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Polar 65

Polar 65 Fraternidade, the latest inclusion in our Hall of Fame

Our top of the line cruising sailboat stock plan is for sure the Polar 65 design. This boat designed to pass through the harshest conditions unscathed, while being capable of entering into shallow waters normally denied to boats of its displacement, is what we consider to be the ultimate cruising yacht capable of accomplishing any sort of nautical adventure.

Fraternidade's first sea trial was a shake-down trip from Salvador, Brazil, to the Fernando de Noronha Ocean Island. Photo: Hélio Vianna

The Polar 65 was designed having already a client to build the first unit of the class, the Ukrainian yachtsman Alexis (Aleixo, as he is called in Brazil, the country where he lives presently) Belov, a seasoned yachtsman who has in his baggage no less than three round the world voyages single-handed aboard a forty-foot sailboat he built himself. Soon after receiving the plans he started the construction of his dreamed yacht, the impressive Fraternidade, a task that would take more than five years to be completed. When the grand yacht of presumed forty-five tons, with a superstructure made of stainless steel and prepared to stand whatever it had to endure, was concluded, we had for granted that she was a boat to make history.

As we imagine being the case with other yacht designers involved with cruising sailboats, we have an insatiable desire of creating a super-machine capable of standing the worst weather in any latitude, while having control on its own draught.

The Polar 65 differs from most other yachts operating in high latitudes for its wider beam (6.67m 21'11"). We had talked to some of the most experienced charter skippers that operate in the Southern Ocean and they assured us if they had to start again they would go for more generous beams.

The first chance to produce a boat like this happened some time ago when we were commissioned to design the polar yacht Paratii, a fifty-foot offshore sailboat which has been tested in a hard challenge, being the first sailboat to have rounded the Antarctic continent crewed by a single-handed sailor. This story is reported by the author of this outstanding feat, the adventurer Amyr Klink, in a best-seller translated in several languages with more than one million copies sold.

This well-succeeded experience led us wishing to make another attempt to design an upgrade of our ideas, being the Polar 65 the answer to this ambition.

This time we substituted the keel-centreboard solution adopted in Paratii, for another approach, the swing-keel system, hiding the keel when in its lifted position inside a trunk built in the central area of the cabin.

The Polar 65 plans contemplate a swing-keel, twin rudders and twin engines. The difference in style of the pilot-house design is due to our client's preference for closer to vertical walls.

Fraternidade left her home-port, Salvador, Brazil, in January 2010, on this occasion starting the trip with a crew of eleven. The first stage of the trip was of few calls, as if Alexis considered the actual beginning of the voyage only when his boat would be sailing in the Pacific Ocean. He made a quick stop in Grenada, from there sailing straight to Colón, at the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal

Polar 65 Fraternidade in Rarotonga, Cook Islands. Aleixo made this round the world trip a flash-back of his earlier three other ones, this time taking young crewmembers with him. Cortesy: Aleixo Belov

However the crossing of the Pacific Ocean was also accomplished in a tight schedule, as if he still was hiding a secret desire of exploring with greater intensity places he missed visiting in previous voyages. The Pacific stopovers were Galapagos, Marquises, Tahiti, Rarotonga, and finally Thursday Island, Torres Strait, the gate to the Indian Ocean.

In Bali Alexis hired a sculptor to engrave with oriental motifs the bright work in Fraternidade's saloon, something he had done before during his previous trips. Courtesy: Aleixo Belov

The first important call in his itinerary was most certainly Bali, Indonesia, where, as he had already done in previous voyages, hired an artist to engrave the varnished structural members of the saloon with Balinese traditional sculptures. From Bali he sailed to Galle, Siri Lanka, and then to Cochin, India. From that point it would start the most thrilling stretch of the trip, the crossing of the pirate infested waters of the Western Indian Ocean. He joined a rally of yachts that intended to pass in flotilla through these dangerous seas, under the leadership of a Dutchman. The strategy for doing so was to sail very close to shore, inside the territorial waters of the Arabic Peninsula nations. Fortunately for Alexis this passage was eventless, and Fraternidade reached the Suez Canal with no incidents. Once in the Mediterranean, he sailed to Turkey, and then to the Black Sea, calling at Odessa in his home country, Ucrainia, were he was received as a celebrity, and honoured with a long duration TV program produced by the state owned broadcasting station.

