Ovni 445

2009 April 1
T he Ovni series is made up of aluminum boats built with a multi-chine hull form and featuring shoal draft with a large centerboard. They are very interesting boats. The new 445 is typical of the line and will appeal to those of you who sail where shoal draft is at a premium.

Chines are used in this case to make it easier to build the 445 out of flat sheets of aluminum. There are three chines per side from what I can see in the cryptic drawing. The D/L of this design is 146. The large, hydraulically operated centerboard is steel and increases the draft from 3 feet, 5 inches board up to 9 feet, 10 inches board down. I suspect the exact profile shape of the centerboard was chosen to help fit the board under the cabin sole. The hull is beamy and that will help with stability. The L/B is 3.21. Twin rudders further reduce the need for draft. Other than having chines this hull is very typical of what we are used to seeing today. There is lots of beam aft and plenty of freeboard to ensure interior volume. There is no doubt in my mind that if you are after shoal draft and performance the Ovni combo of a beamy hull and an efficient, deep centerboard is the best way to go.

There are two layouts available for the 445. You can have twin double staterooms aft or a single double stateroom to port with a much larger aft head to starboard. When you eliminate the starboard stateroom you also get much larger cockpit lockers to starboard. The saloon layout is pretty much controlled by the long centerboard trunk. It hides beneath that bench seat that runs down the centerline. I'm not entirely sure but it looks from the drawings that the centerline bench seat can also be switched for additional galley counter. I'd probably go for the extra seating.

The rig is interesting in that it shows double spreaders swept 21 degrees. In addition, there are forward lowers with their chainplates on the side of the cabintrunk. This opens up a slot for the jib and staysail to set through. I do wonder though why the forward lowers are necessary. If you are a belt and suspenders type you should like this feature. Running backstays are shown for the staysail. The SA/D for this design is a conservative 17.68. This is a good ratio for this type of cruising boat.

This design has a really big, broad cockpit. The seats are long and will make a great place to nap. There is plenty of space in the cockpit for a fixed dining table. The side decks are wide and the jib tracks are inboard. The swim platform is big with a seat and lockers. This will be a very handy stowage area. There is a deep well in the foredeck for ground tackle. Note the Linguine strut style radar arch aft with plenty of room for both radar and solar panels.
Draft is a primary consideration for many cruisers. You can have a fixed stubby keel but those don't work very well. You need aspect ratio for an efficient keel. I like the Ovni solution.

LOA 45'3"; LOD 44'; LWL 41'7"; Beam 14'1"; Draft 9'10" (centerboard down), 3'5" (centerboard up); Displacement 23,430 lbs.; Ballast 7,040 lbs.; Sail area 883 sq. ft.; SA/D 17.68; D/L 146; L/B 3.21; Auxiliary Volvo D2-55; Fuel 130 gals.; Water 140 gals.

Alubat, Z.I Les Plesses, 85180 Le Chateau D'olonne, B.P. 80073, 85102 Les Sables D'olonne, Cedex, France, 33 251-21-0802, www.alubat.com. In the U.S., contact Nickle Atlantic, 6258 Windham Hill Run, Alexandria, VA 22315, (703) 924-1055.

OBE: $325,700
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