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Great American IV, per IMOCA (Open 60) Class Rules, was weighed and measured last week in Southampton, UK by Joff Brown and his team. René Boulaire, Chief Measurer for the class, came from France, with Assistant Measurer Sylvie Viant, to conduct the test.

René Boulaire

René Boulaire


Sylvie Viant

Sylvie Viant


Step 1: Weigh the boat with a load cell between the crane’s hook and the tripod bridle..
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Step 2: Put the boat in the water, detach the lifting bridle, keep the bow and stern lines on but loose so that the boat can move away from the peer when heeled to 90 degrees, have a diver connect the long orange strap to the bulb of the keel, and have the crane lift the bulb and keel (locked into position by the two hydraulic rams) until the mast is parallel to the water. René then puts a load cell between a strop at the masthead and a big RIB, the crane operator lets the load off on the strap, so that the keel and form of the hull is trying to right the boat, thus putting a load on the masthead/loadcell/RIB. From that measurement, René can calculate the stability of the boat.

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It’s scary to see the boat in this configuration! The rigging, mast tube, keel hangers and hydraulic rams are loaded heavily.

Step 3: Measure with the loadcell. 

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Step 4: Calculate! Thanks René and Sylvie! And thanks Joff Brown and Olly Young, this is a big checkbox checked on the road to Vendée Globe 2016…

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