At the Nautic de Paris, the Reverso dinghy is creating waves. It was born from an idea proposed on the shores of the Mediterranean, in fact in the Occitanie region. It is a nesting, portable rigid sailing dinghy, the first ever of its type which can be carried in the boot of a car.
“As an ardent sailor this is the boat which I wanted as an end user, it is a a dinghy that is efficient, which is sporty but super light, portable, easy to assemble and disassemble.” summarizes Antoine Simon, the designer.
As often with good ideas, the formula is extra simple. The four nested modules are assembled and locked rigidly together in a few moments to become a very modern, sporty performance dinghy. In all, it takes less than 3 minutes – without tools – to turn these parts into an elegant dinghy. It is responsive and fun and is easily a match for some of the latest dinghies from the big builders and uses some of the latest offshore design technology.
Today there are already 60 boats sailing around the world. Two new boats leave the yard each week. The dinghy is a hit in its native France of course but there are Reverso dinghies everywhere, from Geneva to Hawaii. It is acclaimed by those who want a sailboat free of the usual contraints of carrying towing but without compromising on performance. It has won favour with sailing professionals already voted as “Boat of the year” in the USA by Sail Magazine.
The investors are people from industry and it is important for us to have this support from such experienced professionals,” explained Antoine. This moral and financial support from the investors is reassuring for the head of the business and allows him to have the means to achieve his goals. He derives his inspiration from sailing with the success of the Hobie Cat and Lasers, two boats, which through their simplicity can now be found all over the world and have completely changed habits.
Aeronautics helping the nautical sector
The creation of this ultra-compact sailboat is the result of a lot of research and many prototypes. The Reverso has benefitted from the inventor’s aeronautical expertise, as Antoine is also an airline pilot on an A320. “As with a plane, we have doubled up all the systems,” he explained. Each part has the size to support at least twice its load and the techniques that are used – vacuum infusion, directly from ocean racing – have for a long time shown their quality, reliability and their high performance level. “She’s a boat that has been designed to last. She can be stored indoors in very good conditions. She’s a boat for several generations.” On the water, the Reverso successfully underwent the “torture tests” carried out in harsh conditions by sailors trying to get the most out of her.
Interview with Antoine Simon (inventor):
“I have always sailed for fun or in races. I became the owner of my first boat at the age of thirty. It was an extraordinary experience, but I was surprised by the constraints, particularly when travelling. This activity requires a lot of moving around and some huge efforts. I therefore decided to sell the boat and to start work on my own project. I created the boat that I myself wanted as a user. A dinghy that performs well and which avoids the logistical problems that complicate things. We wanted a boat that could be moved around without any compromise in terms of performance. The main goal was to have a boat that was rigid, as that was key to performance, but also safety. We got our ideas from the aeronautical sector and all of the systems have been doubled up and the Dyneema belts are extra large. She is a boat that will last and can be used by several generations.”
Interview with Laurent Marie (investor):
“I discovered this boat and Antoine last year. I was looking for a small cat (…) and as I passed the stand, I noticed Antoine and this little boat and I fell under the spell. I appreciated his professional approach and Antoine’s sincerity and simplicity. I saw this boat as something of a renaissance. For me she is a very practical boat and as in the comic books when I was a child, she has something for everyone from 7 to 77. I immediately ordered one and I could see the quality of the product as soon as she was delivered on the pallet. Everything can be easily and efficiently assembled. I am speechless when I see such professionalism.
Once out on the water, she’s a family boat in light conditions, which offers a great deal of fun, when the wind gets up. I even capsized, but she is very easy to right.
I took part in the funding programme, as this is an innovative project. It all happened quite naturally. It’s a technical project that involves a lot of French companies and anything to do with France and exports interests me. She is a boat that has a huge export potential. Personally I’m based in Dubai and I hope to help its development in a region I know well, the Middle East. This boat and this project was something I fell in love with. She’s great fun with the family and even more enjoyable when sailing solo.”
The Reverso team:
Antoine Simon, inventor
Charles Bertrand, naval architect
Clément Even, structural engineer
Yvan Noblet, ocean racer
David Goulet, Technical manager
One or two adults or
an adult with one or two children
Length: 3.40 m / 11’15”
Beam: 1.45 m / 4’7”
Weight: 57 kg / 125 lb
Dimensions when taken apart: 145cm*93cm*73cm (height) / 4’7 * 3′ * 2’4”
Sail: 7 m² / 75 ft²
Price: from 8590 euros ready to sail
The vehicles tested: Volvo XC40, Peugeot 2008, 5008, Jeep Renegade, VW Tiguan, BMW X3, X5, Citroën Picasso, VW Touran..