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North Sails France
Volvo D2-75F (75 HP)
From the Boat International article by David Pelly:
Gliding effortlessly across Portisco Bay at 10 knots in a gentle breeze of around 8 knots, the 18.28 metre daysailer Ciao Gianni seems almost like a ghost ship. She sails in compete silence with her slim, all-white hull leaving barely a mark on the water but most strangely of all, there is just one man aboard, sitting at the leeside helm position and doing nothing more energetic than steering. That man is Jack Setton and Ciao Gianni is his latest attempt to experience the pure pleasure of sailing and the sea, with the least possible distraction.
To achieve this Nirvana-like state of simplicity is certainly not easy and required a great deal of thought and hard work by the designer, Mani Frers, the builder Multiplast and of course by Setton himself. The design is not influenced by any kind of rating rule and is not even intended to be used for racing so it is fascinating to see what resulted from giving the designer a ‘blank sheet of paper’.
The answer is a very long, slim hull of minimum resistance, with a deep fin keel and lead bulb giving a ballast ratio of around 60 per cent. In this she is similar to the current America’s Cup class but there the similarity ends. In the search for simplicity there are just two sails on board: a big fully battened square-top main sail and a self-tacking jib which is set on a roller-furler. The tall, high-modulus carbon mast by Hall Spars is supported by swept-back spreaders in the Bergstrom-Ridder layout and it has no backstays, either standing or running. The standing rigging is PBO fibre to reduce the weight aloft.
The detail that everyone will notice is the back-sloping stem which is both a practical and aesthetic feature. The conventional forward-leaning bow serves to lengthen the sail plan while at the same time shortening the waterline length, which is usually the most important measure in any rating rule. Since Ciao Gianni is not rated, it makes sense to go the other way by increasing the waterline length and cutting back the deck to save a little weight. Meanwhile, the desired sail area can be achieved with a tall, narrow rig which is also more efficient.
The bow certainly gives Ciao Gianni a razor-sharp look. It had been thought that it might make the boat wet by picking up wave-tops and throwing them back into the cockpit but this is definitely not the case as I sail the boat in 25 knots of wind without even needing to wear oil skins. Neither has it proved necessary to use the 1,000 litre water ballast tank that is fitted under the cockpit in case the boat shows any tendency to dive into waves. It is important to realize that this is not a planing hull, so there is no downwind sleigh ride with spray flying. Instead she slides along at a fast, steady speed, cutting through the waves without apparent effort.
Much thought was given to ease of handling as it was always the intention to sail single-handed. A small Volvo diesel coupled to a folding prop makes mooring reasonably straightforward and also charges the batteries, which have the capacity to be able to sail for many hours without running the engine. In front of each helm position there is a single electric winch and a set of rope clutches for the main rig controls. All rope tails disappear down holes in the deck. A single Bamar reel winch controls the mainsheet and there are lazy-jacks to collect the sail as it is lowered. A ‘handraulic’ pump controls the powerful vang.
To keep the decks as smooth as possible there are no cleats, fairleads or similar fittings. Small loops of rope can be pulled up through holes in the deck to allow shore lines or fenders to be attached. A special removable fitting on the foredeck provides fairleads for warps or an anchor line. I am reminded of Philippe Starck’s remark about the motor yacht A, of which he said that he had gone to great efforts to ‘remove stupid details.’
A bad feature of many yachts is that the helmsman’s view can be blocked by the crew. However, on Ciao Gianni the helmsman sits at the front of the cockpit while any guests can use the comfortable mesh benches behind him. On the centerline, a hatch opens to give access to the extremely simple cabin. This is a mostly empty space but there are two bunks and a day head. The all-carbon construction by Multiplast is most impressive from the inside and so is the electrical installation which is connected to a single waterproof box.
Ciao Gianni, whose name is an homage to former Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli, did not spring into existence as a “Eureka!” idea but was the logical outcome of a long development process. Setton has owned a considerable number of sailing yachts which have slowly progressed towards this simple but refined concept.
The partnership with Frers began 12 years ago and resulted in the 17 metre fast dayboat Tom Tit which came close to what Setton now understands he was looking for. Inspired by French yachtsman Eric Tabarly’s Pen Duick, it was built in carbon by French group Composite Works and was fast and easy to handle.
