Skip to main content

Something Bold, Something New

Kaidoz 31Some of the most innovative boat designs and concepts come out of France, and here is a fine example. The Kaidoz 31 has the rig of a hotshot racer, a hull design that gets it planing at 16 knots or more, and an accommodation plan that’s unlike anything I’ve seen on a monohull sailboat.The twin rudders, torpedo-shaped ballast bulb slung from a skinny keel, huge rig,
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Kaidoz 31

Some of the most innovative boat designs and concepts come out of France, and here is a fine example. The Kaidoz 31 has the rig of a hotshot racer, a hull design that gets it planing at 16 knots or more, and an accommodation plan that’s unlike anything I’ve seen on a monohull sailboat.

The twin rudders, torpedo-shaped ballast bulb slung from a skinny keel, huge rig, and flat, beamy hull form with minimal overhangs all conform to up-to-the-minute performance fashion, la the Open 60. It’s the rest of the boat that’s full of surprises.

The small cuddy cabin houses a head and stowage lockers. From just abaft the mast, the remainder of the boat is given over to a vast cockpit that contains the galley as well as winches and other sailing paraphernalia. Two fiberglass hoops arch over the cockpit and act as supports for an inflatable “cabintop.” This can be deployed fully to completely enclose the cockpit or partially to act as a windbreak for a crew of up to twelve.

This is a boat for warm summer weekends. It’s marketed as a fast and fun daysailer, but it can sleep six on the cockpit benches and on a couple of beanbags that are kept belowdeck. It has proved popular with French charter companies, which usually specify the performance-sapping but user-friendly twin-keel option—3 feet, 7 inch draft as opposed to the fin’s 6 feet, 5 inches. Upwind sail area, with the flat-topped, heavily roached mainsail and blade jib, is 753 square feet; by way of contrast, a J/100’s is around 480.

This boat may well be too radical for the typically conservative American sailor, but the concept makes a lot of sense, given the way that most people sail these days. www.kaidoz.com

Let’s all shunt together

Say “multihull,” and 99 percent of sailors will think “catamaran” and/or “trimaran.” The other 1 percent might add the word “proa.” These intriguing and speedy craft, with their reversing rigs always mounted on one of their two hulls, have never been mainstream outside of the Pacific islands where they originated.

As an offshore racer, the proa reached its apogee in 1968, when Tom Follett placed third in the OSTAR in Cheers, the 40-foot Atlantic proa designed by Dick Newick. A number of well-publicized boat failures and losses followed, and soon the proa was banned from ocean racing.

The proa became the preserve of eccentrics, individualists, and would-be record setters. Most of the Little America’s Cup boats that attempted to set sailing speed records were based on the proa concept.

Proas have their accommodations in one hull; the other is used to provide stability. Cheers was an Atlantic proa, with hulls the same length; accommodations and the unstayed schooner rig were in the weather hull, and the outrigger or ama was always to leeward. In effect the boat was two-thirds of a trimaran. The buoyancy of the leeward hull countered the wind pressure on the rig. In contrast, the traditional, or Pacific, proa is sailed with its ama always to windward, where its weight acts as a counterbalance to the wind pressure, and the accommodations and rig are in the leeward hull.

There are many variations on these types, but the basic premise is always the same. The proa is not tacked, but “shunted.” It is sailed into the wind until it stops; then the rig and rudder are reversed, and the boat is sailed backward into the opposite tack; the bow becomes the stern, and the same hull is presented to the wind. This is completely against the natural instinct of sailors and goes a long way toward explaining the distrust of proas.

An interesting take on the proa comes from New Zealand designer Rob Denney, whose Harryproa concept has its accommodations set in a pod atop a short windward hull and the rig set on a longer, slender leeward hull. The advantages of this arrangement, he says, are light weight, safety, economical build cost, and excellent performance.

Various examples of Denney’s designs are being built around the world. Dutch sailor Jan Schippers sent us photos of his recently completed 40-footer, Blind Date, which he uses to train blind sailors. Blind Date can sleep five in its 30-foot-long windward hull and has a vast amount of deck space for lounging.

The boat was built by Schippers and a professional boatbuilder from cedar strip and foam sheathed in epoxy. Carbon fiber was used in high-stress areas, such as the lifting rudders, crossbeams, and unstayed rotating rig, which is controlled by a single sheet. Schippers says he’s delighted with the boat’s performance and ease of handling. The bendy carbon spar spills wind, and full sail can be carried in up to 25 knots of breeze. Come winter, the boat can be disassembled for easy storage.

Blind Date is a striking boat, and the Harryproa just may be another step in the proa’s path to acceptance by the larger sailing community. www.harryproa.com

Related

DUFOUR_470.JM-LIOT-15

Boat Review: Dufour 470

Annapolis may be the sailing capital of America, but if you looked around the United States Sailboat Show last fall, you would have no choice but to conclude most sailboats are now built in Europe. The Dufour 470 is a good example of a modern French performance cruiser. DESIGN & ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_6563

Close Encounters: Captain Sarah Schelbert

I met Captain Sarah Schelbert back in 2019 while on the boat trip from hell aboard a seaworthy but poorly run Triton 28 in the western Caribbean. I was trying to help the owner sail his boat back to Florida from the Rio Dulce, in Guatemala. Outbound from the river basin, we had ...read more

02-Voice-of-the-Oceans---sailboat-Kat-11

Raising Their Voices

Many of us who are cruising sailors have been sailing mid-ocean or walking along a perfect beach in the middle of seemingly nowhere, only to be appalled at the amount of plastic trash we find. Few of us, however, have taken that disheartening reality and turned it into a ...read more

IC37racingonSunday-Photo-by-Paul-Todd

IC37 North American Championship

This past weekend saw 20 IC37s off Newport, Rhode Island engage in fast and furious one-design racing with the win going to Peter McClennen’s Gamecock. “It’s huge,” said McClennen of the win. “I think of the one-designs of this club going back to the New York 30 [built in ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_2056

South Pacific Storm Prep

Having set ourselves the task of transforming our recently purchased Open 66 ex-Vendée Globe racer, NV, into a performance family cruiser, my partner, Timo, and I found ourselves (extremely) high and dry as cyclone season approached. The favorite cyclone strategy in Fiji is to ...read more

00-Alexe-1---GUaGKDY4-single-boat-sailing-away-from-skyline,-Hill-Holiday

Cruising: Find Your Own Adventure

Whether they’re at the end of their collegiate career or after aging out of a summer sailing program, a lot of young sailors have a hard time finding a way to continue sailing as adults. Some of the barriers to sailing, including location, finances and time, can be hard to ...read more

00LEAD-IMG_2183

Heavy Hitters on Heavy Weather

“What’s the joke about heavy weather? You know it when you see it.” Figure 8 singlehander Randall Reeves drew laughs from the Cruising Club of America (CCA) sailors attending the forum “Heavy Weather Sailing: Bluewater Perspectives” as part of the CCA’s centennial celebration in ...read more

Nominne-Promo-2048x1149

Best Boat Nominees 2023

The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. Some of it is timing. Some of it is just the way of the world. Either way, it can be fascinating to see the evolution of the boatbuilding industry over the years, as has been evident in SAIL magazine’s annual Best Boats ...read more