The round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race has a new design for 2014—just one design, the VO65. For the first time, every team will compete on the same model boat, stripping the race down to what will be a fierce battle of skill.
Farr Yacht Designs created the new VO65 design, a high-performance racing boat with a snazzy appearance. President of Farr Yacht Design Patrick Shaughnessy says, “We tried to produce an image of a boat that's very forward thinking and has a unique look in its stem profile, its cabin shape and some of these things that'll make the boat iconic in the industry.”
The VO65 boats are being built in four different boatyards across four different countries. Persico in Italy builds the hull and daggerboards, plus shares the internal structure assembly with Decision in Switzerland. Multiplast in France mainly constructs the deck while UK-based boatyard Green Marine completes the final assembly, including outfitting the galley, media station, rudders and steering wheels. One significant change aboard is the shift from four internal bulkheads to eight, giving the VO65 a much sturdier hull than previous VO designs.
Each boat takes seven months to build. When complete, boats will be delivered with everything on board, including the latest technology. Teams must buy their boat from Green Marine on a first-come first-served basis and a new one will be launched every seven to eight weeks. These freshly constructed boats will be used for at least the next two editions of the race.
Max Draft (Keel on CL): 15.8ft
Weight (empty): 25,659lb
Mast Height: 99.4ft
Max Sail Area (downwind): 7707ft2