In Odessa, Ukrainia, Alexis received the visit of relatives. The decoration of Fraternidade's saloon resembles that of an art gallery: Courtesy: Aleixo Belov

When back to the Mediterranean, the rest of the trip was like a script of a touristic movie, with calls at the Greek Islands, Italy and Spain. Back to the Pond, he made his last stopover in Las Palmas, before returning to the starting point, Salvador, Bahia, where he arrived in October 2011, after leaving behind thirty-one thousand nautical miles in a flawless voyage around the world.

We from B & G Yacht Design wish to toast the successful trip of the old sailor and his magnificent Fraternidade, a yacht to be praised in equal footing with the legendary Ukrainian armour-plated ship Potenkin. Bravo, Alexis! We wish you that many other adventures will follow, the next ones in high latitudes, your most desired ambition.

Alexis Belov (right) and Rafael Coelho, the young naval architect that was member of the crew from French Polynesia to India, while being a member of the staff of B & G Yacht Design and having participated in the production of the Polar 65 plans. Besides being a keen multihull sailor, Rafael had a theoretical knowledge of the project like nobody else. Courtesy: Aleixo Belov

In time: Alexis invited different groups of young sailors to participate in this adventure with the intention of transmitting his experience to a younger generation. Incidentally the name of his boat has everything to do with this nice gesture, since the meaning of the word fraternidade is fraternity in Portuguese.

If you would like to know more details about the Fraternidade voyage, you can find a gallery of photos and videos in the link from our site: Polar 65 Fraternidade.


Polar 65 Fraternidade, the latest inclusion in our Hall of Fame

Our top of the line cruising sailboat stock plan is for sure the Polar 65 design. This boat designed to pass through the harshest conditions unscathed, while being capable of entering into shallow waters normally denied to boats of its displacement, is what we consider to be the ultimate cruising yacht capable of accomplishing any sort of nautical adventure.

Fraternidade's first sea trial was a shake-down trip from Salvador, Brazil, to the Fernando de Noronha Ocean Island. Photo: Hélio Vianna

The Polar 65 was designed having already a client to build the first unit of the class, the Ukrainian yachtsman Alexis (Aleixo, as he is called in Brazil, the country where he lives presently) Belov, a seasoned yachtsman who has in his baggage no less than three round the world voyages single-handed aboard a forty-foot sailboat he built himself. Soon after receiving the plans he started the construction of his dreamed yacht, the impressive Fraternidade, a task that would take more than five years to be completed. When the grand yacht of presumed forty-five tons, with a superstructure made of stainless steel and prepared to stand whatever it had to endure, was concluded, we had for granted that she was a boat to make history.

As we imagine being the case with other yacht designers involved with cruising sailboats, we have an insatiable desire of creating a super-machine capable of standing the worst weather in any latitude, while having control on its own draught.

The Polar 65 differs from most other yachts operating in high latitudes for its wider beam (6.67m 21'11"). We had talked to some of the most experienced charter skippers that operate in the Southern Ocean and they assured us if they had to start again they would go for more generous beams.

The first chance to produce a boat like this happened some time ago when we were commissioned to design the polar yacht Paratii, a fifty-foot offshore sailboat which has been tested in a hard challenge, being the first sailboat to have rounded the Antarctic continent crewed by a single-handed sailor. This story is reported by the author of this outstanding feat, the adventurer Amyr Klink, in a best-seller translated in several languages with more than one million copies sold.

This well-succeeded experience led us wishing to make another attempt to design an upgrade of our ideas, being the Polar 65 the answer to this ambition.

This time we substituted the keel-centreboard solution adopted in Paratii, for another approach, the swing-keel system, hiding the keel when in its lifted position inside a trunk built in the central area of the cabin.

The Polar 65 plans contemplate a swing-keel, twin rudders and twin engines. The difference in style of the pilot-house design is due to our client's preference for closer to vertical walls.

Fraternidade left her home-port, Salvador, Brazil, in January 2010, on this occasion starting the trip with a crew of eleven. The first stage of the trip was of few calls, as if Alexis considered the actual beginning of the voyage only when his boat would be sailing in the Pacific Ocean. He made a quick stop in Grenada, from there sailing straight to Colón, at the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal

Polar 65 Fraternidade in Rarotonga, Cook Islands. Aleixo made this round the world trip a flash-back of his earlier three other ones, this time taking young crewmembers with him. Cortesy: Aleixo Belov

However the crossing of the Pacific Ocean was also accomplished in a tight schedule, as if he still was hiding a secret desire of exploring with greater intensity places he missed visiting in previous voyages. The Pacific stopovers were Galapagos, Marquises, Tahiti, Rarotonga, and finally Thursday Island, Torres Strait, the gate to the Indian Ocean.

