Wednesday, October 12, 2016


The ones that know Allures, particularly the Allures 45, should be thinking that I am becoming too old and don't know of what I am talking about, after all the Allures are aluminium good centerboards, fast among that type of boats, but not particularly fast boats since they have the ballast not on the keel but inside the boat and on a stub very shallow keel and that means the need of a big ballast, since the ballast weight cannot be brought down.

Forget about that, well, they still offer the new boat with those characteristics but I am talking about something truly new on Allures, a version with a  swing keel, the type of keel used by Pogo, with all ballast on the keel. The diference between the two versions are 2T and because the Allures is a well built Aluminium boat, even the centerboarder was not particularly heavy, with 12,6T (the new HR 44 weights 13.3T) and that means the new swing keeller is really a light boat for a 45fter with 12T, just about half a ton lighter than a First 45.

That is possible because that swing keel, that has most of the ballast near the bottom, goes really deep, at 2.9m, when down, but the boat has only a draft of around 1.5m with the keel up. Sure, I would like it to have a bit more ballast to make it a more powerful boat (probably more half a ton would be enough) and maybe it is possible at request since being an aluminium boat it is not hard to make the needed reinforcements, but as it is it is already a very interesting boat and certainly a fast one.

Regarding the previous model, the 45, the beam was maintained but the hull is now 0.8 meters longer, featuring a more powerful stern (with the max beam brought back) and the LWL considerably longer due to a plump bow.

The interior is not very different from the one of the 45 (that was a nice one), with a raised chart table that allows a very good view around and some view forward, that is increased by the normal pitch movement of a sailboat in waves. Features a cutter rig, a good tankage, a sail locker and 3 interior layouts, being only one really adapted to long range cruising, with two cabins, a technical space and lots of storage.

I liked a lot the "old" 45 (that had a very good price), but it was not really my type of boat. This one is and it just looks great, kind of near, if it could come with some ballast and some more sail area, it would just be perfect ;-)


  1. It is truly an interesting boat and I get why you'd prefer the swing keel. I'd personally go with the CB though. My reasoning is this: I see allures as the type of boat one uses to explore every tropical lagoon in the Southern Pacific. Spend five to ten years doing so. The beaching ability, while usually not useful in the slightest, would have some benefits. Other thing is.. I like the fact that the lightweight CB is operated with pulleys and has a sacrificial bolt for impacts. No hydraulics to fail and designed to take a knock.

    Also, one thing I really like is that the main sheet winch is not on the coachroof any more. Instead, it's next to the wheels. Clutched though, I would've preferred a setup like in the allures 52 more. Ran out of space, I guess..

    The CB version would be my dream boat, if I had a few million to spare and the ability to not ever have to come back to Europe again..

    But I do get your opinion on the speed. The thing is.. Well, I sail a 49er for fun, don't need to hulking keel boat for that :)

    1. That is why they make the boat in two versions. I agree with what you said regarding the advantages of the centerborader.

      The advantages of the swingkeel ballasted boat are speed, stiffness, ability to sail much more time (due to a much superior ability to sail with light winds), much better upwind performance and more fun while sailing.

      Even if both are voyage boats with many points in common the the centerboarder and the swingkeel versions point clearly for different types of sailors, so no surprise you would prefer the CB version, as I suspect most sailors, but the fact that they introduced the swing ballasted keel means that there are a market for that type of voyage boat too. Note that the title of the post is about a performance voyage boat, a thing that the swing ballasted keel version is and the centerboarder is not.

      Preferring the centerboarder has another advantage, it is cheaper.... and the 45.9 is very far away from a million euros. The basic price without VAT is about 335 000 euros. A fully equipped boat with VAT and all should cost about half a million.

    2. Oh I certainly agree with everything you say and the light wind performance is a very major thing and as an obsessed avoider of motoring, I wouldn't sneeze at better angles either. But I do admit that I would like to see some very hard stress test numbers (and redo the math myself) along with a realistic description of the maintenance involved to be able to trust such a system. Wouldn't wan't to be rebuilding the keel box every few years (southerly style) or risking a major malfunction.

      And what I meant by the few million thing... I wouldn't buy a boat like allures if I was planning on earning any more during the next ten years. The pricing is certainly nice, but as I said before, I would be inclined to spend the next decade noodling around the tropics with a boat like this. You know, the "changing of the monsoon is the most accurate measure of time I need" type of deal :)

      If I was to buy a boat for more local, seasonal sailing I would also opt of a as light and as fast one as possible with less concern on the maintenance and durability. So yes, it's good to have options. But then again, should I go that way, I don't know if I'd bother with variable draft at all. Plenty of even faster, even more affordable fixed keeel boats around. There would be no need for that interior decor either. Not to mention unballasted fast dinghies that are even more fun, even though I'm also probably nearing the end of my capability of functioning properly in a 49er or skiff 18. Well, if I get too fat I'll just rig a 505 for single handing :)