By Olivier Voituriez

In a real race against time, and after clocking up 30,000 work hours, French boatyard Multiplast (Groupe Carboman) launched Vitalia II on April 17, 2015.

Owned by François Bich, son of the famed Baron Marcel Bich, this giant catamaran measuring an overall 36.8m in length and 16.9m in width is the refitted Orange 2, which won Bruno Preyron the Jules Verne Cup in 2003.

This ocean racer has a 48m air draft and 1,000sq m of downwind sail.

The prowess of the Multiplast teams has been to elegantly incorporate within the 70sq m nacelle a large living space, a bar and kitchen, the owner’s cabin and an outside seating area.

Multiplast, a composite materials specialist based in Vannes, manufactures racing boats – currently an Imoca class monohull for Sébastien Josse (team Gitana/Edmond de Rothschild) that will participate in the next Vendée Globe race in 2016.

The company, run by Dominique Dubois, has a staff of 150 and turnover of €14m.

Multiplast has been diversifying since 2000 by manufacturing mass parts for both the naval and aeronautical sectors (casings for radars and drones).

The company has made substantial industrial investment recently, including a new spray room measuring 24m x 8m, and €2.5m on a new 800sq m building that will be finished next year.

Multiplast merged with Swiss yard Décision in early 2014 to create Groupe Carboman.