I have been following the Figaro Circuit for 20 years, and have always been impressed by the very quality of the racing, and the boats. No wonder the French have dominated the worlds shorthanded sailing, having Figaro as a building block, or career.
So when the Figaro Circuit decided to go with a new boat it was big news in the shorthanded sailing circles. And has even slightly touched the mass market with Beneteau selling the boats to the retail market, which did not happen with the Figaro 2 very often.
The Figaro 2 has been an exceptional boat, and one that still holds up well against all boats its size offshore short-handed. Hopefully with a most of the Figaro 2’s on the market there will be a fleet in the US. Nothing would improve US shorthanded sailing better than One Design racing.
At the Annapolis Boat show I went on board and talked with the new Figaro 3 owner. The plan is to sail her this Fall, so stay tuned for that footage.
The details on the Figaro 3 are exceptional well thought out. Great to see ideas passed down from the Vendee and Class 40 for a shorthanded 32′ boat. Yes, some say the Figaro 3 is 35′-6″ but that is with the bowsprit the hull is 32′, slightly smaller than the Figaro 2 at 32.18′. To see all the specifications go here.
Figaro 3 is a no compromise single-handed boat. There is no galley, no head, no water tanks, no seats, except the keel structure you sit on at the nav station. And for bunks there are two pipe berths. I love it.
Everything on the boat is about reducing weight and keeping construction simple. The French are masters at this type of build. Input from champion Figaro and Vendee sailors shows in all aspects of the boat.
The structure has nice details such as caps on all the bulkheads. This helps the stiffness and also makes it easier to slid sails, gear, and body over when pounding away. And the panel aspect ratio is small throughout the boat, so there should no problem pushing her hard. Just like the Figaro 2 you can push these boats beyond what the body can take.
With such an open interior access to systems such as steering, engine, electronics is easy in any conditions.
Deck layout has console for main controls, easy to reach controls on the house and winches are right next to the driver. Foil controls are on deck next to back of the house. And speaking of foils they are not to lift the boat out of the water, they are to replace the water ballast that was in the Figaro 2. But I am sure it helps when pushing hard downwind since you can adjust the foil angle of attack while sailing. Look forward to giving this a try.
I like the SS ladder on the transom, no question it would be easy to get back on board. The boats do sail double handed so the ladder is a nice addition. And the liferaft well in the cockpit aft on center line is great to keep the raft low and ready to go.
Couple of surprises for me were an electric ram for the pilot. I would have thought an L&S ram would be on board to match the NKE instruments. And the batteries are lead acid batteries. Would think a pair of Firefly Oasis batteries would be perfect for this boat.
Guess it is not hard to know I am excited about this boat entering the market and especially the US market. Look forward to my sail and will keep you posted.
Thanks for following