In Bali Alexis hired a sculptor to engrave with oriental motifs the bright work in Fraternidade's saloon, something he had done before during his previous trips. Courtesy: Aleixo Belov

The first important call in his itinerary was most certainly Bali, Indonesia, where, as he had already done in previous voyages, hired an artist to engrave the varnished structural members of the saloon with Balinese traditional sculptures. From Bali he sailed to Galle, Siri Lanka, and then to Cochin, India. From that point it would start the most thrilling stretch of the trip, the crossing of the pirate infested waters of the Western Indian Ocean. He joined a rally of yachts that intended to pass in flotilla through these dangerous seas, under the leadership of a Dutchman. The strategy for doing so was to sail very close to shore, inside the territorial waters of the Arabic Peninsula nations. Fortunately for Alexis this passage was eventless, and Fraternidade reached the Suez Canal with no incidents. Once in the Mediterranean, he sailed to Turkey, and then to the Black Sea, calling at Odessa in his home country, Ucrainia, were he was received as a celebrity, and honoured with a long duration TV program produced by the state owned broadcasting station.

In Odessa, Ukrainia, Alexis received the visit of relatives. The decoration of Fraternidade's saloon resembles that of an art gallery: Courtesy: Aleixo Belov

When back to the Mediterranean, the rest of the trip was like a script of a touristic movie, with calls at the Greek Islands, Italy and Spain. Back to the Pond, he made his last stopover in Las Palmas, before returning to the starting point, Salvador, Bahia, where he arrived in October 2011, after leaving behind thirty-one thousand nautical miles in a flawless voyage around the world.

We from B & G Yacht Design wish to toast the successful trip of the old sailor and his magnificent Fraternidade, a yacht to be praised in equal footing with the legendary Ukrainian armour-plated ship Potenkin. Bravo, Alexis! We wish you that many other adventures will follow, the next ones in high latitudes, your most desired ambition.

Alexis Belov (right) and Rafael Coelho, the young naval architect that was member of the crew from French Polynesia to India, while being a member of the staff of B & G Yacht Design and having participated in the production of the Polar 65 plans. Besides being a keen multihull sailor, Rafael had a theoretical knowledge of the project like nobody else. Courtesy: Aleixo Belov

In time: Alexis invited different groups of young sailors to participate in this adventure with the intention of transmitting his experience to a younger generation. Incidentally the name of his boat has everything to do with this nice gesture, since the meaning of the word fraternidade is fraternity in Portuguese.

If you would like to know more details about the Fraternidade voyage, you can find a gallery of photos and videos in the link from our site: Polar 65 Fraternidade.


 

Polar 65 Fraternidade first sea trial

Our largest polar yacht design, the Polar 65, has already its first unit in operation. Fraternidade, (means fraternity in Portuguese),the Polar 65 built by the Ukrainian/Brazilian engineer Aleixo Belov is beginning an ambitious long distance cruising plan. Aleixo intends to sail with his brand new expedition machine to the most remote places in the planet, taking with him a crew of scientists, journalists, film makers, divers and persons involved with the nautical world.
This intrepid aim has already began with a twelve hundred miles two way trip from Salvador, the city where the boat was built, to Fernando de Noronha, an ocean island located in the South Atlantic.

Fraternidade anchored in Fernando de Noronha. Photo Helio Viana

Aleixo is a very determined and efficient person. Being a well succeeded entrepreneur, he managed to organize his life so he could accomplish three round the world trips in solitary aboard a thirty-six foot fibreglass yacht built by him, managing to travel for the time required for such an extended voyage without having to discontinue his engineering firm. After his third circumnavigation, close to complete sixty years of age, he asked himself what he really wanted in life from then on: Have another son? He had already a large family; to invest in the expansion of his business? This was already happening, anyway. Build a highly technological yacht from a creative design, a boat that would be capable of sailing in any weather condition and to enter into the most difficult and inhospitable places? Why not? That was, no doubt, a challenge with enough appeal in his restless mind for him to dive head first in.

