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on so many boats, it is located beneath the hatch area where it made very little impact on our movements. François had achieved this by combining a gaff rig which moved the centre of effort aft, letting him site the centreboard further back in turn, beneath a long cockpit for comfortable daysailing. A very neat solution.
This is typical of what I like about the Vivier designs: they
A proper pocket cruiser. The wide – but not too high – coachroof creates space below for comfortable accommodation which includes a galley and chart table, hidden loo and vee-double up forward.
are well thought out by a designer who is a small boat sailor with the experience to know what makes things that little bit easier. And by now we were taking it very easy indeed; we had worked our way out of Lamor Baden in a slow-motion tacking ballet with dozens of other characterful small boats and were now settling on to a long tack with time to put the kettle on.
The cockpit iss pleasantly spacious for a boat of this length: we could easily be five up for a daysail. Everything is ready to hand for the helmsman. The mainsheet is sited at the stern, out of harm’s way. Under the self-draining cockpit, by the way, are two legs so that the Méaban can not only enjoy small, drying harbours and anchorages but also stay there overnight in comfort. Just behind the cockpit was an outboard well, allowing a four stroke 5hp outboard to be completely hidden when in use, with the prop just ahead of the rudder for good directional stability and the motor handle just near the helm. The outboard can be taken out and stowed on its side under the aft deck when not in use. There’s also plenty of general stowage space and the buoyancy tanks on the sides of the outboard well – and also in the forepeak – render the boat unsinkable in line with the Recreational Craft Directive.
The sidedecks are wide and clear enough to allow one to go forward confidently on the lovely laid deck to change sails or reef and though guard rails could be added, Méaban felt stable. The gaff is well peaked for good windward ability and a selection of foresails allow for different wind strengths. The spars were wood, the fittings suitably classic, most sourced from Classic Marine in the UK. Everything looked just right on this small Breton classic.
Waiting for the kettle to boil, I took a look down below. There can never be a lot of room in a boat this size but every centimetre has been used practically. I liked the keyhole bulkhead which divides the main cabin from the forepeak;