Jean-Jacques HERBULOT

Jean Jacques HERBULOT was born in Belval (Ardennes - France), on March 29th 1909.

He qualified as an Architect (D.P.L.G., i.e. recognized by the French Government), but diverted to design of sail boats and has a record of about a hundred of them, from the Vaurien (4,08m.), to the Beaufort (20m.).

Among his most popular creations are: Caravelle, Corsaire, Cotre des Glenans, Maraudeur, and Vaurien.

He is the naval architect who permitted the democratization of sailing in France and in other European countries, by designing (as soon as 1950) sea-proof plywood built crafts, easy to handle, cost accessible to many and practical for sailing schools.

But Jean Jacques HERBULOT also has a wonderful record as skipper: he represented France in four Olympic Games, Los Angeles (1932, Star Class), Kiel (1936, Star Class), Torquay (1948, Firefly Class), Melbourne (1956, 5,50 JI Class).

Jean Jacques HERBULOT was also a pioneer in developing diagonal cut spinnakers in the fifties: most international and Olympic Classes adopted this innovation, utilized also by the British 12m.JI for the America Cup in 1957.

The boat

Vaurien is a monotype designed in 1951 by Jean-Jacques HERBULOT, the well known architect and sailor.

Initially it was designed for construction in sea-proof plywood: this permitted an easy assembling and strongly contributed to the popular success of a light and cheap, but robust dinghy, used by sailing schools and tempting beginners. Vaurien was in particular chosen as the "spear-head" of the famous "Ecole des Glénans" sailing centre.

VAURIEN was at the origin of development of sailing in Europe and Africa: her remarkable seaworthiness, her convivial shape and overall her low cost contributed to her spreading throughout the world.

Managed by the International Vaurien Committee, the Vaurien Class has developed through the years as an International Class recognized by the ISAF. (From the main page, click to get the page concerning the International Committee, and to look at some pictures). World Championships are regularly organized by the Class since 1963.

Since 1951 more than 36,000 Vauriens have been built and are built at an average of about a hundred per annum. Modern features have been adopted regularly: spinnaker, metal mast and booms, liberal choice of fittings, etc. The form of the hull has not been modified but its construction has evolved: since 1978 G.R.P. building was accepted integrating buoyancy compartments, and in 1983 "Amateur building" building was designed by Jean Jacques Herbulot. After the coming of plastic, the buoyancy compartments, aluminium masts, the spinnaker, and a liberalization of fittings have been authorized. From now on "Amateur building" integrates all these evolutions.

So VAURIEN is still technically an up-to-date dinghy, even if not an acrobatic one, giving good training to young people and great pleasure to all sailors.

A peculiar feature of Vaurien Class is that old boats remain competitive for long, even at top level: 1989 and 1990 World titles were won by a wooden boat built in 1976, and the 1994 one was won by a boat built in 1980.

World Championship gathers each year a large number of the top "Vaurienists" in a different country: overall, feminine senior, junior and feminine junior titles are awarded and the competition is very high.

Regional and National titles are also awarded each year in a dozen of countries: all kinds of sailors are participating in these races: youngsters and less young but expert skippers, boys and girls, in a word all people who want to keep fit and young of spirit.

A good tactical level and experience are necessary to get the best of the boat. But, if it is very easy to sail a Vaurien, it is not so easy to get the optimum of its performance. Regular practice will enable to become an excellent helmsman. That's why it's an excellent sailing boat after "Optimist".

Many well known seamen sailed the Vaurien : Eric Tabarly, Philippe Poupon, Jean Le Cam, Pierre Fehlmann, Antonio Abascal, the brothers Van Bladel, the brothers Pajot, ...

Caracteristics :

Over all Length : 4,08m

Width : 1,48m

Weigth : 95kg

Mainsail : 5,60m2

Headsail : 2,50m2

Spi : 8,10m2

         Self bailer - Wood or Plastic
          For the race, the ideal weight of the crew is from 110 to 125 kg.


Amateur Building

Jean Jacques HERBULOT reviewed the basic construction of the VAURIEN for facilitating the amateur building: the hull inner structure is formed by four bulkheads and the centre-board case; this robust structure receives the side panels and the decks.

The bulkheads constitute also the built-in buoyancy compartments, thus ensuring sufficient rigidity to the hull; this give good stability to the boat in all type of sailing courses.

For finishing the boat, the amateur is given all suggestions for coating the external surfaces with rowing mat and polyurethane resin: this process is now well known for having been used on large crafts for over twenty years, and permits to simplify a number of assembling operations and to have an easy maintenance.

A classic wood construction is nevertheless still possible.

A "Construction Manual" guides the amateur through the various steps of the building, so as to avoid as much as possible, errors and/or mishaps.

An indicative list of references for products and suppliers is attached to the manual: this allows the amateur to buy the components necessary for building the boat and for rigging her.

The amateur building operations are within the understanding and the ability of a careful sailor having some experience in woodwork.

The necessary tools are those of a handy-man at home: an electric sand-papering machine may however be a good help.

For mounting the hull, it is necessary to have at disposal a room with enough space to work around the hull: some 5m. by 2,5m. is a reasonable size.

The various elements: bulkheads, stem, centre-board case, transom, etc., can be cut in a smaller room.

Full size plans accompany the manual: the elements can so be traced directly on the plywood boards.

As Vaurien Associations can also get the amateur in touch with their construction specialists.

As an indication, the average cost of the building materials and components is of the order of : 600 to 900 US $.

The approximate construction time is of the order of: 150 to 300 hours of work.

How receive the "Amateur Construction Manual", the full size plans, and all references?

Contact the French As Vaurien Association, and send the correspondent sum to 320 French Francs for As Vaurien membership, ISAF plate, sail number allocation, plus 330 French Francs for the manual and plans as well as mailing cost.

The French Association

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Activities - Events

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