The Polar looks very nice with some good ideas; seems very similar in design & concept to the Alliage & Azzuro swing & lifting keel yachts - which are from the board of a well known designer. I think aluminum makes more sense if you're going the shoal draft route. I get nervous taking a glass boat anywhere too shallow where there's anything to potentially graze the gelcoat/antifoul/epoxy barrier coat !
just noticed the 45 foot concept at end of that Polar 55 brochure. Still a bit short on info re the "composite construction" of these yachts.
Similar to Azzuro from alliage? Well, Azzuro are great Alumium boats with also a lifting ballasted keel, not a centerboarder like the OVNI or Boreal with all the ballast inside the boat and in that regard they share the same concept and are also beautiful but there are some remarkable differences (besides one being an aluminum one and the other a carbon? one):
This is the Azzure 53, it weights 13 500kg, has a 3000kg bulbed keel with a draft that can go from 3.0m to 1.2m and carries 130m2 of sail.
The Polar 55 weights 10 000kg, has a ballast of 4100kg on a more efficient torpedo keel with a max draft of 2.45m, a minimum of 1.55m and carries 104m2 of sail.
I agree with you when you say that an aluminum boat will be better to stand on the sand, but even if I would not do that with the Azzure except on an emergency, he can do it and the Polar can't. It has a small draft but it cannot go to the beach and even if he could I agree that it is risky to have a heavy cored boat standing on its hull on a beach.
The Polar is also much lighter especially considering that it is a bigger boat and has a bigger ballast even if we have to discount the difference in draft that is not compensated by the more efficient Polar torpedo keel. I guess that all considering that difference in draft is good for less 600 to 1000kg and that will give not such a big difference but a considerable difference in generated RM. Even if we consider a 1000kg saving in weight (that I find too much) the B/D ratio for the two boats will be of 30% (Azzure) and 41% (Polar).
Also in what beam is considered there is a considerable difference with the 53ft boat having 4.82m and the bigger one 4.22m, meaning a different hull design that is related with the difference in B/D.
Looking only at those dimensions I would say that I would prefer clearly the Polar 55 but....
I would say that I would be very cautious in what regards buying a Polar 55. That weight seems too good to be true, or to give an adequate warranty of solidity. For instance the new XP 55 ( a light boat) weight 16500kg with more draft and 6 300kg of ballast. If we consider only the boat without keel, the Polar 55 weights 5900kg and the XP 55 10 200kg. That is an HUGE
This means that the Polar 55 has to be an all carbon boat (they don't say nothing about it) and built like a racing boat and even so that interior does not look like particularly minimalist, not to mention the teak decks.
To put things in perspective, the Open 60 that was raced by Sam on this Vendee Globe (2004) weighs about 9000kg (and it is not the heavier boat racing) and has a 4.5m draft. Ballast is a well kept secret but I would say that they go from 3000 to 3500kg. Even considering the bigger number the weight of the boat without keel will be of 5500kg.
So a carbon 60ft racing boat (without keel) weights 5500kg, without furniture, teak deck, heavy furling systems, and a cruiser boat with all those items with 55ft weights 5900kg? That sounds miraculous to me and I would expect such boat to be built (at least the hull) by one of the very specialized builders that build race boats, not from a firm that used to build a relatively heavy classic small boat.
To make some comparisons with other well know Carbon/epoxy boat that proved reliable, the Shipman 50ft ( a 2001 design) weighted 13 200 kg and the current boat, the 63ft weights 16 500kg.
Shipman 50 boat for sale
Shipman: Shipman 63
Bottom line, it is possible but it would be a technical achievement and I would wait till some boats are in the water and sailing without problems, before buying one, but I am not rich and I think like a poor man
Well the same was said about the Shipman 50 comes to the market (it was 2002 European boat of the year). Many if not most doubted about their reliability and the boat proved to be a great boat.
Regarding Alliage, they are making aluminium boats for almost 20 years, have a very solid reputation and I think that the possibilities of having any problem (specially a big one) with an Azzure versus a Polar are strongly on the Polar side.
In fact I was very interested on the Azzuro when it cone to the market back in the mid of the last decade. They started with a 42ft boat:
I remember that they retired quickly this boat from the market and I remember to have talked about that with the owner of the company (or the director) about it: Why? He explained that on that type of boat the price was not proportional to size and that a 42ft boat would be necessarily an expensive boat and difficult to sell on the 42ft market (I do remember that it was an expensive boat, much more than an OVNI). It was after that I have beginning to design my own aluminium dream boat (an aluminum boat with a lifting bulbed keel) to see if having it built directly by a shipyard (on Holland or South Africa) it would be more affordable (I have posted the design somewhere on this thread).
So as you can see I am a big fan of this type of design, I mean and Aluminum boat with a lifting bulbed keel but I can tell you also that it will always be a very expensive boat