The story of an outstanding boat
Birth of a project
Designed in 1976 by renowned architect Michel Joubert, the Surprise was born. Meanwhile, Jean Archambault, who had been in the stratification business for 10 years, spotted a promising project. This is when the combination of design and construction created the Surprise. Described by its architect as a “fun, fast, practical, easy and economical dayboat”, the Surprise is making a name for itself in the sailing world.
The Surprise is granted a stand at the 1977 boat show. The boat made a strong first impression and became, in the eyes of Parisians, the undisputed star of the 1977 edition. In 2015, year of the bankruptcy of the lamented Archambault shipyard, more than 1,700 sailing boats were built.
This fun and economical dayboat became a reference in the monotype family. Its performance and maritime qualities allowed this boat to quickly reach the top of the leaderboards. The boat’s versatility was appreciated by competitors on all kinds of waters. Thanks to personalities (such as François Séchaud for Switzerland), the Surprise was embraced by the various European regatta fleets. Over 800 units were sold in Switzerland, and no less than 600 ships are still based on Lake Léman.
Rebirth of a project
After several attempts to revive the iconic series, the Surprise is back under the banner of Bateaux Phœnix. Skipper and amateur racer Didier Bouygues has always been a fan of these yachts, and decided to work hard to launch the production of the fourth Surprise generation. Encouraged by the enthusiasm of the Surprise owners’ associations (ASPRO France and Switzerland), Mr. Bouygues joined forces with Art Pro Composite to manufacture the new boats. The first Surprise from Bateaux Phœnix was built in December 2022 !