Oceanis 51.1 : Champagne glass sailing

Boat test by SAILING TODAY (Issue n°251 ,March 2018)

Conditions Boat Test : the Catalan coast, breeze varying between 10-15kt

Beneteau’s Oceanis 51.1 features a radical hull shape with ‘champagne glass’ sections. But does that lead to the sailing equivalent of Lambrusco? Sam Jefferson finds out

Chines. Back in the days before yacht designers got hold of them, chines were generally steep coastal valleys – or in fact a method of taking cuts of meat from the spine of an animal (preferably dead). Anyway, once yacht designers got hold of them, they took on an entirely new meaning. In the world of yacht racing a chine – essentially inserting a hard angle into the profile of the hull shape – can provide a yacht with a performance boost in certain circumstances. In the world of yacht cruising, they are generally used to give a yacht a dramatic look and provide yet more internal volume aft.

Yet, in recent years, designers have begun to move away from the hard chine aft. To my mind this is no bad thing. From a purely aesthetic point of view I have always favoured a curved backside over an angular one. That’s just me though. You might feel differently: different strokes for different folks, as the Americans might say.

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