Aluminium Centreboard cruisers

Hi Steve,

Have appreciated your design philosophy and innovation for some time in terms of getting the best out of the comfort, speed and safety of a yacht.

Was recently looking around at a number of the more innovative french centreboard designs (eg alliage, allures, alubat omni, garcia) and would be interested in your view on their safety as a voyager.

I think Jimmy Cornell has cruised extensively on one – but that obviously doesn’t mean they are safe.

Hard to get any sort of stability numbers on them, which is obviously the first concern. Second concern I had was the ability of the shallow dual rudders to maintain steerage in large seas when running or beating.

Do you have an opinion on these at all?



Hi Russel:

Second question on the subject of centerboarders this week. This subject is discussed in detail in  our Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia. The short answer is there are tradeoffs. Shallow draft and ability to dry  out or beach are wonderful, and there is more space with the beam. In severe heavy weather skidding off with the waves (leaving the board up) is also a plus.

But, wide beam means the boat will be harder to steer unless you have twin rudders which have their own issues. And the stability curve is going to be a lot less favorable than a keel boat.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 28, 2010)

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