aluminium sailboat in icebergs

Specifications - Design requirements

54' aluminium sailboat with lifting appendages and pilot-house


Navigation program

Blue-water cruiser designed for navigation in high latitudes, unsurveyed areas and long passages.

Criteria and desired requirements outline

  • 50 to 55 feet oceangoing sailboat, aluminium hull, centerboard, sail plan and deck layout for short-handed crew
  • Large pilothouse with panoramic view including a raised saloon and galley, in addition to a navigation station and an optional internal steering position. Low level difference with cockpit and a safe but simple watertight door.
  • Berths (min. 6, incl. 2 doubles) and living areas always comfortable whether at sea or at anchor.
  • Important self-sufficiency (tankage, electricity) and large storages (provisions, equipment and expedition material), vast walk-in forepeak with workbench, where a 3m60/12 feet RIB tender (semi-rigid dinghy) can be stored deflated during long passages (Atlantic North to South, Pacific, etc), numerous technical lockers aft (propane, gas, diving bottles, outboard, life raft, aft anchor, mooring lines on reels)
  • Versatile modern hull design, high load carrying capacity, a full length chine (power and livability increase)
  • Ice scantling without over-wintering
  • Cutter rig (sloop with self-tacking staysail on furler)
  • Weight centering, ergonomics and optimized transitions (notably re. level changes and number of stairs), space feeling without dangerous areas (i.e. too wide open or with salient corners), difficult or exposed navigations demand an adequate accommodation layout or the possibility for the crew to find a handhold.
  • Heavy insulation and ventilation : (closed cells insulating foams + inside hull and deck lining) hull/deck : 100/60 mm, insulated floors 40 mm, thermal bridges removal, dorades/air vents in addition to opening hatches and portholes.
  • Rudder(s) protection or retractable rudders with "kick-up" security device (moreover rudders can be removed for repair without having to haul the boat out), propeller protection
  • Premium alloy (e.g. Sealium) for coachroof and deck (weight reduction, without decreasing strength)
  • Light sandwich wood panels for furniture bulkheads for optimizing weight balance and more acoustic comfort
  • Minimum painted surfaces to simplify maintenance : antifouling/epoxy on immersed hull and appendages, Non-Skid coating system on deck, synthetic teak in the cockpit, sugar scoop and tilting platform
  • Redundancy, simple reliable systems, facilitated on board maintenance or equipment fixing (large engine compartment, easy access to technical room)

Accommodation layout : front to rear

  • Watertight bulkhead behind bow-knuckle : "crash-box", towing chainplate, 3 feet bowsprit
  • Bow-thruster
  • Vast walk-in forepeak (3m/9+feet long) with workbench and chain locker on the aft bulkhead bottom
  • Watertight bulkheads and doors
  • Owner's cabin with large double bed, desk, bookshelves, lockers, dressing table
  • Head with washing machine spot, separate shower cabin with optional sauna
  • Raised saloon with wood folding table (resin and fiddles inside folded part) and telescopic feet (tatami or additional sleeping bunks), retractable TV or video large screen
  • Centered Refleks stove
  • Opening on front cabin (shutter)
  • Galley with 2 drawers fridge, freezer, gimballed gas (propane) cooker with oven, double sink, microwave, acrylic resin countertops
  • Pilothouse with navigation station and chart table, 360° view
  • Central cabin with single navigation berth
  • Option with true internal steering (700mm diameter removable wheel and engine controls)
  • Aft head with shower
  • Heated weather gear locker in companionway
  • 2 aft cabins :
    • Port : 2 single bunks and access to technical area in between the 2 cabins (water-maker, etc), lockers
    • Starboard : 1 double berth + 1 navigation bunk, lockers
  • Access to cockpit thru simple and sturdy watertight door
  • Sheltered watch area on each side of the door below coachroof top extension
  • Aft watertight bulkhead
  • Lazarette (vast storage area for expedition equipment and spares, central fuel hydronic heater)
  • Dedicated technical lockers : propane bottles, gas jerrycans, life-raft, grab-bag and emergency fresh water jerrycans, outboard engine (20CV), rear anchor, mooring lines on reel, diving bottles
  • Ergonomic cockpit with 2 helm stations (1000 mm diameter wheels)
  • Sturdy teak table with welded aluminium structure
  • Transom arch : orientable solar panels (2x100W), wind generators, antennas, lifting devices for dinghy and outboard engine
  • Flexible solar panels (c.a. 400 W) on roof
  • Short sugar scoop, folding bathing platform, diving ladder
  • Large engine-technical room under pilot-house floor : main engine, DC generator, isolation transformer, battery charger, converters, water-heater, daily fuel tank and filters
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