Grand Soleil 34 Performance, the return of an icon
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 5:25 PM
The mythical Grand Soleil 34, according to many "A legend", was designed by Finot in the 70’s and remained in production until the 80’s with about 300 produced hulls. Today, past and future meet again in Cantiere del Pardo shipyard, where a new GS 34 model is under construction, taking the same concept of a small-big boat into a new form, a much faster one, with wide space, comfort, high quality and the best Italian design and naval architecture.
HIGH MARKET DEMAND
Increasingly the yachting sector in the Med welcomes very demanding customers: those who want as much spending as little, such as having great performance for fun, high speed for quick transfers from one spot to another, rating that allows to have good results in the racing field, appealing aesthetics and innovation rooted in tradition. It is not a coincidence that more and more owners want a boat that is made perfectly for them in a market that does not match their requirements, and that’s why some want to "invent" their own boat. The Skyron’s careful study together with Cantiere del Pardo’s history, with over 40 years of excellence in boat construction, has led the yard to design once again a Small Grand Soleil 34.
The project is aimed at owners who love fun, sportive cruising and offshore racing, and was inspired by the open ocean boats. Great attention was put in the design and naval architecture process in order to create an offshore racing boat that is easy to sail at maximum performance but at the same time a very comfortable fast cruiser. The new GS 34 Performance was designed for IRC handicap rating in offshore race and for ORC with an optimized sail plan and appendages. In this way the boat can be competitive in both offshore and inshore International regulations and with a great rating handicap.
The correct balance of different uses, such as windward-leeward races to offshore racing or cruising, is to obtain a true all-around boat like this new GS 34. Maintaining also an optimal balance between upwind and downwind performance both in light and strong winds without compromising the comfort and easy handling.
Speed, style and elegance distinguish the Grand Soleil yachts and are the DNA of this new GS 34 that repeats the family feeling of the flagship GS 58 Performance.
The hull and deck are built in GRP sandwich using PVC foam of different densities; it consists of E-glass biaxial and unidirectional reinforcements impregnated with vinylester resin inside a female industrial mold. Hull and deck are finished in gelcoat and by request it is possible to have different hull and deck colors. The deck comes with antiskid on working areas or can be covered on request with teak or synthetic wood. The main bulkheads are made in composite materials and all the bulkheads are laminated to the hull.
The frame is built in a female mold and is made in GRP with biaxial and unidirectional fabrics reinforced with UD carbon fiber to reduce weight without worsening the rating. It is laminated to the hull creating a monolithic structure which supports the loads of the mast, keel and shrouds and integrates the floors and some parts of the interiors.
HULL SHAPE & APPENDAGES
The hull geometry and appendages are the result of numerous Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and statistical analysis using Velocity Prediction Programs (VPP) compared with various rating systems. These analysis has lead into a new generation of hull with a medium light displacement for an optimal ratio between the different rating systems and between performance and sportive cruising.
The particular geometry of the GS34 hull allows to have very powerful waterlines, hard-chine and a wide transom, which benefit sailing downwind and when heeling. The wide stern ensures a great stability of form while providing a bigger space in the cockpit and inside.
The typical IRC fin shaped keel with a total draft of 2.18 mt is made of lead with steel and casting iron and weights between 40% to 45% of the displacement, depending on the owner's need. The weight remains in the lower zone by moving the center of gravity of the keel as low as possible. An optional, ORC T shaped keel along with a lead bulb can be provided on request.
The twin rudders are a suitable choice for this type of vessel and for the IRC rating system, while the tilted axes allow always an effective helming and easy sailing.
SAIL PLAN & RIG
The mast is made of aluminum with high performance tapered profile 9/10 fractional rig, with two sweepback spreaders in order to maximize jib roach, and a 9/10 forestay. A racing carbon mast or high modulus mast can be provided on request.
The Full Batten mainsail has a good aspect ratio, with an evident but not excessive Square Top with a single cascade and split backstay in deck to maneuver the mainsail easier. An optional hydraulic back stay can be installed on request.
The Gennaker is connected to the bowsprit which is about 70cm long. Two more halyards are provided; one from the masthead and another from 9/10. And for those who wish to participate in inshore racing it is possible to add also a Spinnaker halyard from the masthead and a Spi pole or asymmetric sails on a bowsprit best suited to coastal racing or cruising.
The rig is discontinuous wire rig with turnbuckles. The standing rigging are attached to the shrouds chain plates which are located in the max hull beam, which allow to mount a Jib (from 28 to 32 square meters) with a minimum overlap. Dyform, PBO or rod rigging can be installed on request.
The interior layout is divided in two cabins; a large portside aft cabin and an owner cabin in the bow that can be transformed into a sail locker during race. Astern, on the starboard side there’s a very spacey and high head and behind a wide storage cabin. The central dinette with a large dining table and seats can be easily transformed into extra berth during race or cruising with extra guests. The chart table that can be well equipped is placed on the starboard side and on the port side a "L" galley with a sink, a generous fridge and a gimbaled 2 fire burner.
The open space and modern look is characterized by the Grand Soleil light oak, comfort and lightness which is practical during offshore racing and neither the less when cruising. Gelcoat surfaces are designed in some areas to be functional in both racing and cruising situations. For the most demanding owners the marine plywood surfaces such as cushions base and navigation table can be replaced by request with composite materials to lighten the displacement in racing mode. Floorboards are made in light oak marine plywood but can also be replaced with light composite materials or different varnish finishes such as carbon fiber.
The deck design of the GS 34 resumes the lines and curves that characterize the entire performance range, with long windows and wide stern that makes this Small Grand Soleil recognizable and appealing. The deck plan was studied for an easy singlehanded sailing or shorthanded when cruising or racing.
Simple technical solutions have been well integrated with deck aesthetics and this excellent combination brought as a result a wide cockpit, clean deck, spacey working and relaxing areas, a great performance and speed when racing yet an easy handling when cruising.
2 deck versions are provided; The standard deck plan provides a steering tiller with a main sail track adjustable through a cascade, and is located towards the stern. This choice is common for those who love offshore regattas with a reduced crew. The optional deck plan provides two steering wheels with a mainsheet traveler ahead.
2 primary winches for the Jib and Gennaker sheets are easily accessible from the helm station while the 2 halyards and maneuvers winches can be used for the Gennaker if necessary. 2 further winches are provided for the German system recessed under deck.
First hull will be launched in the end of June 2017!
GRAND SOLEIL 34 PERFORMANCE - TECH SPECS
Naval Architect Skyron
Design interior & exterior Cantiere del Pardo & Skyron
Builder Cantiere del Pardo
CE Category A
LOA 10.70 mt
Bmax 3.60 mt
Draft 2.18 mt
Displacement 4900 Kg
Keel 2200 Kg
Main 40 sqm
Jib 110% 31 sqm
Gennaker 110 sqm