When returning from the third trip around the world he made a charter from Ushuaya to the Antarctic Peninsula aboard Kotik, a polar yacht built in Brazil by her owner, the Russian physicist and charter skipper Oleg Belly, a firm supporter of swing keel monohull yachts, the keel system adopted in his boat.
When returning from this charter, Aleixo was informed about the previous experiences our office had in designing polar yachts, the most well known being the Tillman Prize awarded Paratii, the first boat to circumnavigate the Antarctic Continent singlehanded, crewed by the Brazilian adventurer Amyr Klink

As we are great enthusiasts of swing keel systems for high latitude cruising yachts, having in our portfolio other designs employing this method of reducing draught, it was a natural consequence of our background in that matter that we came out being chosen to design his future boat.

The Polar 65 has an interior layout adequate for charter business in high latitudes

Strongly influenced by Oleg's ideas, Aleixo came to our office with a roll of sheets with sketches of the boat he was dreaming with. He wanted a multi-chine steel yacht, ketch-rigged, and obviously with a swing keel system. The boat being large enough, it was agreed that the keel trunk would extend from bottom to deck forming a central case around which the interior would be constructed. The keel should describe a 90° arc when retracted and in its ascending path would be installed an interesting innovation: a ratchet rail that allowed the keel to be blocked at any height, eliminating the risk of falling in case of failure in the lifting mechanism.

We took the task of designing this exciting boat as a unique opportunity for developing something really innovative. Our deal with Belov contemplated that the property of the design would be ours, since he had no interest in exclusivity. On the other hand we offered him a special support in designing the project, assisting him in customising some of his ideas which wouldn't interest other potential clients, and this happened to be a very good deal. The stock plan was developed more according to the taste of the general yachtsman, while Fraternidade ended up resembling a typical service boat specified to operate under the toughest conditions.

The more sophisticated style we chose for the Polar 65 differs in some aspects from Fraternidade; however, the flexibility of customizing the plans for any preference is one of the great advantages of metallic construction. Rendered image: www.ideebr.com

Aleixo took about five years to build his boat and this he did in his own company plant, employing his staff to run the construction. His ingenuity was unlimited, and, since he invested a tremendous effort in obtaining the maximum of quality all over the building process, his boat became a hallmark in marine engineering. This joint venture was extremely helpful for us in having such a demanding client working together with our team.

Intending to spend from now on the most part of his life aboard, it is no wonder that the boat looks like a cozy, nicely decorated home. However Fraternidade is also a sophisticated service boat. A good example of this is her pilot-house. Besides possessing a ship's size navigation table with space under to store paper charts from the whole world, this compartment still has a bunk for the off-watch officer and its instruments console rivals that of a ship

The list of navigation equipment at the piloting centre includes auto-pilot, radar, chart plotter, wind station, VHF, SSB, a compass coupled with three GPS for precise reading of the true course and AIS automatic traffic detector. Photo Helio Viana

Fraternidade was launched early this year; however her owner only considered the boat ready for a conclusive sea trial this July. The first test programmed was a trip to Fernando de Noronha, an ocean island six hundred miles northeast of Salvador, and back, a light challenge for such a powerful machine, however quite adequate for its first test.

As if she was an aircraft-carrier, Fraternidade never heeled beyond five degrees. Photo Helio Viana

Aleixo Belov gathered a group of friends and collaborators in the construction for this first trial, among them two friends of ours, the couple Mara Blumer and Helio Viana, both being old salts and involved with our design office, since they built and live  aboard the Samoa 29  Maracatu, with which they have already sailed dozens of thousand miles.

The first relevant observation they made was that with its impressive twelve tons, five metres deep fully lowered swing-keel, the boat hardly heeled at all, not even when hit by those frequent squalls that forms under cumulus clouds in the trade winds. Roller-reefing the foresails were much more a matter of protecting the canvas than an urge to relieve rig stress. The uncluttered flush decks were seldom washed in those conditions and the impression they felt was of being aboard a cruise ship.

Sailing on her nose, Fraternidade hardly felt the wind speed. The removable wooden floor in the central area of the deck shuts the slot of the keel trunk. Photo Helio Viana

The trip to Fernando de Noronha and back was quite eventless. The crew had the opportunity to enjoy themselves with sophisticated meals and plenty of leisure time. The boat proved to be so easy to handle that even a single person would be able to sail her. Helio found a few flaws yet, typical of a new boat, like the lack of hand holders inside the starboard heads, and the inexistence of a hook to hang the telephone type shower nozzle, nothing that couldn't be easily improved for the next leg of the trip.

