Jimmy Cornell recounts the story of creating his ideal boat
When Jimmy Cornell made the decision to tackle the Northwest Passage, he hadn’t yet found the boat for achieving this feat. Then he crossed paths with Stéphan Constance, CEO of Garcia Yachts, and Olivier Racoupeau, renowned naval architect. Together they would offer him the boat of his dreams, a boat that could withstand the frozen waters of the North.
“The Exploration 45, a sailboat as exacting as the man sailing it” Jimmy Cornell”
“The Arctic has often been described as the canary of the coal mine (the death of the bird warned miners of the presence of dangerous gas), and what’s happening in the Northwest Passage is a warning. Global warming could have serious repercussions on the entire planet. I had to go.
But for that I needed a new boat, a boat adapted to the trip I was about to make. And quickly.
I have long sought the perfect cruising boat, to no avail. But my meeting with Stephan Constance, CEO of Garcia Yachts and Allures Yachting was going to change everything. I was immediately very enthusiastic: they were the best builders of aluminium yachts in France and they had with them Olivier Racoupeau, one of the greatest French naval architects. Without doubt they were going to build the boat of my dreams. I knew exactly what I wanted, a solid boat, fast, comfortable, functional, easy to handle and above all perfectly suited to my adventure in extreme environments. A boat that would take me farther than all the others.
I made it clear that I wanted to keep the best features of my previous Aventura, such as an unpainted aluminum hull, a centreboard, shoal draft, and cutter rig. A deck saloon was something that had never been attempted before on a centreboarder, mainly because the extra height could affect its stability. But by choosing a low profile, the designer Olivier Racoupeau has come up with what I consider to be the perfect solution: a comfortable deck saloon with visibility of 270 degrees, as well as a helm and watchkeeping station inside which doesn’t compromise either the stability or the aesthetics of the boat. On the contrary, this magnificent deck lounge and its panoramic view gave me the impression of being on a sailboat which is open to the world. Work on the Exploration 45, which I later renamed Aventura IV, began in the summer of 2013 and for a year, all Garcia Yachts employees worked passionately on this new boat concept to offer me everything I was hoping for. In May 2014, I headed for Greenland and the Northwest Passage, ready to take on the frozen seas on my new Aventura IV. The adventure would finally be able to start…”
“I knew exactly what I wanted, a solid boat, fast, comfortable, functional, easy to handle and above all perfectly suited to my adventure in extreme environments. A boat that would take me farther than all the others.”