The VO65, the Volvo Open yachts

Nautical Channel
08 Ene 2024
NEWS | Sailing

The VO65s refer to the category of racing yachts created specifically for the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, and subsequently used again in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race and Ocean Race 2023. The VO65s replaced the Volvo Open 70 class yachts used in previous editions of the competition.

These high-performance yachts, designed to challenge the oceans in a global competition, have captivated sailing enthusiasts around the world.

Design and Performance

These yachts are designed to face the most extreme ocean conditions. These yachts are known for their exceptional performance and their ability to navigate through stormy seas with speed and agility.

Here are some of the main features of the VO65 yachts:


VO65s have a length of approximately 20 meters (65 feet). This dimension is designed to balance speed and maneuverability, allowing the yachts to sail efficiently through diverse ocean conditions.

This measurement is a key specification for the class and ensures that all yachts comply with a uniform size, which is crucial for fairness and competitiveness in events such as the Volvo Ocean Race and the Ocean Race.

Structural design

The hull design is optimized to deliver exceptional performance in a variety of sea conditions. They can face strong winds, rough seas and long ocean crossings with confidence. Their shape is designed to provide speed and stability.

Regarding the keel, the maximum draft has been increased from 4.5 to 4.7 meters, which means a longer and lighter keel.

In terms of structure, the Volvo Ocean 65 has eight bulkheads in its interior, as opposed to the four present in the Volvo 70. This increase represents a more resistant and robust structure, capable of withstanding greater demands and speeds.

Additionally, it incorporates a reverse bow designed to maximize the length at the waterline and increase hull speed, although this design leads to greater water ingress on board.

Sail Configuration

The VO65s feature an efficient sail configuration that allows teams to adjust their sailing according to wind conditions.

With the exception of the storm jib, all sails could vary in weight thanks to North Sails' 3Di process. It should be noted that the use of carbon in the sails is prohibited, as it could interfere with satellite signals, which are crucial for communication and data transfer.

Each team was allowed to purchase two sails of each type for the regatta and another six for training before the start of the competition, with the restriction of only being able to purchase two mainsails.

Advanced Technology

They incorporate cutting-edge technology in navigation, communication and energy management systems. With a spectacular multimedia system on board, featuring a set of five static cameras and two links, working together to cover all possible angles.

These cameras are remotely controllable, and the addition of new microphones enables audio recording in various locations. In addition, they have increased protection against wind and water, allowing interviews to be conducted even on the deck of the vessel.

Reduced Crew Size

Although they can carry a full crew, VO65s are designed to be efficiently handled by smaller crews, requiring highly specialized tactical and navigational skills on the part of the participants.

These characteristics make VO65 yachts impressive machines in ocean racing, challenging the limits of naval design and sailing ability in some of the most demanding conditions on the planet.

The Volvo Ocean Race

It is a world-renowned regatta that attracts elite international teams, each composed of experienced and passionate sailors. The ability to maneuver these high-tech yachts in extreme conditions is key to success in this challenging race.

Each leg of the Volvo Ocean Race is a test of endurance, tactical skill and determination. The VO65s become the protagonists of thrilling moments as they sail across oceans, facing strong winds and rough seas in their quest for ultimate victory.

The VO65s are not only a marvel of naval engineering, but also embody the passion and courage of sailors who dare to challenge the limits of the ocean. The Volvo Ocean Race continues to be a thrilling maritime odyssey that tests these yachts and their intrepid crews, taking high-performance sailing to exciting new horizons.

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