My friend got deeply impressed with the incredible spaciousness of the saloon. The huge U-shaped settee has enough room for about twenty persons to seat comfortably around two large tables. A complete galley to port faced by a communication centre at starboard make the entertaining area of the interior one of the most agreeable to be found in boats this size.

Polar 65 Fraternidade is already part of the scenery. From now on she will be seen in the most different places in any latitude. Photo Helio Viana

Aleixo is very pleased with his boat, notwithstanding the fifty items he added to his checklist to be improved before the next extended cruise.

Meanwhile a second Polar 65 has its construction in an advanced stage. This one is being built by Metallic Boats, www.metallicboats.com.br, at Triunfo, a town in Southern Brazil. So, soon we will have two boats of the class demonstrating the practicality of retractable keels for long range cruising yachts of large size. Since we have been consulted by many other yachtsmen interested in knowing how this new design performs, we are glad to have been informed that the boat passed with honours in her fist test.

Polar 65: A cruising yacht for deep water and shoal. Rendered image: www.ideebr.com 


Return to the sea

Article published by Revista Náutica, Oct. 2008

Five years ago the Ukrainian by birth, citizen of Bahia at heart sailor and engineer Aleixo Belov was completing sixty years.
“And now what?” was his existential question.  Have another child?  It wasn't the case – he already had five, from two weddings.  Build another company? This was also out of the question – his successful engineering business had already consolidated a solid reputation. Make another round the world trip (the fourth)?… Why not?  Belov had already completed three round the world trips, always with the same boat, the very Spartan thirty-six foot Três Marias, built in the backyard of his house, in Salvador, Bahia.  This time, however, the trip would be aboard a new boat.  At that moment was starting to be born Fraternidade (Fraternity in Portuguese), the seventy foot steel yacht with which he is now getting ready for his fourth circumnavigation.

In spite of being a firm addict of solo sailing (“it is much easier to give orders to yourself than to others”, he explains), this time, however, he will not be alone. His boat will be crewed, a possibility he never considered when sailing in Três Marias.  Nevertheless, not to loose the old habit, before leaving for the next long journey he would like to sail the new boat single-handed along the Brazilian coast.

“It is just to improve my intimacy with the new dwelling, he explains.  Next, he will adapt Fraternidade as a laboratory ship, inviting scientists of the most varied specialties as crewmembers.  Only after a rigorous selection he will take the decision of who is going with him, and this selection may take some time to be accomplished.

The new route hasn't been decided yet, but he said he wants to return to the best places he visited in earlier trips.

Belov was only six years old when he disembarked in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, coming from the distant Ukrania.  So, he considers himself a legitimate child of the new country.  A charming character, he is always surrounded by his Brazilian friends – most probably citizens from Bahia.  Why then this preference for sailing alone?  When I spend more than ten days at sea, I begin to feel a king of transcendence, an immense internal peace invades my soul, and this sentiment is highest when I am by myself, he explains.  But, to finance his escapes to distant seas he needed to earn money.  He studied engineering and created a company, now with two hundred employees and a stable financial situation.  But the business is a means, not the purpose.  So, he prepared his family to take control of the business during his long absences when he was at sea.  This was so, for example, in 1980, when he left on his first adventure, and again in 1986, when he went around the world for the second time.  Only on the third trip (between September 2000 and March 2002 ) he allowed a rendezvous with his children and wife in a stop over at Tahiti, during the New Year's Millenium Celebration.  The experience of nearly one hundred thousand miles navigated, also made Belov a writer.  His first trip was told in the book “Round the World in Solitary”. The second rendered a trilogy, “Looking for the Orient”, “Looking for Origins” and “On the Way Home”.  The third round the world voyage was narrated in his most recent work, with more than 400 pages.

This time, the new trip with crew aboard should become a biographic documentary about his achievements. The script is a task for his daughter, Lara Belov, who has a college degree in cinema. The film will be at least quite original, telling the story of a blue-eyed Baiano (as the citizens from Bahia are called).

The fourth trip is soon to be started!  This time, Belov wants to give the opportunity to others to get to know the world, and one of them can be you.

