Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal, West Coast
Thanked 113 Times in 96 Posts
Rep Power: 13
Re: Paradigm changing boats
Fiery Cross - the first canting keel boat
Olson 30 - the first ocean going mini-sled
This certainly comes as a surprise:
In his book Sensible Cruising Designs, L. Francis Herreshoff promulgated the concept of a slim, canting-keel, 45-foot cruiser as the "ultimate sailing machine." In 1957, Kiwi designer Jim Young built the boat out of kauri wood; with Herreshoff's permission, he made some slight alterations to the design. "He added a foot of beam, fortunately, expanding it from six feet to seven feet," says Gary. "It made her somewhat habitable down below."
Though Fiery Cross was New Zealand's first canting-keel raceboat, after only a couple of years the boat was given a fixed keel to comply with the racing rules of the time.
New Zealand Classic | Cruising World
On "modern" times the concept was reinvented by Pascal Conq that was the one to use it successively in racing boats, I mean canting keels as we know them today. Him and his senior partner Finot (and some other French designers) were the ones that developed a reliable system as we know it today, working on Open60, that were much the testing boats were was made all the extensive testing to make them reliable.
Canting keels : A 30 years story ! | finot-conq architectes navals
Looking at Fierry Cross system I have some doubts regarding its reliability but then at the time they do not have the technology to do better than that.
I agree that the boat is not only a breakthrough in design as it is very modern even if it escapes completely the concept of a planning boat. I am quite sure the boat is still a very good boat upwind.
It certainly deserves its place on this thread. The boat:
some more interesting information on the words of the designer, Jim Young:
In L. Frances Herreshoff’s book Common Sense of Yacht Design, he advocated the system of canting the keel to windward to get the stability of a beamy boat, but in a narrow hull and without the drag of wide beam.
I thought that a great idea. It would add greatly to the sensation of sailing, great for cruising or reaching up to Kawau Island and up the northern coast. So I built her with that set-up in mind and you can see in the photograph of the hull being turned over of a hollow where the keel fin was recessed.
I knew that if you wanted speed then the boat would have to be long. And to keep costs down the hull would have to be narrow, plus having light gear with a light rig and everything else light and inexpensive. And the type of hull itself was the same as Herreschoff had advocated in his book, a double ended hull.
I had some correspondence with him because the boat he drew was the same length, 45 feet, but had only 6 foot (13.7 x 1.8 m) beam with 6.5 foot (2 m) draught. And I wanted to make this boat 7 foot (2.13 m) beam and so I wrote to him saying I was interested in his ideas but wanted to increase beam and asked him what he thought of that. He was full of enthusiasm and pleased to see someone carry out his ideas."