Members' Online Book: Boat Design & Selection—Ovni 435, Chapter 12 of 18

Electrical Systems And Aluminum Boats

All of the yachts I have sailed over the last 20 years have been simple boats with fairly minimal electrical equipment. Not one of them (even up to 80ft) had an autopilot—sail training vessels often don’t, as they are set up to be sailed “handraulically” as we say over here.

So when we approached the planning for Pèlerin, we were mindful of our desire to have a simple boat, yet at the same time capable of meeting our wish for self-sufficiency at sea or in harbour. Another factor also nagged away in the back of our minds—the risks of electrolysis with aluminum, a subject upon which we’d heard a great deal of negative comment.

There is no doubt that there are risks inherent when mixing electricity and a material like aluminum, but we reasoned that Alubat have built thousands of OVNIs over the last 30 years, and we’ve never heard of one disappearing! So we did our homework, and made a few changes, and trusted the builders to do the rest. Now that we have her afloat and working, we can make some initial comments on what we have found.

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Meet the Author

Colin Speedie

Colin, European Correspondent here at AAC, is a deeply experienced offshore sailor who holds a Yachtmaster licence, and a gifted photographer and talented writer who has added a whole new dimension to Attainable Adventure Cruising. In addition, since Colin and Louise are from England and had their OVNI 435, Pèlerin built in France, they bring a European perspective to our site. You can read more about Colin and Louise and their business at their website.

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