In his new expedition, Aleixo Belov, decided to share his sailing adventures with other people, in a kind of sailing school.  For this he will have a crew not only of sailors, but also biologists, anthropologists, photographers, divers and film directors – all preferably young, as the reason for this all is to “introduce” the world to them. The name of the sailing boat – Fraternity – reflects his state of mind. “It is a way of showing my desire to unite people who fight for a world more ecologically balanced”, he says. 
Do you want to embark also in this adventure? Then you are invited to visit the site:

.w.w.aleixobelov.com.br and be a candidate for a place aboard.  Before you apply for a position, a warning; Belov usually has the habit of saying to his visitors that aboard his boats, he is not only the captain, but also sailor, the priest, judge and president.  “Here, I decide everything”, he says; pure baiano mockery, of course. However, he admits, he doesn't really know how he will react when dealing with other people aboard. “To sail with crew is like courting with other people watching you!” he reveals.  

A Floating Home Powered by Sails

During the last years Aleixo Belov spent more time ashore than at sea.  The reason for this radical change was his decision to build the new boat nearly twice the size of Três Marias.  The new sailboat, baptized Fraternidade is twenty-one metres long, with a 6,70m beam, two masts, 60 tons of pure steel ( carbon steel in the hull, with deck and keel case built in stainless steel.). Now the boat is ready to go anywhere, after five years since he ordered the plans, and built by himself in his shipyard in Salvador, where Belov lives when he is not sailing the wide world.  The launching took place just a few weeks ago and the boat is bringing a lot of attention from the local yachting community.

As a matter of fact, before being finished, Fraternidade design was already considered a turning point in the construction of cruising sailboats in Brazil, considering its unheard thirteen ton pivoting retractable keel. Thanks to a ratchet system developed for this keel, it can stay firmly fixed in any position and can be released just pressing a button. Thanks to this innovative system she can sail with the keel retracted or lowered. Thanks to this device, her draught can vary between 1,80 m ( with the keel up ) to 4,80 metres (totally lowered ). This versatility is also important because in yachts with movable ballast there are two items that need to work perfectly, so that the project will result in a successful craft:  the rudder and the keel.  To operate of a retractable keel system, it is necessary a smaller depth of the rudder when the boat is beached on purpose, or when sailing with the keel raised in shallow waters. On the other hand, the rudder control must be efficient even in the worst condition. In Fraternidade the solution found was quite logic.  Belov, together with the Studio B & G Yacht Design, having the renowned physicist and high latitude sailor Oleg Belly, himself an owner of a metallic yacht operating in the charter business, as a consultant, inspired the whole solution for this unique operation system.

Fraternidade ( Belov doesn´t hide from anybody that in the various times he visited his friend's yacht in Ushuaia, he came back with scribbles that were kept for when he decided to build his new boat. It was then that he opted for two fixed shallow rudders instead of just one, retractable.

Thanks to the generous size of the boat and the big internal space, the keel trunk (which is located amidships) reaches as far as the deck level, even though it doesn't get in the way of the crew circulation aboard – only creating two huge internal compartments, as though they were independent quarters.  In all, there are six cabins, with two bunks each, three to portside and three to starboard. There are bunks for twelve people, as one of Belov's intentions is to have plenty of company during his intended round the world trip.

His cabin, in the fore compartment, is the only one that has a door and can be transformed into suite.  Apart from this, there are two more heads for the rest of the crew.  The galley, which stays to portside of the engine room, has plenty of lockers, ice-chest and freezer, a deep sink  integrated to a dish-draining rack, two two-burner stoves, one working with propane and the other electric.  The main saloon (so big that it accommodates the entire crew and eventual guests altogether, is placed in the stern – as we already mentioned, since the keel trunk occupies a good part of the central area of the boat.  To provide natural ventilation to this large interior, there is nothing less than 20 hatches.

 Fraternidade is a very large yacht and is extremely comfortable; a veritable mansion on the water.
The navigation station in the pilot-house, for example, looks as though it is a ship's flybridge, with plenty of chart lockers, a bunk for the second crew on watch and much more.  At the cockpit there is no seat for the helmsman, so he has to stay awake.  All electronic instruments are duplicated, like radar, GPS plotter, automatic pilot and computer.  Even the auxiliary engine is duplicated: “Instead of taking a lot of spare parts I take a whole engine ready for use as back-up, resumes the good ‘baiano'.

