Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

French-built Archambault 27

Author:

The French-built Archambault 27, with its blunt ends, retractable sprit, wide-open racing cockpit and hiking wings, is very much the kind of a boat that stands out in a crowd. But what really impressed me about this little sportster (aside from its performance) were the accommodations.

Designers Michel Joubert and Bernard Nivelt have given this sharp-looking 27-footer a “minimalist” interior, but a fully functional one nonetheless: complete with a pair of 6ft 5in settees, a gimbaled stove, a small chemical toilet, and a hinged table and small molded-in sink in the saloon.

The narrow but prominent cuddy, in addition to putting the Harken self-tailing secondary winches and banks of rope clutches close to hand for the pit crew, also opens up the center of the saloon so that even a 6-footer like me can relax without feeling confined. Large sculpted ports admit plenty of light, as does the companionway, and spacious quarterberths and a respectable forepeak provide yet more lounging space.

As a further testament to the Archambault’s livability, there is even a beachable version with a swing keel and twin rudders. Other options include an anchor locker, seawater head and 13 gallons of freshwater tankage: everything you need for cruising.

Of course, you can always still go for the stripped-down racing version, complete with an outboard bracket instead of a 12hp auxiliary with saildrive.

Our test boat had a mix of cruising and racing features, with a sink and stove, but also a full complement of go-fast equipment topsides, including a clever jib-lead system and a powerful cascading backstay tackle. The main traveller is set in the cockpit sole just aft of the tiller, and all mainsail controls run to a pod on the sole just forward of the helm. A symmetrical chute (launched from a round foredeck hatch) can be flown in addition to an A-sail off the sprit. The deck-stepped mast is aluminum, as is the boom.
Although the morning of our test sail was hardly a day for the highlight reels, with winds of 10 knots and less, the Archambault still slipped along through the flat water at a satisfying 5-plus knots hard on the wind. Even in the light stuff, we tacked quickly and decisively through 45 degrees, and it was easy coaxing the boat up to an apparent wind angle in the high 30s.

Although we never got a chance to put those hiking wings to the test, the boat’s wide-open cockpit and overall deck layout worked well—no mean feat on a light-air day when the three of us aboard were continually shifting around as we tried to keep the boat at a fast angle of heel. The boom is set good and high—a nice touch whether you’re daysailing or throwing in endless tacks on a crowded racecourse.

Lines all fell easily to hand, and despite our being in ghosting mode, it was a joy to be at the helm, even when the boat was moving at a crawl. I can’t wait to get a chance to drive this thing when it’s blowing!

All in all, this is a great-looking design that offers a lot for its size.

Specifications

LOA 27ft 4in // LWL 24ft 7ft // BEAM 9ft 9in

DRAFT 5ft 5in (fixed keel)

DISPLACEMENT 4,790lb // BALLAST 1,825lb

SAIL AREA 462ft2 (full main and jib)

DESIGNER Michel Joubert/Bernard Nivelt

BUILDER Archambault, Dange Saint Romain, France, archambault-boats.eu

US DISTRIBUTOR Forum Marine, Houston, TX, forummarine.com

PRICE $113,238 (base)

BALLAST RATIO 38%

SAIL AREA-DISPLACEMENT RATIO 26

DISPLACEMENT-LENGTH RATIO 144

Photo and illustration courtesy of Forum Marine

NBG Fall 2015

Related

SamHolmes-2048x

Point of SAIL: Bluewater YouTuber Sam Holmes

In this episode of Point of SAIL, sponsored by West System Epoxy, Principal Editor Adam Cort talks with Sam Holmes, a solo-sailor who has not only logged some serious bluewater miles but brought thousands of fans along for the ride through his many disarmingly unpretentious ...read more

01-LEAD-THN21-B0314timwilkes

Racing is Back

For all that the pandemic turned the world upside down, the summer of 2020 proved to be a surprisingly good one for sailing. Sales of boats—both new and used—went through the roof, and sailors everywhere found ways of getting out on the water, either alone or with friends and ...read more

05 Alex Thomson leans - credit ALEX THOMSON RACING copy

Alex Thomson Won’t Compete in Vendée Globe

Veteran British solo-sailor Alex Thomson has announced he won’t compete as a skipper in the 2024 Vendée Globe. However, he isn’t ruling out returning to the race in 2028. Thomson has competed in the IMOCA circuit for 19 years, including five successive Vendée Globe’s with two ...read more

Rob-Spets---10-19-21

Kiteboarder Sets New Jamestown Record

Rob Spets is the new record holder for the around-Jamestown circumnavigation aboard his foiling kiteboard Skellinger. His lap took 50 minutes and 48 seconds, improving the previous record set by Jason Carroll by 1 minute and 14 seconds. Spets completed the course in an 18-knot ...read more

03-IMG_0590

Bill Tilman’s Simple Sailing

Like an ostrich on a bad day, I’m head-down in the lazarette of Nellie, my Beneteau First 42, dealing with the propane tank. My wife taps me on the shoulder, and I rise to see a pair of foiling catamarans accelerating onto their carbon-fiber wings. As the blood drains from my ...read more

01-LEAD-210801_PM_Tokyo20_22825_5540

Olympic Sailing: Where to Now?

It’s official, not only is the United States no longer an Olympic power when it comes to sailing, it’s fast beginnings look like an also-ran—albeit an also-ran with loads of potential. What other conclusion is there to draw from the fact that for the second time in three ...read more

244526945_394104495768313_1401658800642145082_n

Return of the Annapolis Boat Show

After a hiatus in 2020, the United States Boat Show in Annapolis, Maryland returned in full force last weekend. “Pent up demand” was the name of the game for visitors and exhibitors alike. Queues to get in each morning stretched around the block, and the docks were congested ...read more

Untitled-1

Sailing Hall of Fame Inducts Class of 2021

This weekend, the National Sailing Hall of Fame has inducted eleven new members to make up the class of 2021. “The remarkable achievements of this year’s class exemplify excellence and an unwavering dedication to our sport,” said National Sailing Hall of Fame president Gus ...read more