Antipole in the Baltic

About Ovni 395

Alubat is a French company specialising in the production of aluminium welded boats.  Aluminium has several advantages:

  • It is strong and light.  Hopefully, in the event of hitting an obstruction, the hull would dent rather than split.
  • Aluminium is an abundant element, and, although expensive to extract from the ore, is easily recycled.  It is, therefore, more environmentally-friendly than GRP, which boats will have to be buried at the end of their life.
  • Aluminium boats cannot suffer from osmosis, the dreaded canker of GRP boats.
  • Aluminium is resistant to corrosion.  However, it is high up the electro-chemical series and easily effected by electrolysis, so great care is needed with regard to other metals – no brass fittings!  It is difficult to paint satisfactorily and the paint can blister off, so Alubat boats traditionally leave their top sides unpainted.

The Ovni range is of hard chine construction, whereby aluminium plates are welded together, giving an angular appearance, rather than being smooth and round, which is much more expensive to construct.  The boats have a lifting keel, which has the advantage that the draft is much reduced with the keel up and they can be dried out with ease.  The keel can also be raised when sailing off the wind, which can make the boat faster and easier to handle in a following sea.  On the other hand, performance to windward is lower compared to a fixed keel boat.  The Ovni keel plate is also of aluminium and quite light, and does not contribute significant ballast, which is provided by lead encapsulated within the hull itself.

The Ovni 395 has the following dimensions:

Length overall 12.68m 41’ 7”
Length of hull 12.22m 40’ 1”
Length along waterline 10.30m 33’ 10”
Beam 4.10m 13’ 5”
Draft (keel down) 2.10m 6’ 10”
Draft (keel up) 0.58m 1’11”