60-foot monohulls are among the fastest modern racing monohulls. Built using composite materials, they are designed to be as light as possible (speed gains) while at the same time being solid enough to withstand the worst conditions you can find when racing on the open seas.
The Open 60 monohull was really born in 1986, during the second edition of the BOC Challenge, when five of the monohulls shared the reasonable size of 18.28 metres (60 feet). From the creation of these new monohulls, the specifications of these boats were drawn up to deal with the strong downwind sailing found in the southern ocean: they were very wide and long at the waterline. A few years later, in 1998, canting keels, aimed at increasing the righting moment became the norm and computer systems became more and more important helping skippers to retrieve weather forecasts and communicate with land. Gradually autopilots, vital for solo sailing, have become more and more intelligent.
Hulls and sail plans changed over time too, with boats becoming more potential with wider sterns, while offering improved performance upwind. We can also see that cockpits are better and better protected with certain having covers or sliding roofs to protect skippers during manoeuvres.
The safety requirements imposed by the Class on sailors and designers have contributed a lot to the success of the boat. Since 2000, in order to be able to line up at the start of a race, boats must prove their ability to right themselves without any external assistance and prove they are watertight inside and are extremely buoyant when they capsize or suffer an ingress of water.