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Our Volvo Ocean 65 

We are racing a brand-new Volvo Ocean 65 yacht in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18

The Volvo Ocean 65

A high-performance one-design racing yacht designed by Farr Yacht design and built exclusively for teams competing in the Volvo Ocean Race.

For the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 the team AkzoNobel crew is racing a brand new Volvo Ocean 65 – the only new boat in the fleet. It was constructed at Multiplast in France and Persico Marine in Italy.

The Volvo Ocean 65

The Volvo Ocean 65 is a high-performance one-design racing yacht designed by Farr Yacht design and built exclusively for teams competing in the Volvo Ocean Race. A fleet of seven Volvo Ocean 65s was built for the 2015-16 edition of the race – the first time the race had taken place in identical boats.

While team AkzoNobel has the only new boat in the fleet, the seven other boats from the last race have undergone a meticulous overhaul process at the Volvo Ocean Race’s Boatyard facility in Lisbon to ensure the integrity of the one-design rule is maintained.


For lightness and strength Volvo Ocean 65s are built primarily from carbon fibre using advanced carbon moulding techniques. The original fleet of boats was built by a consortium of four European specialist boatyards. For the eighth boat, to be raced by team AkzoNobel in the 2017-18 race, the deck structure produced by Multiplast was married up with the hull produced by Persico Marine.

Built to withstand whatever the world’s oceans can throw at them Volvo Ocean 65s feature eight internal bulkheads that keep the boat stiff even in the most extreme conditions and allow the crews to push the boats to the maximum while racing.

Underwater appendages

Volvo Ocean 65s feature a powerful canting keel to generate more righting moment and dramatically increase boat speed.

As well as a pair of fixed rudders, to decrease leeway the boats are fitted with a pair of daggerboards located slightly forward of the mast.  

For the 2017-18 edition, the keel fin has been lightened and increased in length from 4.5 meters to 4.7 meters. This produces more leverage and righting moment which translates into more speed. 


Built using North Sails 3Di construction process, the sail wardrobes on each of the Volvo Ocean 65s are identical across the fleet. Carbon is not used in the sails’ construction as it may interfere with the communication and data transfer satellite signals to and from the boats.

Teams can purchase two of every sail code for the race, plus an additional six sails for training prior to race start. Only two mainsails can be purchased. During racing a maximum of eight sails plus a storm jib can be carried aboard. Allocation and delivery of the sails is tightly controlled to ensure the integrity of the one-design process.

The 2017-18 race sees an updated sail inventory with the introduction of the J0 - a new upwind sail for light winds

Mast and rigging

The 99.4-foot high tubular mast on a Volvo Ocean 65 is built from carbon by leading mast raceboat mast manufacturer, Southern Spars, using high modulus carbon fibre. Under one-design rules all the masts must have identical dimensions, weight and stiffness characteristics.

The 7.68-meter box boom is also built from high modulus carbon and weighs 68 kilograms.

Volvo Ocean 65 rigging consists of nine separate stays constructed from intermediate modulus carbon fibre. The main stays have a 26-ton minimum break load. The Future Fibres brand ECsix carbon rigging is four times lighter than comparative Nitronic steel rigging

Volvo Ocean 65 key specifications



Hull length

20.37 meters (66 feet)

Waterline length

20.00 meters (65 feet)

Overall length (including bowsprit)

22.14 meters (72 feet)

Hull beam (width) overall

5.60 meters (18.4 feet)

Max draft (depth) with keel on centreline

4.78 meters (15.8 feet)

Boat weight (empty)

12,500 kilograms (27,557 pounds)

Keel arrangement

Canting keel to +/- 40 degrees with 5 degrees of incline axis


Twin forward daggerboards, inboard triangulation


Twin fixed rudders - composite stocks

Aft water ballast (wing tanks)

Twin 800L ballast tanks under cockpit sides at transom

Forward water ballast on centreline

Single centreline 1100L ballast tank forward of mast

Mast and rigging


Mast height

30.30 meters (99.4 feet)

Rigging arrangement

Twin topmast backstays and check stays with deflectors

Bowsprit length

2.14 meters (7 feet)





163 square meters

Working Jib

133 square meters

Upwind Sail Area

468 square meters (mainsail and masthead Code 0)

296 square meters (mainsail and working jib)

Downwind Sail Area

578 square meters (mainsail and A3)