Skip to main content

Archambault 27

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...
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:
More than just another sexy sport boat

More than just another sexy sport boat

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 12-hp 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 nice 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.

Archambault

 Images courtesy of Forum Marine

Related

fa70b13c-8eec-4c35-b30f-f89e497b469a

Crowdsourcing Age-of-Sail Weather Data

Although big, multi-million-dollar projects like the Large Hadron Collider and the human genome project with their legions of PHD’s tend to grab headlines, there’s still a part of play for the “citizen scientists” of the world. Amateur birders have long contributed to an ...read more

01-LEAD-Ultime-race-Yvan-Zedda,-OC-Sport-Pen-Duick

Ultims to Race Solo Around the World

For years now, maxi-trimarans, both solo-sailed and fully crewed, have been racing the clock on their own around the world in an effort to set ever faster records for the world’s fastest circumnavigation under sail. Back in 2000-01 there was also a no-holds-barred ...read more

P1-01-LEAD-018_CARYNBDAVIS_AMISTAD

Juneteenth on the Water

Discovering Amistad and Mystic Seaport Museum have partnered to organize their third annual Juneteenth festival, featuring concerts, speakers and a reflection on the lasting legacy of racial injustice in America. Declared a National Holiday in 2021, Juneteenth celebrates the end ...read more

Lead-2021-01-17-vue-03-34-av-tb-01

New Multihulls for 2022

Lagoon 51 In keeping with many of the more recently launched models created by French multihull builder Lagoon, the Lagoon 51 is all about comfort, “en plein air,” in particular, as the French might say. Topside, a whopping 80 percent of the boat’s flybridge is given over to ...read more

bermuda

How to Spectate on the Newport Bermuda

The biannual Newport Bermuda Race starts on Friday with the first warning signal at 1 pm. Whether you’re tracking a loved one’s progress or just spectating an event that draws pros and weekend warriors alike, there are plenty of ways to stay up to watch. The starting line will ...read more

03-Hyeres-220429_SOF2022_SAILINGENERGY_1933_3184-copy

US Sailing Strikes Gold in Hyères

After being skunked or nearly skunked at multiple Olympiads, could the US Sailing Team (USST) now under the direction of Olympic veteran Paul Cayard, be finally turning it around? If its performance at the 53rd French Olympic Week regatta in Hyères, France, where the team posted ...read more

P1480042

New York City’s Newest Fleet

120 children enrolled in Brooklyn Boatworks’ STEM and life skills-focused program launched their hand-built optimist prams on June 14 from Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The launch is the culmination of years of student work, with boats in process before the pandemic caused the ...read more

AdobeStock_197518370

Charter: Off the Beaten Path

So, you like to charter in the Caribbean with its warm waters, swaying palm trees, steady trade winds and strong rum drinks. What’s not to love? It can be easy, though, to get stuck in a rut when chartering year after year in the same place. Sure, the British Virgin Islands are ...read more