IMOCA Open 60

Owen Clarke design are one of the world's leading companies of yacht designers and naval architects. We specialise in the design and naval architecture of high performance racing sailboats; particularly canting keel and foiling racing yachts such as IMOCA Open 60s, of which we have designed eight boats for the Vendee Globe. We have considerable experience of working as part of a design team and have such a team assembled to work on an entry for the upcoming Ocean Race.

Our eighth and most recent Open 60, Acciona 100% Eco-Powered involved our most far reaching research and development program to date and included 1/7th scale, 1/3rd scale and CFD modelling. She was the first IMOCA 60 zero emissions ocean racing yacht, which is to say she was designed to compete in the Vendee Globe without fossil fuels (diesel typically) of any kind aboard. Where an IMOCA Open 60 would normally have a diesel engine for auxiliary drive and power generation this was replaced by an electric motor and batteries charged by a system of high performance solar panels and hydro-generators.

In common with Acciona ground breaking electric propulsion and power generation system Owen Clarke have a history of innovation and developments that have subsequently been adopted by our competitors.

Kingfisher:  First Open 60 project to use tank and/or wind tunnel testing. First IMOCA to be fitted with central ballast and the three-forestay rig configuration adopted by the fleet and later by all Volvo 70s.

Ecover 2:  First masthead rigged Open 60 and first using halyard locks and removable headstays.

Temenos: First offshore race boat to be built primarily with Kevlar honeycomb core.

Ecover3/Aviva: First 60s tank tested at 1/3rd scale and first with an interceptor trim control system.

Aviva and Ecover 3 two boat testing prior to the 2008 Vendee Globe

Owen Clarke Design have been involved in sailing and developing this hugely successful class for nearly thirty years. Our introduction to open 60s began in 1993/94 when Merfyn Owen took a sabbatical from Owen Clarke, rounded Cape Horn on Thursdays Child and skippered the BOC Challenge winning Groupe Sceta across the Atlantic the same year. Later, experience gained as project manager for the development and build of Mike Golding’s, Finot designed Team Group 4 led Owen Clarke to form the design team that created Kingfisher. Kingfisher was the IMOCA 60 that took Ellen MacArthur to victory in the 2000 Solo Transat and to a second place in the Vendee Globe, less than a year after her launch.


Owen Clarke Design are continually evolving our IMOCA 60 knowledge both to create new designs and to continue to develop our current boats. In 2019 ex Acciona, now OTG 60 was re-launched with a new deck spreader rig, keel and ballast arrangement ready for a new lifting foil system. In 2020, ex Aviva, now Ariel 2 will receive a new IMOCA compliant keel and Kingfisher is in the yard with updates to her ballast system and a round of other performance modifications ready in time for her fourth Vendee.   
In terms of new designs our research and development programs are exclusive to the client for an agreed licence period, unless by previous arrangement (as was the case with Ecover 3 and Aviva) the program is jointly funded. For more information regarding IMOCA 60 design for the Ocean Race, Vendee Globe and beyond contact Racing.

Click the image above to see 1/3rd scale tank test video

For an explanation of the technology behind the design process go to: NAVAL ARCHITECTURE
For an insight into our engineering and detailed design work go to: ENGINEERING

To review our Open 60 page on Facebook go to:  


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