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Birth of the boat by Jean-marie Finot

Photo Lanoue-Bateaux

After having carried out a training course at Philippe Harlé's office (French naval architect) where I designed the Rebelle and Geva, a friend and I decided to design and build an ideal coastal cruising boat. This boat would have been built in two specimens and would have allowed us to sail along the coasts, to land on the beaches…

Hence the name "Ecume de mer", sea foam, as the foam which settle on the beach.

We tested, with this plan, new concept about hull shape and several ergonomics elements :

- A large, light hull with good balance under heel
- A comfortable sitting position inside and outside in the cockpit, thanks especially to the tilted backs
- Sailing operations led back into the cockpit

We proposed our plan to various French shipyards, none of which were interested. A Dutch man named Walter Huisman, heard of it and found our project interesting. We met at the 1968 Paris boat show.

By sympathy and faith in youth, Huisman proposed to me to build the Ecume de Mer, provided that the boat complied to the quarter ton category rules and took part in the sailing competitions.

It was thus necessary to enlarge the first design.

The boat was drawn and built at the end of spring 68, with bilge, donkey forecastle, and glass bubble.

Huisman made the hull and the painting. With a few friends, we came to Holland to finish the deck and inside fittings.

At the beginning of July, we left the shipyard and sailed to France.

We raced the quarter ton cup as planned, without preliminary training.

We then raced and won the Delta Race 68 in Holland.

During this race season, an Australian man named Eric Bradley, appreciated the results of the boat and had several units built in his country out of laminated plastic, with bilge, a lower freeboard and a roof.

In 1968, the Nautical Club CNEGF helped us buy a new sails set and find a good crew. Thus, we won most of the GCL races.

We then won the Delta Race in Holland for the second time.

At the end of the season, André Costa, publisher of the magazine "les cahiers du yachting", helped us find a shipyard in France..Revue Neptune

Very quickly, we get on with Roger Mallard to build the boat out of laminated plastic.
Hull volumes remained unchanged but the bilge hull was replaced by a round hull.

From September 69 to the Paris boat show, the dynamic team of Mallard shipyard built the hull and deck backing moulds, and assembled the various elements.

At the end of the year we sailed and in the beginning of January, the Ecume de Mer is exposed at the Paris boat show 70. It is a speed record !Photo revue Bateaux

Compared to the prototype, this Ecume de Mer has a smaller freeboard, a little roof and comfortable fittings (a crew cabin, a toilet, a bow cabin).

At that time, the yachtsmen were seeking a boat where they could live and sleep comfortably at a mooring or in the harbor. But the hull structure, rigging and deck organization had to be able to withstand the assaults of wind and sea.
To respond as well as possible to this tendency towards comfort while retaining the nautical qualities of the boat, we fitted out a little galley, enough headroom to stand up and a separate bow cabin.
Outside, comfort was also improved since it is possible to operate facing forward, to sit out easily and comfortably.

The Ecume de Mer also brought remarkable nautical qualities such as solidity, stability, speed..
This boat has been produced until 1975.

The standard boat won the quarter ton cup 1970 with Laurent Cordelle.

In 1972 we built a special regatta version : Petite Fleur.

- New hull
- New ballast
- New sails
- And above all a flush deck made of wood.

Yet again, Petite Fleur won the quarter ton cup with Laurent Cordelle.Petite Fleur Photo Lanoue-Bateaux

That year, the NJY shipyard proposed to us to build the Ecume de Mer in Japan.

In 1975 we redesigned the superstructures, and redefined the hull scantlings in order to remove the unnecessary material.

The Ecume de mer 1975 benefited from the innovations we devised on the second boat we designed for Mallard : Rêve de mer.

- The aluminum toe rail
- A set of bow elements integrating u-bolt, fairlead, davit
- All halyards coming back to the cockpit
- Roof handrails integrated

For the first time The Boat of the year is awarded, the Ecume de Mer 75 wins it.

In 1976 we designed a longer roof to gain some headroom in the toilet. The boat has been produced until 1980.

When taking into account the various versions, Dutch, Australian, Japanese, French over the last 25 years, 1385 Ecume de Mer were launched. Some bilge hulls were built by amateurs .

Good sailing qualities, good construction, easy maintenance, little, well proportioned roof for 7,90 m long, as for us the key factors that explain her success.
This unit gave the right answer to a need of the market.

 

Jean Marie FINOT

 

The Ecume de mer was designed as an intellectual game without commercial back thought nor long-term career ambition but the success of the Ecume de Mer encouraged the Groupe to go on.

Ecume de Mer's owners : http://amd.alio.free.fr (2004)

 

 

 

 

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