Ovni 43 – Interesting Design


We’ve been noticing these Ovni 43s for years. The hard chine hull with its bare aluminum topsides stands out, and the fact that these boats are designed to sit on land or ice is additionally intriguing.

We saw Lady Salope first in Bergen, Norway,


Her 74 year old owner is single handing and after we helped him work into a very tight berth, we took him back to Wind Horse for a fashionably late dinner of left overs. We were invited for a tour of his boat the next day.


The Ovni 43s have a flat bottom, centerboard, and hinging rudder at which we are looking above. Three feet (90cm) of water and you are afloat.


Most of her halyards and reef lines end up back in the cockpit.


She has a Max Power retractable thruster to which the flat bottom lends itself.


The salon is nicely designed, with the typical galley abeam of settee which has become so common.


The table leaves fold on top of the base, and are held in place with timber runners. Simple and effective.


This deck hatch privacy cover is also a simple way of solving the light and privacy problem.


We don’t care for this locker hardware system. The left door is held in place with an old-style finger latch. These do not have a good record in heavy going. The push latch on the right hand door is solid, but only as long as the right hand door is in place.


The Owner’s stateroom forward is very spacious for a 43 foot yacht.


There are a pair of quarter berths aft. The starboard side is for storage and shares its space with a 5kW diesel genset. The port side (above) is used at sea.

Robust aluminum construction, extreme shallow draft, and the ability to dry out makes the Ovni 43 an interesting concept.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (March 6, 2010)

5 Responses to “Ovni 43 – Interesting Design”

  1. Frank Goelo Says:

    Hello Steve,

    Please, note the hollow rounded plate connecting the bow to the under side of the anchor sprit for additional support and for softening the lines of the hull/sprit connection. As suggested earlier in another post, such simple addition should benefit the esthetics of the anchor sprit on your 64 footer by softening its rather utilitarian and bulky look…

    No monetary value can be placed on how you feel while rowing away while contemplating your vessel’s profile…

  2. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Frank:
    I agree 100% that when you row away in the dink the boat has to make your heart sing.
    When we were working on the anchor sprit for Wind Horse we wrestled with its aesthetics for months. Then we mocked up a variety of looks on the boat while it was under construction. In the end, we felt we could not hide it or even mitigate it satisfactorily but we liked the hard, functional look – in keeping with rest of the utilitarian (or militaristic) appearance.
    Of course this is a personal decision and easy to change.

  3. Victor Raymond Says:

    Hi Steve,

    I wonder what you think about the flat bottom and retractable keel when hit broadside by a breaking wave. I have heard it said that it will protect the boat from capsize because the boat will be driven across the water without tripping on a keel. In your experience does that seem plausible or probable? I have been interested in the Ovni’s for some time but they are so different from your standard offshore design, it causes one to pause.

    Thank you.

  4. Steve Dashew Says:

    In breaking seas slipping to leeward with a breaking crest is a way to dissipate wave energy over time. Wtih a centerboarder lifting the board can help the boat skid to leeward (dinghy racers do this all the time). Initially the centerboarder can benefit from this. However, as the boat begins to immerse its deck edge the deck begins to resist slipping. So you have to look beyond just the centerboard to how the hull floats as it is progressively knocked down to deeper angles. This is a function of beam, freeboard, and weight. Wide boats tend more to tr ip on their deck edges. The stability curve also enters into the equation.
    As you can see, this is a complex question with no easy answers. This topic is covered in great detail in Surviving the Storm.

  5. Gus Wilson Says:

    In Lowestoft last May we helped a smaller Ovni dock, one without a bow thruster. In moderate winds they had a really hard time getting in – on the turn they slipped sideways more than they moved around the curve. The skipper seemed experienced, but the normal ways of maneuvering using prop walk etc. did not seem to work. If the board had been down they would not have had suce a hard time.

    Sailing and handling one of these would require a lot of retreading. But the concept is interesting.