Exclusive / A pivoting keel for the Solenn 32

Solenn 32, three deck plans and a new pivoting keel © Emmanuel van Deth

Elegant, fast and pleasant to steer, the 32 is now offered with a pivoting keel. At the key, a draft reduced to 1 meter to explore all the corners of the coast.

When it was launched in 2011, the Solenn 32 was admired by visitors to the Grand Pavois. If her grey hull dress hides a monolithic polyester construction, the deck is covered with teak and the side sides of the deckhouse, just as the coamings of the cockpit are in mahogany. This clever plating is enough to give the illusion that the Solenn 32 is a sailboat built... of wood. The red essence is protected by a very high quality varnish - the yard always wants to keep the used product secret.

Reduce draught

Following the request of many customers, Franck Roy's yard studied, in collaboration with the architects Mortain, Mavrikios and Chabaud, a new pivoting appendix, on the same principle as that of the Solenn 23. Either a one-ton part driven by a hydraulic cylinder, which is driven by an electric motor. Less than a minute will be enough to increase the draught from 2 to 1 metres. The original keelboat holds 1.60 m. However, despite its two rudders, this new version of the 32 is not designed for stranding.

A cockpit Ó la carte

Distributed since its launch in 4 copies, this model was quickly proposed in three versions. The Cruiser, visible on these images, proposes complete and neat accommodation: a lot of wood but it is necessary to resolve itself to 1,56 m of height under bars. The classic sponge is replaced by an elegant porch which of course serves as a passage to the forward cabin. For sleeping, a double bow and two benches - they act as saloon - which slide under the cockpit. The kitchen is divided into two modules. Just above, the wooden formwork skillfully conceals the rework of the chainplates. No toilet - we'll settle for a small chemical toilet - but sufficient storage for a short week of coastal vagrancy. The Week-end version has a smaller deckhouse and a one-metre longer cockpit. As for the Day, it's definitely two meters of cockpit as a bonus. But here, the accommodation is necessarily minimalist.

Easy maneuvers

The rig adopts a lacquered aluminium mast. All the deck fittings - from the excellent Harken - make it possible to bring all the manoeuvres back to the cockpit. The yard recommends a gennaker on furler, always with the aim of securing and simplifying navigation. In the same spirit, the furling genoa has a low overlap. On the boom, lazy bags and lazy jacks are at position. And the reefing bumps on the fully battened mainsail are automatic. In short, the sails are particularly easy to send and adjust. The mainsail sheet rail is ideally placed upright from the end of the boom. The turret, on the other hand, is advanced in the middle of the cockpit, within easy reach of the helmsman.

Cycling in all conditions

During our tests with a 10 to 12 knot offshore wind, the Solenn 32 was sliding with little or no wake thanks to its very long vault. Upwind, the sailboat is sailing at 6 knots and cape at 45░ to the actual wind. The pivoting keel version may even do a little better! From the beam, with this medium wind, it is possible to unroll the gennaker and sail at over 7 knots. The coaming around the cockpit saws off the thighs a little, but we're perfectly set. The keelbar remains soft - a treat at all speeds - and the rudder does not stall. Then with two shovels, the boat will be on rails!