Do not be fooled by their neoclassical character ... Under their shiny varnishes, the Stir Ven 19 and the Wolf of Franck Roy are indeed day-boats of today.
Two deliciously retro integral dinghies
The clipped hull and the houari rigging of the Stir Ven 19, the camouflage bow and the batten teak deck ... These two integral dinghies may have a deliciously retro line but they are quite modern. Take the Stir Ven 19. This plan François Vivier is the little brother of the 22. He keeps his clapboard hull, his large cockpit and his generous sails. But in terms of the manufacturing process, the Grand Largue site is in tune with the times. Pierre-Yves de la Rivière, its creator, uses digital cutting, a process which allows him to optimize production costs but also to offer Stir Ven as well in hand as in kit, for amateur construction, enough popular for this type of unit. The use of epoxy, with its mechanical qualities, finally makes it possible to obtain marine boats that do not require excessive maintenance.
The history of the Wolf predates that of Stir Ven 19 and takes place in the Arcachon basin at the end of the 1920s. To replace the costly 6 m JI on which the basin's regatters used to get their fill, three architects meet the new specifications of the local federation: design a smaller boat, nervous, with a shallow draft to navigate between the sandbanks of the Basin ... The plan of Salmoiraghi, all in wood, with its 20 m2 of upwind sail area, is essential and quickly becomes the one design of the Arcachon basin.
The Salmoiraghi plan for the Wolf
A century later (or almost), here is the same Salmoiraghi plan before our eyes, but with some modifications made by Franck Roy. The latter dreamed of renovating or even building a wolf. In the early 2000s, he produced a first strip planking hull with dimensions identical to the original. He then uses it to make a mold and build his first polyester wolf. So here is Aloupka, the number 1 built by Franck Roy, moored in front of us. In addition to the construction process which lightens the structure, the mast is now made of aluminum, it is no longer through and it is fitted with pushing spreaders.
The crew no longer has to deal with the adjustment of the bastaques in the breeze. This new spar also facilitates the masting operation. However, Franck Roy’s Wolf has remained true to the spirit of the class.
A different ambition on the water: coasting trade or competition
If these two day-boats share the same classic inspiration, classic yachting for one, work canoe for the other, they do not have the same ambitions on the water. The Stir Ven 19 is designed for day cabotage, family hiking thanks to its simple maneuverability. The Wolf has kept the competitive spirit that gave birth to it. It is in a beautiful breeze from La Rochelle that we will check the specifications of the latter. On the Wolf, one quickly finds its marks. The cockpit is long, deep, narrow, bordered by a mahogany coaming and equipped with four gratings which will serve as recall benches.
The drift hole has been lowered in this version designed by Franck Roy. This refined well facilitates movement in tack. For the rest, the hardware is modern and minimalist: two cleat cleats and a winch on the daggerboard well to pull the halyards, two winches on each edge to border the jib sheets and a Harken turret to manage the listening of large -sail within reach of the coxswain. The listening point is taken up on a stainless steel hoop fixed on the transom.
The importance of detail
A small speedboat is fixed on the transom, thanks to a cut-out opening of the bridge which avoids the inelegance of a motor chair. The importance of detail (which can also be found on Stir Ven 19). In the channel of the port, we send the whole canvas. The coxswain is comfortably seated on the small abseiling bench, like the second team member a little further forward, with his feet firmly wedged on the drift shaft. The third team member is worse off on the gunwale, the fault in the small coaming which saws a little the thighs in the long run. At full speed, with La Rochelle chop, we embark on sacred packages of sea. The cockpit of the Wolf is not self-draining. So we keep the bailer close at hand but our efforts to keep the cockpit dry are in vain ...
A navigation with a certain class
Once the West Minime has passed, we cut down slightly. Obviously, the Speed Feet 18, the First 18 (ex-Seascape 18) and even the Aloe 18 RS drop us with their planing hull and their asymmetrical spinnaker. But we sail with a certain class without sulking our pleasure at the helm. In bursts, however, it is necessary to regulate at the GV to soften the bar which hardens. In the tack, the listening to GV has an annoying tendency to get caught in the outboard engine, placed on the rear platform. And we must take precautions in the changes of tack to avoid the low boom and the return pulley for listening to GV, which risk scaling us. The Stir Ven 19 sails a little further in our wake, under a raised GV and small jib.
The humidity on board does not seem to tarnish the smug smile of the crew. It is only the next day, in a lighter breeze, that we take the helm of the Stir Ven, whose cockpit spontaneously seems more spacious, with a fairly impressive storage volume.
The Stir Ven also exists in cabin version
Two large trunks on the back serve as a coxswain's bench and can store the speedboat. The other two benches, at the level of the centerboard, are removable and will be very useful for advancing rowing. Under the bridge, teams will keep VHF, telephone and other small personal gear safe. In the tip, two large chests allow dry storage of sails and spares. In short, there is everything you need to have a picnic and get away for the day. Or even for the weekend: the Stir Ven also exists in a cabin version.
We easily send the mainsail, with its peak. Once the jib is unrolled, we move into the discreet ridges which end up settling in a light breeze. And the Stir Ven is not unpleasant to steer, it honors every laugh with a slight acceleration. We are heading for Sablanceaux, on the island of Ré, with the aim of a collective grounding. As we approach the beach, we easily lift the drift (120 kg) thanks to the six-strand hoist, then we roll up our pants to help our Stir Ven to land side by side with the Wolf.
The sea recedes. She will come back to pick us up in two hours, time to review these different generations of day-boats who share this language of sand. Lovers of classic lines will find their happiness at the helm of one of these two charming full-length dinghies, for family or sporty edges, but always in style!
THE STIR VEN 19 IN FIGURES…
Long. hull: 5.70 m. Width 2.10 m.
TE: 0.25 / 1.15 m.
Ballast: 120 kg + 240 l.
Move : 535 kg.
SV upwind: 27.10 m2.
Arch. : François Vivier.
Material: CP epoxy.
Const. : Grand Largue.
Base price € 31,000.
THE WOLF IN FIGURES…
Long. hull: 5.50 m. Width 2 m.
TE: 0.15 / 1.40 m.
Ballast: 70 kg.
Move : 500 kg.
SV upwind: 20 m2.
Arch. : Salmoiraghi.
Material: glass laminate.
Const. : Franck Roy.
Base price 35,026 €.