Skip to main content

French-built Archambault 27

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

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

01-LEAD-lagoon-42-navigation-9

Multihull Design Trends

For sailors of a certain age, the entire concept of a mulithull is cutting edge. However, even a cursory glance at a harbor full of cats and tris will show that the “cutting edge” of today looks very different from the cutting edge of, say, the ‘90s, or even the early 2000s—to ...read more

IOD-spins-and-others

Corinthian Classics

The 24th running of the Corinthian Classic Regatta, held August 13 and 14, is a testament to the beauty of traditional and modern classic racing yachts and offers a chance to look back at the yachting legacy in Marblehead and also look forward to the future. This year’s regatta ...read more

20220815

VIDEO: Small but Mighty

This summer has been a great one for sailors everywhere, but in particular for the 87 sailors participating in the Tiwal Cup on France's Gulf of Morbihan. In addition to some great sailing, the event saw a new record on the books--fastest ever assembly of the inflatable dinghy. ...read more

00-LEAD-210918_11HR_AZIMUT48HRS_AMO_00411

11th Hour Racing Team's Green Mission

“I’ll admit, it’s still hard to watch the boat leave the dock sometimes,” says former Volvo Ocean Race sailor Mark Towill. Since meeting during a Transpac campaign over 15 years ago, he and his teammate Charlie Enright have sailed thousands of miles together aboard two Volvo ...read more

D61_JKELAGOPIAN-3

Boat Review: Dufour 61

Dufour, long one of France’s most well-respected builders, has been producing sailboats in La Rochelle since the dawn of fiberglass boatbuilding. Having recently merged with another La Rochelle-based builder, Fountaine Pajot, Dufour has now joined other European mass-production ...read more

m138123_14_00_210609_TORE02_SE_2152_2504-2048x

The Ocean Race to be “Climate Positive”

The 2023 Ocean Race intends to be one of the world’s first climate positive sporting events, offsetting more greenhouse gasses than are produced. The two-fold effort means cutting emissions by 75 percent and investing in ocean projects that sequester carbon and restore ocean ...read more

01-LEAD-Ancients-3-2048x

Cruising Lake Superior

Almost anywhere a sailor drops the hook someone else has been there before. We are hardly ever the first. That remote Maine harbor without a soul in sight: there’s a lobster trap. The south coast of Newfoundland: the crumbling remains of a fisherman’s cabin lie hidden among the ...read more

01-LEAD-Tablet-Holder-4

Fabricating a Tablet Holder

During the pandemic, I was stuck aboard Guiding Light, a Lagoon 410, in St. Lucia for over a month. During that time, as I worked on the boat, I started by doing a spring cleaning in my spares locker and finding some parts and material that I forgot I had. As soon as I saw them, ...read more