When we decided to develop a round bilge, swing keel, fifty foot cruising sailboat,
we had a feeling that this was an excellent opportunity to produce a very special yacht. We
opted for a pilot house centre cockpit arrangement, providing maximum protection for the helmsman
against the elements. Besides, we designed the dog house walls with a 360 degrees vision for
the helmsman by means of good sized windows all around the trunk. The pilot's seat is placed
at the right height to allow for an adequate frontal view of the sea.
Another feature of great appeal is the swing keel. Lifted by synthetic ropes attached to a
jack, the ballasted keel is free to lift in case of a collision. With part of the ballast installed
internally, the Polar 50 possesses an adequate stability even when the movable keel is retrieved.
( the rudder is fixed behind a skeg with an aperture for the propeller, and its depth is slightly
deeper than hull's depth, which is a great solution concerning steering control, and, when
the boat is grounded bow first on a sloped shore, the waterline is closer to a level position,
which is quite convenient regarding comfort aboard.
The advantages of a mono-hull over a catamaran are many, being the most important one, the
lower cost of building. Besides, a mono-hull is easier to manoeuvre, it sails much better when
close hauled, it's safer in extremely bad weather and doesn't become the number one public
enemy when approaching a crowded anchorage or a marina harbour.
We opted for a round bilge hull construction to give a status of elegance to the design, and
the choice of steel or aluminium as a building material is related to the tough conditions
the boat is planned to endure, including collisions with ice when operating in high latitudes.
At present, with the fantastic improvements in anti-corrosion protection, steel construction
is no more a reason for concern, and it's unquestionable robustness is an important factor
when deciding which material to employ. Nevertheless aluminium is equally reliable regarding
strength, being only slightly more expensive, once equipment, which represents more than 60%
of the cost, remains the same for both building systems.
The Polar 50 is designed with two lay-out options, one of them intended for those who want
to live aboard and think about using the boat as an office or small work-shop. This is a world
wide trend among sailors and each time more yachtsmen decide taking this choice. Computer science,
free lance jobs, small repair electrical and electronic servicing and a myriad of other trades
can be performed comfortably aboard a fifty foot Yacht planned for these purposes. The second
version emphasises the main purpose of this design: to be an authentic adventure machine. This
second option is recommended for charter expeditions as well as prived cruising enterprises.
The main differences between the two layouts are: the first option offers only one access to
the interior from the pilot house. A corridor down below takes the crew from the main saloon
to the fore compartments. A spacious work shop is placed at portside, ahead of the pilot house.
The other version offers two accesses to the interior from the pilot house, one for the fore
compartments and another ladder descends to the social quarters of the boat. In both cases
a watertight collision bulkhead separates the foc's'l from the rest of the boat, and the main
saloon is the same for both interiors. The aft main saloon is a very popular arrangement among
Yachts that operate in the charter business in the Southern Ocean or in the North Atlantic
and the Pacific Northwest. If the boat has a lifting keel and a pilot-house, this is by far
the best arrangement, once the keel case occupies an important place at boat's central area.
The large beam employed in modern designs at the after quarters, as is the case with the Polar
50, gives room for an ultra spacious saloon, so large that, after placing the U shaped dinette
sofa served by a table where ten guests can share a meal comfortably, there is still room to
spare for an extra wide single berth, or, you may call it, a double berth for a passionate
couple, mainly during a chilly night. A curtain gives privacy to this bunk, when required.
At the opposite side a library counterbalances this bunk.
We also offer two options for the galley as well as for the engine room, even so these may
be interchangeable. In one of the two engine compartments suggested, we created an extra room
abaft the engine, having in mind the installation of a larger generator in this place, if wished.
Our original idea is the installation of a 5 to 7 kva power plant at the foc's'le.
The pilot house is another compartment of the boat where there is a sofa for entertaining,
besides all the facilities to navigate the boat from there. As it has already been stated,
the helmsman visibility is excellent, due mainly to the correct height of the frontal windows
above the fore peak. This is a factor of utmost importance, once the false security given by
a pilot house with an improper visibility may lead to dangerous situations. The lay-out for
the pilot house is different for each version, but in both cases there is room for a sofa or
a pilot berth, a very welcome feature when the boat is navigated by a small crew.
