To elaborate in more detail, this is only for my boat and design. We did spend two years looking at French boats, not centreboard specifically. We were looking at Pouevro (sp.), Metalu, Ovni
You can say whatever you want about the French but they are hardcore sailors and the "expedition class" aluminium boats that came from France
during the 70s and 80s are fast, safe, and brilliantly designed.
Goes upwind 35degrees off the wind
like a beast, we have new sails
but still... So well in fact that it opens up whole new approaches to cruising for us as it does this with the comfort of a crushing boat.
plan that is relatively flat in the back end under water
when you lift
the main centre board going down wind
it is like unleashing a wild animal, she goes...And goes....and goes...
is designed to be sea kindly and the fact that the centreboards come up is usefull when the **** really hits the fan as you can turn away from the wind and the cross seas cause the boat to slide instead of grab and it minimises the broach and roll problem. We have experienced this first hand.
Aluminium is so light that even though the old boats were built unbelievably robust, my boat has admiralty grade Ali in bow, 12mm, and "contact points" as well as 8mm up to rail yet still needed lead ballast because she was so light. We also have t stringers on 30 cm unlike e modern ovni
which are every 75???
I feel safe and not worried about the boat breaking, the limit would be the crews ability...we have gone off the back of a wave all the way to the stern hung rudder
and fallen half the hull length into a hole on the backside with no damage other than a seriously ringing mast
and severely shaken crew...
She pulls 1.4m boards up and 2.7 boards down. Means we can work upwind but still get into difficult entrances and across shallow bars
With proper wiring
, isolation transformers, etc. and attention to neighbours, I.e. steel
boats and bad marinas
, there is less maintenance
than any other material type.
it is very simple trully evaluate hull status with a decent surveyor
using a sonogram ( can't remember name, measure hull thickness using sound waves). Our boat is 30 years old and has over 97 percent of her hull intact. This is important as there's a certain amount of magic and mystery with old Ali boats. If it is losing metal over time even with good and knowledgable owners it will continue with new owners. The surface of old Ali is more porous than new Ali and is a more complicated animal
That brings me to the cons
Some of the cons are the same as the pros
You can NOT take shortcuts with your wiring
or wiring knowledge. You can literally sink an Ali boat with bad wiring. If you are not up to spec with floating potential, Iso transformers, etc. get yourself up to speed quickly
Need to understand and respect Ali. If someone tells you you can use the newest anti fouls on your hull because they just sold into a ovni owner. You need to understand and believe that this isn't true and know why. Have the guts to deal with scraping your hill for a season or however long until you can get to a supplier of proper anti foul. Seriously.
If you aren't an ali welder,as I am not regretfully, you have to haven't thick neck and strong spine. Ali welding is a bitch and everyone says they can while few really can. Especially welds under the waterline. Some examples of issues...
Most crap jobs an be dye tested to see if they are solid, however there are situations where a welder can weld a butt joint between two plates that passes the dye test but the weld itself is aerated and not stronger than peanut butter and if on a bench where you could grab it you could break it by hand ( please experienced welders comment!!!)
You are seeing a trend in the cons...owning an Ali boat requires self education, but don't most boats and materials?
We spent 2 years completely gutting our boat to the hull and rebuilding, re rigging
, changing and welding the hull and redesigning the sail plan. As a result we really understand our boat and have had to do almost nothing to her in the last 4 years. And other than paint
don't see any issues coming the near future.
Thats just my rubbish iPad
brain dump, hope it helps