Archive for January, 2010

January 14, 2010

Mystere and the 4.3 History

In 1980, Yves Sansoucy started manufacturing catamarans as his sailing school had difficulty obtaining parts for their imported boats.  He started with larger 6.0 meter boats and moved to smaller boats later.  The 4.3 began its life in 1999 as a Mystere Tyca designed by Alain Cumming for French training schools.   A sudden dip in the economy in France left Yves with excess stock of 4.3’s.   Yves contacted Mike Fahle, a long time Mystere racer, and the wheels went into motion.  As a complete volunteer effort, Mike led the Ohio sailors through the delivery of 30 new boats in April 2001.   All of these were committed over a few months, sight-unseen, with only a few grainy pictures of European Tycas.  The boat filled a void between the simple Hobie Wave and the popular high-tech 20’s that were really too big for small lake sailing.  Following quickly from the popularity, Yves agreed to provide the 2002 US Youth Nationals with 20 4.3s.   Mike again orchestrated the sale of these boats mostly to Ohio sailors.  The result has been a solid, sustained one design class for Ohio and neighboring state sailors.   A few boats have strayed as far as Texas and Florida but the majority remain in the Ohio area.  With the decline in boat sales and general economic conditions, Mystere is no longer producing boats.

Current 4.3 owners now deal with the irony of limited manufacturer part availability.   The fleet Yahoo discussion list remains the best source for resourceful, creative, smart owners who can suggest alternatives to any needed part.  The sails, tramp, lines,  blocks, and standing rigging are all commercially available.  The mast and beams are so bulletproof that replacement will likely never be needed.  For the remaining few Mystere only parts, if it was made by man once, it can be made by man again!