-Inspired by the new AC75 class, the Briand design studio transfers the concept of the flying monohull to a wider audience
– Flyacht is designed to be handled by a two-man crew with the possibility of ‘hiking’
– This project is a perfect illustration of Briand’s philosophy of pushing the boundaries of yacht design The 2021 edition of the America’s Cup will see the radical AC75 Fly Monohull racing for the first time.
The new rules were announced at the end of March, and Emirates Team New Zealand has already unveiled its design in a class that promises to be even faster and more spectacular than the AC50 catamarans.
Philippe Briand and his team are dedicated followers of the America’s Cup, having been main designer in no fewer than six AC campaigns. In fact, he was among the first to start designing an AC75 concept from scratch and has completed a preliminary project.
The best of both worlds
The flying monohull concept takes advantage of the AC’s objective to “permit technological development to spearhead the development of sailing and maintain the America’s Cup as the world’s premier sailing event.” It
marries some of the best features of the multihulls, such as high speed and design innovation, with traditional monohull sailing. But instead of a keel, it has two canting, ballasted T-foils and the ability to selfright the boat in the event of a capsize. Like the catamarans, it will be able tack and gybe on the foils.
Of course, it is not only the America’s Cup that can benefit from the thrilling performance of these flying monohulls. As the new technology continues to develop and handling is fine-tuned, Briand and his team have recognised its potential over a range of sizes and budgets.
With the aim of offering fly sailing to a wider general market, they have scaled down the AC concept to 6.5 metres. This is not as simple as sounds and required a full design study as the dimensions, surfaces, weight and lift had to be recalculated and the design re-engineered to suit the speed and loading of a hull of 6.5 metres in length.
Ready for take-off
With a 90° righting moment, much like a Mini Transat, the Flyacht is designed to be handled by a two-man crew with the possibility of ‘hiking’ (moving the body weight as far to windward as possible to decrease heeling when sailing upwind) before take-off speed is reached in around 10 knots of true wind speed.
The rig consists of a soft wing with slab reefing for easy bag storage and in the interests of safety stability in fly mode would be self-monitored and automated, which is not permitted under the AC75 rules.
The millennial generation
Drawing on his extensive experience, Briand is looking to create a low-budget project that could be built in series by a production shipyard. The project is a perfect illustration of Briand’s philosophy of pushing the boundaries of yacht design: “I like to be on the edge as a sailboat designer,” he says. “Our role is to transfer the benefits of innovations from the racing sector to the wider market as reasonable cost. I want to introduce the millennium generation to how much fun and excitement can be had from sailing. And the first step towards that will
be watching the AC75 Fly Monohulls in action in 2021!”
DSPL 600 kg
SA upwind 24 / 40 m2
SA downwind 82 m2
Water Draft 0.30 / 1.35 m
Air Draft 12 / 12.90 m
About Philippe Briand
London-based naval architect and yacht designer Philippe Briand – has been conceiving high-performance, visionary yachts since his
childhood days sailing in La Rochelle.
Today Philippe Briand is the CEO and inspired team-leader coordinator of three different design divisions: sailing yacht as Philippe
Briand Ltd, motoryacht with Vitruvius Yachts Ltd and interiors by Philippe Briand – both for yachting and world-class real estate.
His technical excellence and precision, accompanied by a strong artistic flair and talent for fashioning innovative design trends in the
yachting market, have continued to evolve over what is arguably the most prolific career of any yacht designer today. Philippe Briand
is one of real few innovator in yachting – “senior designer” of what is today the expedition/explorer vessels trend.
His successes have led him to build up a loyal client base of extremely discerning owners for custom designs, as well as to encourage a
new generation of owners who are attuned to his prioritization of sustainable, intelligent design solutions, efficient and long-range
Briand’s background in naval architecture gives him the leading edge when it comes to integrating new technologies into his designs,
as well as incorporating new materials or considering existing materials in new ways. His technical background and understanding of
advanced hydrodynamics and production engineering have led to the creation of dozens of successful production yacht models over
the years, accounting for over 12,000 vessels launched. The company’s current projects range from six to 105 metres, both for sailing
yachts and motor yachts, including many highly customised and technical designs.
With offices in London and La Rochelle, France – Briand and his team of designers have won 34 international yacht design awards
for their work (to date, spring 2018), and have collaborated with some of the most highly respected sailing yacht builders in the
world, including Perini Navi, Lursse