The boat is specified for an auxiliary propulsion of 80 to 120 horsepower and the engine room,
as is the case with most centre cockpit arrangements , is located under the cockpit sole.
As is our standard procedure when dealing with Yachts intended to operate in high latitudes,
we placed a heat exchanger inside the rudder skeg, which also contains the propeller shaft
tunnel, in way of a keel cooler.
The keel base is hidden entirely under the pilot house, not consisting any waste of space.
At each side of the case there is room for lockers and installation of various equipments.
With a trunk that goes from the fore deck to the after quarters, the Polar 50 has the safest
deck one can wish for, once there is always support for the feet when the boat is heeled, either
the toe-rail or the trunk side walls. The cockpit is partially hidden from the bad weather
by the pilot house coach-roof, which extends abaft the house after wall, allowing two persons
to sit next to the pilot house under this coach roof extension. The cockpit steering seat is
raised so the helmsman obtains good visibility when looking forward.
A wide boarding platform, with a gantry installed over it, completes the functionality of the
whole project, besides allowing for the storage of an inflatable there.
The Polar 50 is cutter rigged with the spreaders swept aft. With enough sail area, to perform
well in light wind conditions, this Yacht is a good performer in any weather.
Polar 50 - History
We have been designing metallic boats for a long time, more precisely since 1981 when we
developed the MC37, a modern styled steel yacht with short overhangs, wide transom, fractional
rig and an efficient fin-keel, spade rudder configuration. The performance of that model was
recognised as exceptional for a steel vessel of that time. Since then, more than thirty yachts
of this class were built in different places, and the plans are still considered up-to-date,
and for that matter are available in our list of stock plans.
Thanks to the successful first trial, we were commissioned by the world famous navigator Amyr
Klink, to produce custom plans for a yacht intended to spend a winter in the Antarctic continent.
Our team, together with Gabriel Dias, a naval architect who worked with us at that time, developed
the polar yacht Paratii, which not only wintered in Antarctica, but also sailed single handed
around that continent.
During the nineties we developed various stock plans for steel construction, all of them very
well received by the sailing community, and presently we have more than one hundred metallic
yachts sailing or under construction by amateur and professional builders. ( See in our site
the complete line of metallic boat stock plans )
In 2003 we were commissioned by the Ucranian sailor Aleixo Belov, to design a 65 foot swing
keel yacht to be operated in high latitudes. We made a deal with our client reserving us the
proprietary rights for this work, and the model is now available as the Polar 65 stock plans.
Aleixo began the construction of his yacht as soon as the plans arrived and in January 2005
the metallic construction is concluded but still missing the building of the interior and the
After completing the design work for the Polar 65 we went a step ahead with our line of special
yachts intended to stand the harsh punishments of sailing in waters where ice is routinely
found. The Polar 50 is our most recent work in this field and it's also the most advanced one.
This time we went for a round bilge hull with a lifting keel system which we are already employing
in other models of our metallic boat series. This system is a very simple arrangement where
an hydraulic piston attaches to the ballast upper flange by means of a synthetic rope, allowing
the keel to swing up in case of a collision with an obstacle without harming the equipment.
Since the beginning of the project we were lucky to have two important supporters for this
work. They were the Brazilian sportsman Julio Fiadi, a person who visited Antarctica dozens
of times and sailed the sub Antarctic waters for the last twenty years, and Oscar Bentini a
boat builder with an outstanding knowledge about metallic construction, who will build one
of these yachts for himself to be used as a residence, and in a more distant future, to join
the charter business.
Julio Fiadi brought with him an adviser, Oleg Belly, a renowned charter skipper with many years
of service in the Antarctic continent. A physicist by trade and a boat builder himself, Oleg
showed a great interest in our lifting keel principle, and, at the same time, he contributed
with excellent advice about specific detailing, something to be expected from somebody who
has been successfully operating for so many years in the Southern Ocean.
José Oscar Bentini will begin his construction in January 2005 and we hope Julio will
follow him without delay, so that there will be boats of this class sailing in the very near