Grand Soleil 43 Review
Grand Soleil 43: A Grand Union
By Herb McCormick
This good-looking, versatile Italian sloop combines a tall rig, solid construction, and a stylish interior layout in one very effective package. A boat review from our August 2009 issue
When boatbuilders wish to make a statement with a particular model or brand, they often commission designs from some of the hottest naval architects on the racing scene. This is hardly a new practice, and it’s the reason why famous designers such as Bruce Farr, Germán Frers, and Philippe Briand-all of whom, among many others, launched their careers with highly successful custom raceboats-have gone on to become familiar names in the realm of production boatbuilding.
The latest builder to employ that strategy is the Italian concern of Cantiere del Pardo, best known in this country for its imported line of performance-oriented Grand Soleil yachts. For its new 43-footer, the company called upon the young, talented, Spanish-based design office of Marcelino Botin and Shaun Carkeek. No, they’re not yet household names, but at the moment, Botin Carkeek Yacht Design is red hot, having recently designed the boat aboard which Team New Zealand successfully challenged in the last America’s Cup contest as well the Volvo 70 il mostro, the weapon of choice for U.S. sailor Ken Read’s Puma campaign in the recent round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race.