From racer to cruiser: Vitalia II’s transformation into a world cruiser

Sailing fans and offshore world-racers amongst our readers will be familiar with the speed-freak catamaran Orange 2 and her successes in the offshore racing field; amongst which is a global circumnavigation in just over 50 days, and one of the fastest 24 hour periods during a transatlantic race. This performance platform has now been modified to suit a more cruising-style purpose, yet, the vessel’s authentic racing DNA has remained.

Frenchman Francois Bich purchased Orange 2 in February last year with the intention of transforming the proven platform into a more guest-friendly environment, while keeping the sail boat’s racing heritage and abilities. She was returned to the Multiplast yard to start the 30,000 man hour refit project that would see Orange 2 go from world racer to world cruiser.

The initial design challenge of the project was to develop the new deck structure, that would be placed between the pontoons, to house enough space to feature all needed guest amenities, yet to not exert excessive strain on the existing platform, and risk affecting the yacht’s performance credentials. Exterior designer Daniel Domergue achieved this by drawing a very sleek deckhouse that blends in beautifully with the original hull structure, and has one momentarily forgetting all about the vessels previous strict racing appearance.

As a naval architect involved in the creation of Orange 2, and Managing Director at Multiplast, Yann Penfornis knows all to well the features on board and what Vitalia II can offer her guests; "Our work was concerned with inserting a living space without disturbing - too much - the line of the boat. The space contains a kitchen-bar, the main cabin and an outdoor living area, with all the equipment of comfort you can expect on a cruising boat of this size without increasing - again, too much - the weight"

Vitalia II has her own dedicated website documenting the refit project in detail, with a good selection of images during the rebuild stages.

By Charl van Rooy



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