Between the main saloon and the keel trunk, it is placed the engine room, with two 125 hp engines, a generator and a central heater. The water tank has the capacity for 8 000 litres and the fuel tank for not less than 9 000 litres!  Yes, nine thousand litres, there is need for a long range of operation when you have so ambitious plans of staying for years going round the world.  There are also six solar panels, and two wind generators, which are used to charge the battery banks. They are nineteen!  On deck, none of the nineteen winches are electric, which demands extra work for the crew, it is true.  Also, the steering wheel, connected by stainless steel wires, is a bit heavy, but very reliable for its simplicity.  Since there is a second steering wheel inside the pilot-house, and this is hydraulic, this second station is very light to steer. The boat is ketch rigged, (the foremast is 22m high) and two roller- reefing gears are installed for the fore sails. The utmost effort was made to reduce sail handling, having in mind making maneuvering easy, something very important for a yacht designed to sail in high latitudes and inaccessible regions”.

Fraternidade has all the ingredients to become a historic sailboat, not only for the details of her construction, but for her endeavors. It will represent well the spirit of the  country, where new ideas flourish with such vigor, commented Roberto Barros, from B & G Yacht Design.

In spite of still smelling brand new, Fraternity has already the profile of her owner.  Here and there you can see sculptures and oil paintings gathered by Belov during his three round the world trips – he is a born buyer of small objects of art and goes stocking them in his boat during the trips.  Also he was moved by new challenges. “What is the use of life if we don´t have the courage to risk it?” he likes to say. Not by chance, he is packing his belongings for his fourth round the world trip.  And, this time, with a boat as big as his experience.


Polar 65, our small expedition sailing ship

The Polar 65 is an amazing cruising sailboat. This powerful “go anywhere cruising machine” soon will be giving reasons for many comments among the sailing community. After all there are not many other forty-five ton displacement boats capable of grounding on a beach, just requiring the next tide to be floating again. Her impressive swing keel, when extended downside, dwarfs a man standing at its side (see photo below), but this swing-keel with its sophisticated hydrodynamic shape is the secret for having sufficient lift to allow her to beat to windward, even when sailing in gale conditions.

Being provided with two engines and two rudders, the Polar 65 is able to manoeuvre in tight anchorages with great facility dispensing a complicate bow thruster installation. On the other hand her high degree of positive stability makes her comfortable even when sailing in very rough conditions. These characteristics together with an extremely spacious interior arrangement are what make her the superb expedition boat she is.

The Ukrainian civil engineer Aleixo Belov was our first client to build a Polar 65. Being an outstanding sailor, just a few years after his graduation, he built a thirty-six foot fibreglass sailboat with which he accomplished a round the world trip, single-handed. Back home he wrote a book called “In search of the Orient” , where he relates his adventures, including an acquaintance with famous female navigator Tania Aebi, and a visit to his home-country, Ukrainia, then part of USSR. With that very boat he went sailing around the world two times more, always in solitary, resulting from these experiences two other bestsellers. Now he does not want to sail alone anymore, and decided to dedicate his Polar 65 in the mission of taking young people as crew, using his boat as a sailing school for less favoured youth.

His boat is practically ready to be launched, and will be sailing before the end of this year.

Owning a shipyard at the city of Salvador, State of Bahia, Brazil, he found no difficulty in building his Fraternidade (Fraternity in Portuguese) with his own team of welders. We visited his plant a few months ago and took the photos shown below:

Click on images to enlarge them

***

Meanwhile another Polar 65 hull is under construction at Metallic Boats, a boatyard established in Triunfo, R.S., Brazil. The second vessel of this class, Mar de Cristal, soon will have the hull turned into its upside position. José Antonio Moeller, the boatyard owner, is very enthusiastic about the potential of this design as the perfect charter boat to operate in high latitudes, and having in mind to be prepared to produce these boats in series, he provided his installations for CNC cut assemblage, which will represent an important saving in time of construction.

Moeller, a long time client of ours, already produced a collection of boats from our design, and for the quality of his work, we are foreseeing a very successful career for his latest investment.

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Polar 65, a new concept in cruising boat design

Two years ago the Ukrainian engineer and three times solo round the world cruising sailor Aleixo Belov visited our office to commission us to design the boat he wanted to build as his definitive yacht. He intended to construct a cruising boat with which he could do things difficult to be accomplished by most other yachts, like for instance, sailing in very shallow waters in places of difficult manoeuvrability, or facing bad weather against the wind hardly heeling at all, as if she were a multi-hull.
He brought with him a sketch of the boat he had in mind; a twenty metres long ballasted swing keel yacht. He came to our office already knowing that we had a long term involvement with ballasted swing keels, a feature we really believe to be one of the most desirable options for mono-hull sail boats.

