Baltic 45

2009 April 1
I am reminded of the article I read on Sophia Loren's face. It explained in detail how her mouth was too big and she had no chin. Her nose was too long and her eyes were too far apart. But the combination of these odd features resulted in a very beautiful woman. I agree. This Reichel/Pugh design is a combination of odd features. None of them are unique in this day of high-tech boats. But the end result is unique considering its intended purposes: plural. This boat has been designed for a Lake Michigan client who wants a daysailer, a couples' cruiser and a boat capable of competing in offshore, short-handed events. "You are going to love this boat, dear."

I think this statement from Baltic's marketing director hits the nail on the head. "The type of client that comes to Baltic Yachts tends to have very clear and strong ideas about exactly what they are looking for in their boat and they come to us when they know that they can't find what they are looking for from the production market." I should add that engineering and deck design are by R&J Design in conjunction with R/P.

This is a very light boat with a D/L of 62.6 and an L/B of 3.92. So, it's light and narrow. But note in plan view how the beam goes from beam max in a straight line aft carrying beam max all the way to the transom. There is water ballast carried in the aft quarters. The keel is a lifting fin with 6,798 pounds of ballast in the bulb with a keel down draft of 10 feet, 6 inches, and a keel up draft of 6 feet, 7 inches. The bulb appears to be a beaver tail type. There is a chine aft on this hull. Having a chine like this helps to flatten the buttocks aft and make for a more efficient hull at planing speeds. In this case, with max beam carried aft and the chine pushing the hull volume outboard, the water ballast will have maximum effect. This boat has been designed to sail very fast. That it will, I have no doubt.

This is not a long-range cruising boat. This boat is designed to make a couple comfortable for the weekend. Head and nav station are wrapped around the lifting trunk. The galley is tiny. The "saloon" is trimmed in exposed carbon fiber with the bulk of the surfaces covered in cherry veneers. As the designers say, "there are enough amenities for staying overnight." There are settee berths and quarterberths but after a long day's hard sail I'd bet you I could fall asleep just fine on a pile of sails in the forepeak.

This deck design is a thing of beauty. I often wonder if cruisers realize that the most comfortable decks are those designed for racing yachts. You cannot win races if you are uncomfortable and you cannot win without a deck that is designed to minimize the effort required to make the boat go fast. This cockpit has long bench seats forward for comfortable daysailing. Aft of these seats the winches are wrapped around the helm positions with twin wheels well outboard. There is no seat back at the wheel. You will sit to weather and you will watch the luffs of your sails. You will have a happy look on your face. The traveler spans the entire aft cockpit sole. Lockers are located aft of the traveler for the life raft and beer cooler. A centerline pedestal leads to a console-mounted winch aft that will allow you to suck in the mainsheet. "Put your back into it, dear."

The rig is not unusual. It's just unusual to find a rig like this on mom and pop's daysailer. If I only use I, J, P and E and ignore that big, fat-head mainsail I still get an SA/D of 34.22. This boat will not lack for horsepower under sail. The carbon rig by my pals at Hall Spars has spreaders swept 20 degrees. The bowsprit is fixed. The jib furling gear is located below the deck.

Built with the most sophisticated methods with the most exotic of composite materials, this will be an ultimate boat. I like sailing by myself. I'd like this boat.

LOA 49'9"; LWL 45'7"; Beam 12'8"; Draft 10'6" (keel down), 6'7" (keel up); Displacement 13,288 lbs.; Ballast 6,798 lbs.; Sail area 1,200 sq. ft.; SA/D 34.22; D/L 62.6; L/B 3.92; Auxiliary Yanmar 3JH4CE; Fuel 42 gals.; Water 42 gals.

Baltic Yachts USA, 53 America's Cup Ave., Newport, RI 02840, (401) 846-0300,

OBE: $825,000
Our Best Estimate of the sailaway price