A deck saloon and even more this large pilothouse look surprising re. the stability of such a centerboard sailboat, with a ballast usually positioned higher vs. a standard keel boat ?
The hull bustle, a kind of keel embryo perfectly integrated into the hull design, hence the name "integral centerboarder", allows the lead ballast to be lowered, in addition to a density greater than pig iron or steel shot often used on other centerboarders, as well as the engine (which also gives an almost horizontal shaft for better propeller efficiency) and part of the diesel tanks. Moreover, the superstructure of the pilothouse with its waterproof coachroof will allow the sailboat to recover faster in the extreme case of a capsize. The stability curves of the Enduro 54 and STIX calculations (see the boat performances) are comparable to the best keelboats with the bonus and advantage of being able to move the CLR (center of lateral resistance) backwards, when sailing downwind, by raising the centreboard, the boat being like on rails then, in addition to a more gentle motion in rough seas.
Which system is used to lift the centreboard ?
Re. lifting device : A strap plus a double block tackle with a dyneema line going back to a cockpit winch is used to lift the board.
A standard hydraulic cylinder with an electric pump lifting gear could indeed be used. However, given the boat program, a simple, reliable and moreover a device which can easily be fixed on board is preferred. The centerboard is moderately ballasted, non only to improve upwind performance, but moreover not to float given its thick Naca profile, and simply go down by gravity. It is possible to navigate safely with the board partially or totally lifted up, due to a relatively small change of the overall boat VCG (vertical position of the center of gravity) and still quite satisfactory stability results.
A rack system with a security pawl allows maneuvering in total serenity. For comfort the largest central cockpit electrical winch is used, however it is good to know this lifting system has been satisfactorily working on several other boats with only manual winches and even in some cases with a heavier ballasted centerboard. Hatches all above the waterline grant access to the lifting device including a possible change of the lifting rope, and even the main strap, without having to haul the boat out. Besides this, a deck window hatch aligned with the centerboard trunk hatches, allows the installation of a hoist to remove the centerboard for important maintenance work. Scantling of the centerboard aluminium shaft is generous and the trunk guides are made of Vesconite, a premium durable low friction and stable polymer. The trunk closing device when the centerboard is in the down position for superior hydrodynamics can also be accessed from the trunk hatches.
Why not using a single rudder aligned and protected by the centerboard ?
First of all, see the FAQ on the high efficiency, but also vulnerability, of twin rudders.
A single rudder must be deep enough to be effective, not really compatible with a low draft boat. On centerboarders, the old solutions developed in the 1980-90s are either an articulated rudder with the drawbacks of poor hydrodynamics and often a permanently submerged cylinder, or the addition of 2 daggerboards aft to compensate for a too short rudder .
A central rudder is certainly protected by the centerboard and skeg on the same longitudinal axis, but not the rear daggerboards which are as exposed as the twin rudders. Moreover a single rudder is not protected laterally e.g. when the current or ice floes push the boat towards rocks (see Fleur Australe damaging her rudder twice, in the Arctic and also in Antarctica). Other well known boats have twisted their rudder entering a coral atoll with an opening or "pass" made difficult by strong current or more prosaically in a river ... In this case there is no second or spare rudder to navigate back to a shelter; and to perform a proper fix the boat has to be hauled out !
A major asset of the Enduro 54 resides in its 2 lifting rudders, which can even be removed afloat with absolutely no risk of a leak into the hull, and even inside the watertight rear peak or lazarette.
Being able to remove a rudder along with its rudder tube at sea with zero flooding risk is a real advantage for a true exploration sailboat.
On fixed twin rudders, despite a sturdy aluminum construction and generous scantlings, plus sometimes resin added as a fuse to the upper part of the rudders so as not to pierce the hull in the event of an impact, it is often the bushes or rudder bearings which are damaged, which can cause a leak or at least make steering very hard. Difficult to change a lower bearing without hauling the boat out of the water.
Given the sizeable hatches in front of the coachroof what is planned against heat in tropical regions with the sun high in the sky ?
The preferred solution is an awning rigged above the front panels and hatches of the coachroof (see above images and examples on other sailboats) which can be, by experience, left on at least up to 40N of wind as is the case with a well designed bimini. This awning protects from the tropical sun without obscuring the view forward.
Other solutions include openwork fabric protections such as Batyline fixed directly to the outside of the portholes with some partial transparency from inside, blinds with wide horizontal slats placed inside the boat or even electrochromic "smart glass" panels with an electrical switch to darken the windows or make them fully transparent again.
Under high latitudes, these large panels and numerous portholes allow to enjoy the beautiful lights, if not for a little (and welcome) heat transmitted by the rays of the sun much lower on the horizon.
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