Logo Imoca

What is an Imoca?

Imocas are 60-foot monohulls designed for major ocean races such as the Vendée Globe (the “Everest of the Seas”), the Ocean Race, the Route du Rhum, the Transat Jacques Vabre, etc. They can reach speeds of almost 40 knots (70km/h) perched on their foils…

True masterpieces, unique in their technology, architecture and implementation, they are to sailing what Formula 1 cars are to motoring.

These yachts are the result of highly advanced engineering research in every field: hull shape, strength of materials, computer technology, and they are designed to withstand extreme wind and sea conditions…

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Take up the challenge, dare, innovate

In collaboration with the best engineering firms in the world, and under the supervision of architect Sam Manuard, Black Pepper Yachts has already built 3 Imocas, all of which will be lining up at the start of the 2024 Vendée Globe; that is almost 10% of the fleet… A remarkable success, since today’s leading skippers have chosen to take up this incredible challenge aboard one of our boats.

  1. Bureau Vallée (ex L’Occitane en Provence)
  2. Initiatives-Cœur
  3. OceansLab Innovations

Of course, all the developments, research and technological advances developed by Black Pepper for the construction of these boats are subsequently used in the construction of production boats, which contributes to making them unique in the  nautical market.

Take up the Challenge, Dare, Seek, Innovate, Find the Solution: the Imocas built by Black Pepper Yachts and designed by Sam Manuard stand out from their competitors on a number of points, not least the famous scow hull that Black Pepper was the first to dare to design on such boats; they also have a moderate beam, offset foils, a flush deck, a recessed cockpit and a front-view roof.


A 3rd Imoca under construction

Black Pepper®’s third Imoca will be skippered by Phil Sharp and designed by Sam Manuard. Yacht constructor, skipper and architect have pulled together in the pursuit of a common goal: to build the best-performing Imoca possible, while developing original solutions to limit the boat’s carbon footprint. To this end, all her moulds have been made by recycling and re-machining old moulds, many parts have been built using bio-sourced materials, and the energy on board will be supplied by a hydrogen fuel cell. This pioneering Imoca will be the first to replace fossil fuels with a zero-emission energy system.

Read our last article about launching Imoca OceansLab: here.




  • Length overall 66 '
  • Beam 17.3 '
  • Draft 14,7 '
  • Rig Carbon
  • Air draft 95 '
  • Weight 18,700 lbs
  • Construction Carbon Epoxy
  • Foils, outriggers, rudders 2
  • Canting keel 1
  • Architect Sam Manuard
  • Builder Black Pepper©
  • Launch 2019

All technical data is provided for information only and does not constitute a contractual commitment. They may be modified by Black Pepper SAS without notice.


Ship building

Imocas are the ocean racing boats in the Black Pepper range.

They are made from a sandwich of pre-impregnated carbon fibre fabric that has been industrially pre-coated with epoxy resin and a core material (sandwich) generally made from Nomex (honeycomb) or high-density PVC foam, materials traditionally used in aircraft construction.

The construction process involves draping the moulds of each part in carbon fabric pre-impregnated with resin. Then the reinforcements and the core of the sandwich are added, and finally a second skin of prepreg carbon closes the sandwich.

Between each of these stages, a vacuum is applied and the resin is cured at up to 80°C to ensure its strength.

The hull and deck are built in separate moulds and then assembled manually by gluing and laminating.

The entire structure of the boat is first assembled by gluing and laminating in the hull. Then it is coated and painted before the systems (foils, keel, rudders, engine, power, etc.), electronic and electrical components, fittings, mast and boom are integrated.

Timelapse: Building of an Imoca platform

Intérieur du imoca en chantier