed exceeds 10 knots downwind under a gennaker. The small chop is easily cut by the hull and the boat does not rock very much thanks to a well-studied weight centering. Thanks to a ballast ratio of 36%, the heel is contained and the sail reductions are only made above 4 Beaufort. The two rudders provide excellent control of the boat at the heel and the bar remains very soft.

BOAT TEST // Solenn 42, Franck Roy's tallest sailboat

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