While François Vivier's Meaban is a pocket cruiser he designed some 16 years ago, it has the look of a classic from a more distant era. Its design is a development of the Stir-Ven, which is slightly smaller than the Meaban but has a larger cockpit, a small cuddy instead of a cabin, and a transom-mounted outboard instead of an inboard well. In the early 2000s, Vivier began discussions with Pierre-Yves de la Rivière of Grand-Largue, a boatyard in Brittany, about a new design, the Meaban, with a proper cabin, a self-draining cockpit, an outboard well within easy reach, and an option for an inboard engine.“The Meaban’s look was in the spirit of some small yachts as drawn by François Sergent (the Loctudy) or Eugène Cornu (the Bélouga),” said Vivier. “As for all my designs, I wanted to draw a true classic, beautiful and suited to another way of sailing, away from modern marinas. For instance, the low draft makes it an excellent boat for visiting small, drying harbors.” Vivier was particularly keen that the centerboard case shouldn’t encroach too much into the cabin, and so he moved it aft so that it is partly in the cabin and partly in the cockpit. He moved the rig correspondingly aft and gave the hull a plumb stem to maintain balance.He initially designed the boat for strip-planked construction—that was the preference of the person who ordered the first set of plans—but Vivier soon produced new plans for cold-molded construction “which is lighter, easier to build, and completely free of problems due to temperature or moisture content.” Around two dozen boats have now been built, mostly by amateurs, and most are cold-molded. François offers plans and patterns for both a strip-built version of the Meaban and the plywood version shown here. Offsets are not available, so the shapes of the plywood parts are provided as full-sized Mylar patterns or files for CNC-cutting. A 23-page manual is included as a builder’s guide.

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