He may be one of the most prolific yacht designers of his times, but London-based Philippe Briand is not resting on his laurels. In fact, he has just seen what he calls his ‘most advanced’ yacht yet through to production. The Jeanneau Yachts 60 was due to be launched at this year’s Dusseldorf Boat Show in January, but the bold new design is still making waves after a virtual launch.
It took four years of hard work with Jeanneau’s in-house designers to bring the project to fruition. Measuring 60ft overall, with a modest taper towards the stern, a chine in the hull and a reverse bow, the proportions of the boat are close to perfection. It has been such a labour of love, that the habitually modest Briand is putting himself into the media spotlight to talk about it.
“The JY 60 is special because it is the last in the range, and also the 120th of our series drawings,” explains Briand. “We put all our know-how into the yacht and also a lot of personal emotion. I am used to putting myself in the shoes of the customer every time I draw a production boat. It’s easy for me: I would like to own this one.”
Innovation is at every level
Beneath the aesthetics, the technical qualities of the hull and rig also promise agility, seakeeping and excellent balance. The chine will dig in to fight heeling, while buoyancy at the bow and stern reduce pitching. Twin rudders give perfect balance on the helm and the integrated bowsprit makes light work of launching a big reaching sail. In fact, the boat can be readily sailed by a couple, thanks to the option of in-mast furling for the main and a self-tacking jib. Either way, it is a fast hull, capable of an easy 8kt upwind and 12kt on a broad reach.
“This is a real sailor’s boat,” says Briand. “It is ideally suited to almost any brief from fast bluewater cruising to a leisurely jaunt across the bay – a boat for both the Mediterranean and the Baltic. The interior volume is the owner’s home on the water, while her exterior living spaces are unmatched by the competition. She is more fun to sail, faster and more comfortable under sail and power than any catamaran available for same budget.”
Innovation runs right to the core of this yacht. For instance, it offers an exterior galley in the cockpit, for instance, and the choice of hardtop, awning or arch. That cockpit measures a record 3.0m by 4.8m, giving more space than ever, and it is accessed via a smooth ramp to the side decks. Briand put particular thought into the steering pedestals, to create the best experience for the helmsperson. Their position outboard gives a great view ahead and up to the sails, while the winches and control lines are still within easy reach.
A world of elegance below
He also worked with Andrew Winch on the interior design of the yacht. The result is total mastery of the volumes offered by the spacious hull. There is the option of a full-beam owner’s cabin that is simply flooded with light, with a his-and-hers bathroom not usually seen in this size range. The open galley is positioned forward and includes the option of a full-height fridge. Meanwhile, the floor of the flexible saloon is slightly raised to give clearer sightlines out through the coachroof windows. Sculpted surfaces, the use of real wood, fine fabrics and leathers create an atmosphere of timeless elegance below.
“The interior was designed after feedback from a panel of owners, and in collaboration with another passionate owner: Andrew Winch. Compared to the previous 58 model, she offers 20 per cent more interior volume,” says Briand. “I truly put my energy and creative thinking into the design and interior layout of this yacht, which reaches another level of precision and care.”