The designer, Sam Manuard: “For Bona, I devised a powerful boat with a comfortable cockpit”

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The designer, Sam Manuard: “For Bona, I devised a powerful boat with a comfortable cockpit”

The Mach 5 – the project selected by Alberto Bona for his IBSA Sailing into the Future. Together – will not only be new, that is, coming out of the shipyard just a few months before the start: it will be, first and foremost, innovative.

These are the words of Sam Manuard, eclectic architect and one of the most acclaimed designers of hulls for ocean sailing – from the small Mini 650 to the large Imoca 60, including of course the Class40 – a man known for being extremely daring and ready for innovative choices.

Alberto Bona and Sam Manuard have known each other long before this shared project: they spent hours together, discussing the size of the Mini 650, the canting keels and every inch of these small boats. Since then, they have begun to discuss and think about shapes and surfaces, and when the time has come to choose a designer for IBSA Sailing into the Future. Together, Alberto had no doubts: it had to be Sam.

When it comes to finding the main lines of the boat”, explained Manuard, “to understanding what will be critical both for ensuring performance and meeting the specifications received, I need to find the smartest solutions to solve the problem. I love creating projects. I really like all the interaction we had to get these projects started.

Thanks to his open, eclectic mind, Sam – a geophysical engineer by training – is the unpredictable designer, capable of choosing naval design out of passion and because, first of all, he is a navigator with the DNA of a sailor: “There is an aspect connected to drawing, shapes and volumes”, he said, “that one doesn’t necessarily learn from books or at school. Building boats is something practical: touching the stuff, working with the materials. Spending time on the water also helps to give the right attention to naval architecture.

There is affinity with Alberto Bona: discussing, thinking about performance, understanding all-round needs. IBSA Class40 was born from here, from a profound joint analysis: “We are building a powerful, multipurpose and fast craft, but – above all – a boat optimized for this regatta; with great attention to comfort on board, because in these races ergonomics are essential to give the sailor the opportunity not to get tired, to stay focused in order to maintain speed. The cockpit is well protected from waves and wind. Alberto will be able to concentrate on maintaining speed, on attacking his opponents.

Thus, comfort and the possibility of limiting the expenditure of energy as much as possible become a priority, together with performance, particularly when running: The hull is designed to increase performance in downwind sailing, both with strong and light winds. But we worked a lot also on the rudders and the keel. There will not be a single element that will make the difference; rather, it will be the sum of many components that will concur to create the performance of this boat.