We took this challenge with great enthusiasm, since we knew we were having an exceptional opportunity to test some new ideas. And so was born the Polar 65 design, the stock plans we were willing to produce someday.

The first suggestion we proposed to our client, which he promptly accepted, was to adopt twin rudders behind two skegs with apertures for twin engine propellers. We hadn’t seen that configuration in sailing boats up to that day yet, and we knew it was very desirable, since this duplicity enhanced manoeuvrability, besides being a safety factor, with one engine serving as back-up of the other. Besides, the two skeg tip beams being parallel to the floating waterline would allow the boat to rest in a horizontal position when lying on a flat bottom, a very assuring condition when aground. These two skegs would serve another important function; they would also perform the role of keel-coolers, eliminating the need for raw water strainers and allowing the engines to operate even when the seawater is frozen.

We designed a twelve ton swing-keel which hides entirely inside its trunk. With the addition of six tons of internal ballast, together with a generous beam, we obtained an excellent stability index, even when the keel is lifted. (See Polar 65 stock plan, technical data, static stability curve and STIX calculation.)

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The internal layout we chose for the design emphasized accommodations for a large crew. A boat with the characteristics of the Polar 65 will most probably be employed as a charter or expedition yacht. The internal arrangement has an after saloon with a handy internet and radio communication centre at starboard. The engines room is lodged under the pilot-house and the cabins are placed in a corridor which surrounds the keel trunk. We believe that each Polar 65 owner will wish to customize the interior layout to suite his preferences, as was already the case with Fraternidade, Aleixo’s Polar 65.

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After two years of intensive work, Aleixo’s ultimate cruising machine is nearly completed and soon will be launched. We received a few queries from Norway, Scotland, Canada and Alaska, but only now that the French yachting magazine “Loisirs Nautiques” n°470, October 2007, published a note about the Polar 65, it seems that people really discovered our design.
As a consequence we have already the second unit under construction, this time at Metallic Boats, a boatyard located in Southern Brazil, a builder who works with our designs since a long time. As the owner of the factory, www.metallicboats.com , Mr Jose Antonio Moeller has a large experience in metallic construction, we expect that not too far from now another well built Polar 65 will be in the water.

Rendered Images by Frederico Vecci
Photos of Fraternidade, Aleixo’s Polar 65.


THE POLAR 65 FRATERNIDADE IS ALREADY SHOWING HER BEAUTY.

The first Polar 65 to be built, Fraternidade is presently concluding its metallic construction. With the steel plating already in place, she will now be sand-blasted and painted. The reason why this boat attracts so much attention are the many unique solutions adopted in her design. In the first place, what surprises most visitors is her impressive retractable keel. Pivoting around a 200 mm diameter stainless steel solid pin, this gigantic steel box filled with lead ballast is operated by a simple button. Observe how Aleixo Belov, the owner and builder of "Fraternidade" ( Fraternity in Portuguese ), looks like a Lilliputian standing besides the keel.
Her stainless steel superstructure is no less impressive, with its custom fitting details, designed to operate in the most inhospitable regions.
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FIRST POLAR 65 HULL ALREADY CONCLUDED


Aleixo Belov, builder of the first Polar 65, sent us these photos of the preparations for turning his boat upside. Aleixo is a civil engineer with extensive experience as a cruising sailor, once he is one of the few persons who managed to sail around the world single handed, for three times consecutively.
Finding his 37 foot sailboat too small for a more socialising type of cruising, he came to our office to order a larger yacht capable of taking his family and friends along with a degree of comfort he can't afford to proportion with his present boat. Besides upgrading in size, Aleixo also was looking for a specialised boat with shallow draught possibilities and a thorough thermal insulation, qualifying her for high latitudes sailing.
The design we developed for his "Fraternidade"( fraternity in Portuguese ) is our stock plan Polar 65, a yacht with a swing keel with ratchet and hydraulic brake, two rudders and two engines ( see more details in Polar 65 stock plan ), which are innovative solutions for rudder control, manoeuvrability and ultimate shallow draught capabilities for a monohull.
We are specially impressed by the high standard of the steelwork, demonstrating his strong know how in metallic boat building. With all the equipment already purchased and taking into account the short time spent in reaching this stage of construction we expect to see the "Fraternidade"doing its first sea trials at the end of this year.


  *Photos: Nilton Souza - www.niltonsouza.com.br