We ask top sailors and marine industry gurus to choose the coolest and most innovative yachts of our times. Conrad Humphreys nominates Charal

“When you look at what the designers and engineers have put in place to get round quite restrictive IMOCA rules and balance on a single foil, I think that is something extraordinary,” said Conrad Humphreys as he nominated the IMOCA 60 Charal as his Coolest yacht.

Jérémie Beyou’s VPLP-designed Charal, the first of the new generation of foiling IMOCA 60 round the world designs, typifies the huge evolution in this evergreen solo ocean class.

It is nearly 15 years since Humphreys raced in the Vendée Globe in Hellomoto, formerly Mike Golding’s Group 4.

“That boat was considered revolutionary, with its canting keel and wingmast, and for one person it was a beast to sail.

“I had a halyard winch on the mast and used to be on the foredeck getting the spinnaker down.

“Now, the whole way these boats are engineered is to keep the sailor off the deck and they’re so fast they need to be protected from the elements.

“But that really adds to the interest of what, to me, is the greatest spectacle.”

Make sure you check out our full list of Coolest Yachts.

Charal stats rating:

Top speed: 30 knots
LOA: 18m
Launched: 2018
Berths: 2
Price: €5m
Adrenalin factor: 90%

Conrad Humphreys

Conrad Humphreys, 46, is a former winner of the BT Global Challenge and in 2005 became the 5th British sailor in history to complete the Vendée Globe in the IMOCA 60 Hellomoto.

He has raced in La Solitaire du Figaro and twice failed to finish the Route du Rhum.

More recently, he skippered an open launch 3,600 miles across the South Pacific, recreating Captain Bligh’s voyage in 1789 for a TV documentary, ‘Mutiny’.

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