However, he believed that the concept could be developed further and began working with Mani Frers, the younger generation of the famous Argentine yacht design company. ‘Born around the pleasures of day sailing, Ciao Gianni is a combination of power, efficiency and acceleration,’ says Frers. “Single-handed” sailing, easy maintenance, reliability and the possibility of sailing in any wind condition were the only requirements from the expert owner who had a successful Frers daysailer before. The reversed stem, which gives the boat an immediately recognizable silhouette, lightens the ends and reduces the amount of spray. We have designed a hull of light displacement with powerful lines conceived for high speeds. These parameters are combined with a powerful rig and considerable draught to create high performance potential.”
Setton wanted the new boat to be faster off wind but without carrying any specialized sails and briefed the designers, “It should be fast in light wind and be able to carry full sail up to 20 knots wind speed. For safety there should be a mainsail reefing system that can be operated entirely from the helm position and the jib should roller furl. Power winches should take the effort out of sailing and an adequate motor should make mooring safe and easy.”
‘I love the sea more than boats,’ Setton concludes, which is a remarkable statement from a man who has owned so many pioneering boats, both power and sail. ‘Boats that go in the water in a proper way are what give me pleasure,’ he adds.
Watching Ciao Gianni gliding swiftly along with this singular man at the helm, I can begin to see what he means.
Hull, Deck and Structure:
State of the art, all in carbon fiber pre-preg class 120° C, Nomex core, high density where needed, structural bonding and assembly using wet layup system under vacuum. All laminated molds.
Composite teak deck in cockpit (Esthec – synthetic teak). Long slim hull with deep fin keel and lead bulb giving a ballast ratio of 60%.
Fin keel (Weldox 700), inner and outer surfaces C&C milled, bolted to hull.
In lead reinforced by stainless steel structure.
Rudder and stock all in carbon, cured in autoclave.
Built by Hallspars in Holland.
Mast in high modulus carbon, cured in autoclave. The mast is fitted with the Harken switch track system.
Built by Hallspars in Holland.
Built in high strength modulus carbon, cured in autoclave.
By Future Fibre all in PBO, forstay in rod.
Supplied by Iroise Gréement in Brest.
Steering: Kevlar cables and quadrant
Blocks, tracks and electric winches supplied by Harken. The main sail sheet is controlled by a Bomar electric captive winch.
Sails made by Incidences Sails, France 2013
Sail wardrobe includes: Incidences Sails, France - 2 sails - fully battened, square headed, carbon mainsail - self tacking, carbon, vertical battened Solent self tacking jib fitted on a Harken furling system.
Sails made by North Sails, France 2009
Sail wardrobe includes: North Sails, France - 2 sails - fully battened, square headed, carbon mainsail - self tacking, carbon, Solent self tacking jib fitted on a Harken furling system.
Boom vang, main sail foot and self-tacking halyard are all controlled by hydraulic cylinders. The main pump is manual and situated near the starboard steering position.
The yacht has a 12 volt system fitted with a 450Ah/12v battery bank.
Electronics are B&G with a Garmin GPS map display and touch screen.
Plotter Garmin GPSMap 5000
VHF Radio Icom IC-M505 with external microphone station Icom HM-162E
Navigational instruments & Autopilot command B&G H3000 - Stations at both helm positions
plus repeaters at mast for Wind Angle, Wind Speed, Boat Speed and Depth
Auto Pilot actuator- Raymarine
A 75hp Volvo diesel engine is fitted with all required equipment including a wet exhaust system and a 110A/24v alternator.
Eight automatically inflating life vests with safety lines
Lifebuoy with light and floating line
First Aid box
Fitted with all the safety equipment to comply to EC rules for eight people.
A unique opportunity to acquire the most acclaimed and innovative day sailer, designed by one of the worlds most knowledgeable yachtsmen with naval architecture by Frers. Built in 2009 by the very best composite builder with the highest tech and simplest equipment available, her engineering is superb and her true single handed performance is unmatched.
A detailed inventory and a list of exclusions will be provided pursuant to a Purchase Agreement.
All speeds, capacities, consumption, hours, measurements, etc. are approximate or estimated. Specifications provided for information only as particulars herein obtained are from sources available but are not guaranteed. Remarks and other statements may be personal opinions and may not be relied upon for purchase. Buyer should instruct his agent/supervisor to check all details for accuracy. Offered subject to prior sale, price/inventory change, or withdrawal from market without notice.