The new Grand Soleil 65LC looks like a seriously imposing and rapid shape with cool and elegant finishing below. Toby Hodges reports.
Welcome to another smoking hot new launch from Grand Soleil, the Grand Soleil 65LC. This Matteo Polli design follows in the footsteps of the 2022-launched GS72, for which it is an evolution using the same powerful, flared, sporty design.
The overall beam is only 20cm less than the 72 at nearly 6m, and from the dock it looks like a seriously imposing and rapid shape. Again it’s offered as a Long Cruise or Performance model, and contains much of the same features as the 72, including the same genset, watermaker etc. But with that brings its own challenges, Polli explains to me as we tour the deck. As the lightships and loaded displacement is a larger range on the 72, the attention to weight and wetted surface area becomes all the more scrupulous on the smaller sistership.
“The overall geometry has been completely revisited to ensure a balanced weight distribution regardless of the different internal layouts,” says Polli. He considers this shape optimised for a broad wind range, “from lightship in racing conditions up to full load in cruising mode.”
Polli points to a mast base which is comparatively far aft. “A mast aft increases the jib size… and the boom comes further aft, so you get more sail without raising the centre of effort.” This equates to increased J area, more headsail options, and a shorter bowsprit for the same gennaker area. As the centre of effort is also further aft, the keel is hung proportionately further aft too. Polli has stuck with a single rudder, mounted relatively far forward.
Again the project was spearheaded by veteran racer and boatbuilder Franco Corazza who stresse how good the coachroof line is for a raised saloon boat. Seated at either helm, you can still clearly see the bow.
The Grand Soleil 65LC is offered with three or four cabins and a midships galley, while the Performance version sites the galley aft. The identical aft cabins on the LC have the same volume as those on the Grand Soleil 72 and the forward cabin has good headroom right up to the forward headboard end of the berth. While there is space for a crew berth in the large sail locker, using the fourth cabin option opposite the galley would be a wiser choice for those wanting to keep a crew for any length of time.
A benefit of the LC raised saloon format is that the genset and tank space is all contained below the raised saloon, with the engine beneath the companionway steps. So far, the orders are split between the LC and Performance models across the 72 and 65 designs.
Grand Soleil 65LC specifications
LOA: 21.60m / 70ft 10in
Hull length: 20.10m / 65ft 11in
Beam: 5.95m / 19ft 5in
Draught: 3.50m / 11ft 6in
Displacement: 27,500kg / 57,320lb
Ballast: 7,200kg / 15,837lb
Sail area: 278m2 / 2,992ft2
Price ex VAT: circa €2.3-2.8m
Design: Matteo Polli & Nauta Design
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